Bail and Pre-Trial Release in Minnesota
Minnesota Laws on Bail and Pre Trial Release
In Minnesota, any adult arrested and charged with a crime under state law has the constitutional right to post bail and secure release from custody prior to trial. The Minnesota constitution states:â€śAll persons before conviction shall be bail able by sufficient suretiesâ€¦â€ť In other words, the state constitution prohibits holding a defendant in custody until trial without setting bail.
Bail is money provided to the court as a promise to appear. A bond is a document executed by an authorized bonding company to the Court as a guarantee that the defendant will make all future court appearances.
Within 48 hours after arrest, a defendantâ€™s custody status must be reviewed by a judge who will determine conditions of release â€“ including bailâ€“ which are intended to ensure a personâ€™s appearance at future court hearings.
Minnesota court rules also require judges to release individuals without specific conditions unless a determination is made that such a release â€świll endanger the public safety or will not reasonably assure the defendantâ€™s appearance.â€ť
If a court does choose to set conditions for a defendant, these may include:
1. placing the defendant under supervision of a person or organization such as court services/probation;
2. restricting the defendantâ€™s travel, association with others, or where he/she may reside while the case is pending;
3. requiring an appearance bond, cash deposit, or other security; or
4. imposing other conditions the judge finds necessary to assure the personâ€™s appearance.
When setting conditions of release, a judge will consider several specific factors including the nature of the crime charged, the defendantâ€™s ties to the community, his/her financial resources, and the safety of others that might be jeopardized should the defendant secure release.
While a judge may require a hybrid of bail with conditions or no bail with conditions, every adult defendant is entitled to have a bail set without conditions for his/her release.
Once a bail amount is set, a defendant has three options to secure release from custody:
1. he or she can post the total amount of bail in cash;
2. a third person can post the full bail amount in cash on the personâ€™s behalf; or
3. the defendant can contract with a bail bond company to post a bond for the defendant, usually for a fee of 10 percent of the total bail amount.
If the defendant does not appear on the date secured by the bail/bond, the bail/bond may be forfeited. This means that the person posting the bail will lose his/her money and a warrant will issue for the defendantâ€™s arrest. If a third-party co-signed for the defendantâ€™s bond, he/she may be liable for the full bond amount to the bond company.
If the defendant makes all court appearances and satisfies all the judgeâ€™s requirements, then the bail money is returned to the defendant. Under state law, posted bail becomes the property of the defendant and is not returned to third parties. Money paid to a bond company is a fee and not returned.
If you find yourself facing serious criminal charges or want to explore your options for reducing your bail or having your release conditions modified you need a criminal defense attorney with deep legal knowledge and a willingness to fight on your behalf in any court. At Halberg Criminal Defense, our team approach puts the firmâ€™s collective knowledge and experience in your court. Our attorneys are available 24-7 â€” Call us at 612-DEFENSE (612-333-3673).