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Most Common Charges and What to Do When You’re Charged

A Man That Has Been Arrested Has Been Put in Handcuffs

People Who Have Criminal Charges Need To Know What To Do When They’ve Been Charged.

When it comes to being arrested, a lot of things can be confusing. For instance, what does it mean to be charged with a crime? There are three types of meanings that are used when someone is arrested and brought to court and those are charged, convicted, and sentenced. When someone is charged with a crime, it’s a claim that a crime has been committed by that said person. If the person who is charged with the crime is convicted, this means that they have been found either guilty or innocent of the charge. Once a conviction has been made, the sentencing then takes place, which will then tell the person what their punishment is committing the crime. We also hear the term, “indictment” in connection with criminal charges. A lot of people will ask, “Is an indictment the same as being charged?” and the answer is that they are not the same. An indictment is when a grand jury files criminal charges against a person, whereas a criminal charge, is when the prosecutor files charges. In the case of an indictment, there is the question of can charges be dropped after indictment? The answer is yes; a grand jury will usually drop indictment criminal charges if the case isn’t strong enough. 

If a friend or family member has been charged with a crime, it’s important to know these legal terms, as they can help you through the entire process. Not only that, when someone you know has been charged with a crime, they need to have legal guidance in order to win their case. Since charges are allegations made against someone, it’s a good idea to know the most common criminal charges.

  • Aggravated assault
  • Burglary
  • Drug possession
  • Robbery
  • Theft / Larceny
  • Vehicle Theft

When someone is charged with a crime, they use abbreviations in criminal records. Knowing common abbreviations for criminal charges can help you navigate criminal records and what charges have been made against a person. If someone is charged with aggravated assault, the abbreviation will be AA; if the charge is aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the abbreviation for the charge will be AA/DW.

List of Crimes and Their Punishments

A Burglar Is Using a Screwdriver To Break Through a Door

Different Criminals Charges Are Going To Have Different Punishments.

When you are charged with a crime, it’s a good idea to know what the punishment for the crime is going to be. However, it’s important to note that not every person will be sentenced to the same punishment even if they are charged with the same crime. For example, someone who hasn’t been charged with drug possession before is going to have a lesser sentence than someone who has been charged with that crime two or three times. When it comes to crimes, there are over 50 types of crimes. To make this easier, we will go over the punishments of the most common types of charges.

  • Aggravated Assault: Aggravated assault is the most serious type of assault, so generally this kind of crime is considered a felony.
  • Burglary: People who commit burglary will either be sentenced to time in jail or prison (depending on the severity), as well as have to pay fines and can also have probation and restitution sentences.
  • Drug Possession: When someone is charged with a drug possession, the type of punishment is going to depend on the state you live in, what kind of drug was on the said person, but you can bet that there will be jail or prison time based on how many drug possession charges the person has had.
  • Robbery: Different states are going to have different penalties and sentences for robberies. Some will be considered a felony and require prison time, and most of the time there will be probation and restitution charges.
  • Theft: Depending on the theft charge, it can either be a misdemeanor or felony charge. There can be jail time, prison time, fines, restitution, and probation for people who have committed theft.

How Do Bail Bonds Work

A Picture of a Man Standing in a Courtroom in Front of a Judge

Bail Bonds Are Able To Help People Who Have Criminal Charges.

If your friend or a family member has been charged with a crime, they have a chance to be released from jail before they begin their trial. To be released from jail, they can use a bail bond provided by a bail bond company. Bail is used to paying the court to ensure that the defendant will appear on their scheduled court date. When determining someone’s bail, the judge will look at the person’s criminal history, whether they are a flight risk, how serious the crime is, and if they are a danger to their community. Sometimes a court will even have a bail schedule and will go based on that in order to set bail.

Once bail has been set, someone can either pay in cash or use a bail bond to be released from jail. So which is better, bail bonds vs cash? When thinking of bail bonds and cash, one shouldn’t be considered better than the other. If someone has the necessary means to pay cash to get released from jail, they can use cash; if someone can’t pay $1,000 for bail in cash, then getting a bail bond will work. The way that bail bonds work is that the defendant or a family member calls a bail bonds company and pays a percentage of the amount of the bail. With that, the bail bondsman posts bail for the defendant, and the defendant is released from jail. However, if the defendant skips bail, the bail bond is forfeited, which means whoever paid the bail bond amount will not get the money back.

If you are wanting to know about the common charges in Lebanon and Reading, PA, please call Bail Shop, LLC at 888-224-5711! We are the bail bondsman you can rely on!

What Can Lead to a Probation Violation?

Man in Yellow Shirt with Hands Cuffed Behind His Back.

A Violation of Probation Will Lead to a Warrant for Your Arrest.

