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Can People Get Out On Bail When They Face Felony Charges?


Bail is generally set in ninety-five percent of most criminal cases. Sometimes it is unreasonably high and you will not be able to post it, but they will set bail. Law enforcement will arrest you for a misdemeanor offense, sometimes they will bring you for a bond hearing in front of a judge. Sometimes they will just say, “We are going to let you go with a $300 fine”. With DUIs, most times a police officer will take your license, fine you up to $300 and issue you a court date. For a Felony, they will appear in front of a judge, and they cannot release you on a felony charge.

You will then go in front of a judge for a bond hearing, they will look at your previous background and then the judge is going to use at their discretion, determine what they think is reasonable for a court to find and establish two things. One, you come back to court, and two, hopefully you are not any threat to the public. They look at your prior record, they look at the severity of the alleged offense. Keep in mind; the state always excuses the facts in their favor at the bond hearing, because they want a high bond. Then the judge is going to decide what an appropriate bond is. The judge can give you a signature bond as well.

Even on a big time felony, they can still give you a signature bond, but there is a lot of political backlash where that is concerned. However, it depends on somebody’s background to be honest. Here we have part of the probation department and in most cases; they will do a little background report for the judge. But, sometimes they can and will muck up prior arrests, prior failures to appear in court, if there are any, what they have been convicted of and compare that to how many times they have been charged.

If you have been charged with twenty counts and they were all dismissed, they still bring that to forefront of your case, believe me. The judge is going to decide what they think is the appropriate bond based on your past and what kind of day is the judge having. A judge will not set a million dollar bond on a misdemeanor, but I have seen him set a million dollar bond on several felonies. They know that the person cannot make that kind of bond, so they might as well make it a $100 million dollar bond, because most people are never going to be able to post that kind of money up front.

We do have judges that are not quite on top of some issues. Bonds are all over the place, one minute they are super high and next minute they will be signature bonds and you will be shaking your head and going, “What is this guy thinking?” But, that is what we have to live with. Judges are human beings like everybody else, and they have their own eccentricities, things you have to get used to. Hopefully if you are an experienced attorney, you know which judge will follow and what they like to hear and what they do not.

Are Felony Offenses Generally Eligible For Probation?

All the felonies are probation-able. In Illinois, Class IV, Class III, Class II, Class I felonies are all probation-able. The only felonies that are not probation-able are certain Class I felonies and Class X, but there are still some exceptions. If you had a prior Class II felony within the last ten years, then on a second one, they are not probation-able. You have to know and hope that your attorney understands that, even though it is a probation-able offense, but when it comes to sentencing you and priors are already in your past, you are not going to be eligible for probation at all.

There are factors that affect the eligibility of probation in these cases, but those are set by statute. Hopefully your attorney knows what he is doing, so he is not leading you down the wrong path, saying, “Don’t worry, we will get you probation” and when you get to sentencing, the judge will tell you that “we would like to give it to you, but you are not eligible, so prison is most likely”. Most felonies are probation-able. Looking at a lot of cases that come into my office, very often a Class X felony starts out being non-probation-able, but then they negotiate it down to something that is acceptable to my clients. That is why you should retain an experienced attorney to make that happen. Do not go to prison if you can avoid it.

For more information on Bailing Out On Felony Charges, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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