If you have been arrested for a sex crime, you don’t always have to await your trial behind bars. Instead, you may be eligible for bail. Bail is a deposit of money with the court that is returned to you if you attend all of your legal proceedings. It’s basically a guarantee that you will go to court instead of fleeing. A judge will determine your bail amount based on the severity of the offense, your criminal past, the likelihood that you will flee, and the danger you allegedly represent to others. In certain limited circumstances, a judge may deny your bail for sex crimes altogether.
The initial stages of the criminal justice process are crucial to obtaining a good case outcome, so you should have an experienced sex crimes attorney by your side as early as possible. During these initial stages, the judge will explain your charges, set your bail, and ask you to enter a plea to the offense. You and your lawyer will also have the option to challenge some of the prosecutor’s evidence, to question the existence of probable cause, or to negotiate a plea bargain.
You May Get Denied Bail for Felony Sex Crime Charges If You Have Priors
When you get arrested for a sex crime, the police will question you and book you in jail. During this time, it is essential that you exercise your right to remain silent, and that you contact a Houston criminal defense lawyer. Soon after your arrest, you will appear before a magistrate for your initial appearance. Here, the magistrate will rule whether the police had probable cause to arrest you, inform you of your charges, and set your bail amount.
The ability to post bail and to wait for your trial outside of jail is a constitutional right, but there are exceptions. In Texas, a judge does not have to grant bail in the following scenarios:
- You’ve been charged with capital murder
- You are being charged with a felony, and you have two prior felony convictions
- You are being charged with a felony involving a deadly weapon, and you have at least one prior felony conviction
- You’ve been charged with a violent or sexual felony while on parole or community supervision
- You allegedly committed a sex crime against a child younger than 14, and you violated a safety-related bail condition
- You violated a prior bail condition related to the safety of an individual or of the community
There are several scenarios where you could face sex crime charges and get denied bail. If the judge decides to go this route, the order denying bail lasts for 60 days. In the meantime, you can appeal the order.
For each category of crime, the judge will determine whether you represent an above or below average risk of flight or danger to the community. If you cannot afford the bail payment, you can use a bail bond service. In sexual assault cases, your bail may also include conditions such as staying away from the alleged victim or their place of work, in addition to other requirements.
Reach Out to a Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer Today
Bail is not always guaranteed in sex crimes cases, and even when bail is granted, your lawyer may be in a position to reduce the amount and remove any extra conditions. By having a criminal defense attorney by your side from the beginning, you can vastly increase your chances of obtaining a good case outcome, and ensure that your rights remain respected at every step of the process.
If you have been charged with a sex crime in the Houston area, call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett today at (713) 222-6767, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case.