If you were convicted of a crime and received a sentence of probation, then you managed to avoid jail time. Of course, probation comes with its own rules and fees. If you cannot abide by the requirements outlined in your sentence, or through your probation officer’s discretion, you will find yourself in violation of probation. A violation will lead to your arrest and detention in anticipation of a revocation hearing.

Any number of things can happen at a revocation hearing, from the extension of your probation, to the addition of new requirements or complete revocation. If you have your probation revoked, you will return to jail for the entirety of your original sentence. Worse yet, none of the time you spent on probation will count towards this sentence. To avoid this unfortunate circumstance, you’ll want to understand exactly how a violation of probation can occur.

Actions That Can Lead to a Violation of Probation

Probation typically comes with a bevy of requirements, including the timely payment of fees, fines, and restitution, regular meetings with your probation officer, and classes you must attend. Probationers will also have an assortment of activities they must avoid, including, of course, any criminal activity or use of illegal substances. If you want to succeed on probation, you must adhere to each and every requirement. The following actions will lead to a probation violation and revocation hearing.

  • Additional Criminal Charges: If you are arrested while on probation, you’re in for a good bit of trouble. Judges do not take kindly to probationers who blow their opportunity through the intentional commitment of another crime.
  • Positive Test for Drugs or Alcohol: A common reason for probation violations occurs through drug or alcohol use. Many probationers are subject to random drug tests. If your original arrest involved alcohol, then you will likely endure testing for it, in addition to drugs.
  • Missed Appointments: Missing an appointment with your probation officer can absolutely lead to a violation. The entire point of probation is a commitment to community supervision. If you fail to show up for a scheduled appointment with your officer, this supervision cannot occur. If you must miss an appointment, notify your officer beforehand.
  • Weapon Possession: Probationers cannot carry weapons, regardless of any concealed carry permit they have. If you are caught with a weapon, it usually indicates involvement in another crime. This combination of charges will frequently lead to revocation.

All in all, the key to surviving probation is to simply follow the rules laid out for you. If you do receive a probation violation, you will find yourself in handcuffs, in need of further bail bond service. For help with a violation of probation in Lebanon and Reading, PA, reach out to the expert team at Bail Shop, LLC. We’re available anytime you need, so pick up the phone and dial 888-224-5711.

 

What Happens if Bail Is Set Too High?

Jail Release

A High Bail Amount Can Limit a Defendant’s Ability to Achieve Jail Release.

Though the U.S judicial system is founded on the notion of innocence until proven guilt, those arrested for a crime can face incarceration until the date of their trial. In order to provide for jail release from pre-trial detention, a defendant will receive a bail hearing. Bail represents the amount of money a court holds in security against the defendant’s appearance in court. Unfortunately, bail is often set far above what most people can afford. To understand the reasons for this, you’ll need to consider the matter from the judge’s perspective. Regardless of the bail amount, if you need jail release in Lebanon and Reading, PA, call 888-224-5711 for Bail Shop, LLC.

Justifications for High Bail or Denial of Jail Release

The bail amount for some misdemeanors and most felonies can easily exceed several thousand dollars. Few people have the resources to post bail for these amounts in cash. Furthermore, incarceration limits one’s abilities to access funds or liquidate assets. The following reasons are often cited for high bail, or even the denial of bail altogether.

  • Probation Arrest: Judges do not appreciate when someone is arrested while on probation, and consider it indicative of an inability to remain out of trouble.
  • Flight Risk: If the judge doubts a defendant’s commitment to appear in court, he may deem them a flight risk with an excessive bail amount.
  • Dangerous Offender: A defendant arrested for a violent crime, or for multiple DUIs, can be seen as a public threat. The high bail is meant to mitigate the chance of further offenses.
  • Death Penalty: If a crime carries the threat of death, bail is either denied or set immensely high. The rationale here is clear, as someone facing death has little to lose in flight.

If the amount of money needed to post bail for you or a loved one sits beyond reach in Lebanon and Reading, PA,  enlist the services of a bondsman. For fast jail release, call 888-224-5711 for the local team at Bail Shop, LLC. Of course, jail release does not indicate the end of the matter, as the defendant will face further detention if convicted. This means that, in addition to a bail bondsman, you will need a criminal defense lawyer to fight for your exoneration.

How Much is Bail For a DUI?

Getting a DUI is a traumatic, embarrassing, and life-changing event. It not only costs you time and money, but it can affect the rest of your life. Depending on if it is your first offense or over your third time being pulled over for drunk driving, and what your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is determines your punishment. All 50 states have the implied consent law. That is, when you sign your signature on your driver’s license, you have agreed to grant police permission to test you for your BAC level if they suspect you of being under the influence. If you refuse, you are automatically arrested and your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. A judge can also assign up to 150 hours of community service if you refuse a chemical test. If you claim to not have heard of this law or been informed, all driving schools teach it and DMVs inform you when you sign your license. If you have been arrested for a DUI and are needing DUI bail bonds help in Lebanon and Reading, PA, call Bail Shop, LLC at 888-224-5711 today.

