This afternoon, I represented a client at a preliminary hearing who is charged with misdemeanor receiving stolen property, which is a theft offense. My client was being held in Berks County Prison on $20,000.00 secured bail, which means she would have had to pay a bail bond agency anywhere from $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 to be released from jail.
At the preliminary hearing, however, I was able to convince the Judge to lower my client’s bail to $20,000.00 unsecured, which means that my client will be released from jail without paying any money. In the event my client would fail to show up for future court dates, she would be obligated to the court for up to $20,000.00. I made sure to point out to the Judge that my client had only a very minor prior record, had no history of violent behavior, was not a threat to the community, and had a stable residence located in the City of Reading. Based on these factors and my arguments, the Judge was willing to release my client from jail. This is, of course, a great benefit to my client since the typical criminal case takes at least several months to resolve.
In the past, I have also represented clients at emergency bail hearings in front of a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County. In one particular case, my client was given a high bail at the preliminary hearing for a minor marijuana possession offense. Despite my pleas for a reduced bail, the Judge decided to keep my client locked up. No more than a few hours later, I was arguing an emergency bail hearing for my client in front of a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which has a higher authority than the district courts of Pennsylvania. The higher court Judge agreed with my arguments, and my client was released from jail the very same day.
If someone you know is in Berks County Prison, please call our office to speak with one of our three experienced criminal defense attarneys at no cost. We can discuss the details of the bail process in Berks County, and we can discuss options for getting a bail reduction, either at the preliminary hearing level or on an emergency basis in the Court of Common Pleas. Many times, we can save our clients a significant amount of money by alleviating the necessity of paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a bail bond agency.