How Long Do You Go To Jail For Drunk Driving?

Call Our DUI Bail Bonds Office For Help With Bail or Any DUI Related Questions or Law Procedures You Might Have

Here in Pennsylvania, there are a series of three penalty laws that determine the level of punishment based on BAC levels. All penalties require the defendant to take a mandatory alcohol and highway safety school, and drug treatment courses are strongly recommended.

BAC 0.08% to 0.099%: For first time offenders, a fine of $300 and 6 months probation. If arrested a second time, up to 6 months in prison with your license suspended for 1 year plus anywhere from a $300- $2,500 fine. For your third offense, you will be have 2nd degree misdemeanor charge and up to 10 years in prison, along with up to $5,000 worth of fines to pay.

BAC 0.10% to 0.159%: Since BAC levels are higher, automatic license suspension is given on every level of offense due to the risk of serious injury occurring to others for drunk driving. You will also serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail on your first offense. 2nd time offenders spend 30 days in jail and pay $5,000. 3rd and 4th time offenders spend up to 5 years in prison with a 1st degree misdemeanor charge and pay $10,000 in fines.

BAC 0.16% and over or Possession of a Controlled Substance: Your first offense lands you 72 hours in jail no matter what, and you pay a minimum fine of $1,500. 2nd and 3rd time offenders get a 1st degree misdemeanor charge, spend up to 5 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.

Consequences of a DUI

A DUI will stay on your driving record for 10 years, increasing insurance. Every background check will show that you have been arrested for drunk driving. This seriously affects job and love prospects if anyone looks up your history.

Call Us For DUI Bail Bonds

If you have been arrested for drunk driving and need help paying your DUI bail amount, call the bailbondsman at Bail Shop, LLC for assistance. We have years of DUI bail bonds experience in the Lebanon and Reading, PA area and can help you in your time of need. Call us today at 888-224-5711.

Pennsylvania Felonies and Misdemeanors: Classifications and Charges

When you or a loved one is charged with a crime in the state of Pennsylvania, it’s good to know what the classification and charges they have for felonies and misdemeanors. If you have been charged with Pennsylvania felonies or misdemeanors, keep reading below to find out what type class of felony or misdemeanor you are being charged with and what the repercussions are.

Pennsylvania Misdemeanors: Classifications and Charges

Pennsylvania Felonies and Misdemeanors

Find Out What the Classification and Charges Are for Pennsylvania Felonies and Misdemeanors.

A misdemeanor in Pennsylvania is a crime that can land a person in jail. Examples of a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania would be disorderly conduct or vandalism. Misdemeanors are classified in degrees, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree or M1, M2, and M3. Each of these degrees has different penalties from one another.

  • 3rd Degree Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and fines that cost up to $2,500.
  • 2nd Degree Misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail and fines that cost up to $5,000.
  • 1st Degree Misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail and fines that cost up to $10,000.

Pennsylvania Felonies: Classifications and Charges

A felony in Pennsylvania will be a more serious crime and will require prison time, as well as paying a larger fine. Examples of Pennsylvania felonies would be rape or burglary. Like misdemeanors, felonies are classified in degrees, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd or F1, F2, and F3. Murder, on the other hand, is a non-categorized felony. This means that they have their own classifications for the particular crime.

  • 3rd Degree Felony: Up to seven years in prison and fines that cost up to $15,000.
  • 2nd Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison and fines that cost up to $25,000.
  • 3rd Degree Felony: 20 years in prison with fines that cost up to $25,000

If you need felony or misdemeanor bail bonds in Lebanon, PA, call Bail Shop, LLC at 888-224-5711.

Discovering an Outstanding Warrant: How to React

Handcuffs and Gavel

Discovering an Outstanding Warrant May Be Alarming, But These Three Steps Will Help You.

Have you just discovered an outstanding warrant for yourself or a family member? First of all, stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay! Carefully follow these three steps and you’ll be well on your way to getting things back under control.

Step #1: Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

You can learn about the details of the warrant through your county clerk’s office, as well as some free warrant search tools online. Once you’ve confirmed the warrant however, your first step should be to contact a defense attorney. They will help you sort through the details of the warrant, confirm its authenticity, and learn when and by whom the warrant was issued. If you or your loved one haven’t been approached by the police yet, they can arrange the best place and submit to the police, if that’s necessary.

Step #2: Talk to a Bail Bondsman

Depending on the gravity of the alleged crime, you may need to secure a bond for your bail costs. Arranging a bondsman to arrive at your court appearance shouldn’t be difficult, and it will ensure that you (or your loved one) face little time in jail before the official court date.

Step #3: Show Up to Your Scheduled Court Appearances

All your efforts will be wasted if you fail to arrive on time on the scheduled court dates. Make sure you have set aside work hours, arranged rides, and confirmed location and time. It may be a scary ordeal, but if you follow these steps the process should be much less stressful for you and your loved ones.

For more information about the bail process or dealing with an outstanding warrant, feel free to talk with our professionals at Bail Shop, LLC. You can reach us day or night at 888-224-5711.

Know Your Rights When Getting Arrested

Being arrested is frightening, especially if it has never happened to you before. Do not make the situation any worse and be able to get back to your freedom as quickly as possible by knowing what to do when police say you are under arrest.

Police Have To Ask To Search Your Belongings Without A Search Warrant

If they don’t have a warrant or don’t ask before searching, it is against the law. If they do ask, politely decline. Being accused of something you may not have done can be aggravating, but replying back to the officer with an attitude can make the situation worse.

Don’t Get Unlawfully Arrested. Know Your Rights.

If you get pulled over, don’t look at where the items that you don’t want the police to search. This gives them the right for “Probable Cause,” which means they are then allowed to search you. If they come to your home, do not let them in without a search warrant. Step outside to talk to them so they cannot look inside your home.

Stay Silent

Say you will only speak with a lawyer present to not further incriminate yourself. Police are smart, and can ask tricky questions that can twist your innocent answer into a potential declaration of guilt. Make sure they read you your Miranda Rights when you are getting arrested.

Don’t Resist

This will add additional charges to you. You may be completely innocent, but the police still have to verify that. It’s a sucky situation, but it will be over soon. See if there are witnesses around, or if the dash or body cams are recording for your protection.

With so many police violence issues happening today, it is more important than ever to know how to act around them to save yourself. If you think you have had your rights violated when you were arrested in LebanonLebanon and Reading, PA, contact Bail Shop, LLC at 888-224-5711 today.

4 Unusual Court Sentences

As a judge, the frustration of seeing people fall back into a life a crime can be disheartening. However, some judges have begun to fight back by using unusual court sentences to get their point across and keep offenders from repeating their crimes. We think these four sentences made their point quite well.

These Judges Have had it With the Staus Quo

Judgments Don’t Have to be Traditional.

Beer Bottle Guys

In 2006, an Ohio judge sentenced two men that were found guilty of throwing beer bottles at a woman and yelling sexist slurs to 1 night of walking around downtown dresses in dresses, wigs, and makeup. The judge said the point was to realize what it was like to be a woman.

Disrespect is for the Pigs

When a man showed disrespect to police officers by calling them pigs, he was sentenced to holding a pig on a busy street corner with a sign that said, “This is not a police officer”.

An Idiot on Every Corner

When a Colorado woman was convicted of running up onto a sidewalk to pass a stopped school bus that was letting children off, she was ordered to hold up a sign that read, “Only an Idiot Would Drive on a Sidewalk to Avoid a School Bus”.

Cut it Out

When a 12-year-old girl was convicted of cutting a toddler’s ponytail off at a McDonald’s, she and her accomplice were sentenced to restitution, community service, and a short period in juvenile detention. However, the judge reduced the 12-year-old’s sentence when her mom agreed to cut the girl’s hair to chin-length in the courtroom.

In more and more courtrooms, judges are using their authority in more creative ways to try to spark real change with their court sentences. In these cases, we believe that the defendant will not soon forget their lesson. If you find yourself in front of a judge after being arrested, don’t go it alone. Call the Bail Shop, LLC experts at 888-224-5711 for help.

What Is Contempt of Court?

bail

Understanding Legal Terms Can Help Your Trial Go More Smoothly

If you or a loved one have been arrested then chances are you know how stressful the judicial process can be. Today we will go over one of the commonly used phrases used in court proceedings. Contempt of court is very serious, so understanding what it is can help you avoid being help in contempt of court.

What is Contempt of Court?

Simply put, a person can be held in contempt of court if they somehow interfere with the court’s ability to function properly. If the court feels that your actions are interfering with the effectiveness of the justice system, a judge can hold you in contempt of court.

Two Sides of The Same Coin

You can be help in civil or criminal contempt of court. Civil contempt of court generally refers to individuals who fail to comply with court orders. One common example of civil contempt of court is refusing to pay court-ordered child support. Criminal contempt of court is often seen on TV shows and in movies. Individuals who make loud outbursts in court, or who threaten witnesses or jury members are to be held in criminal contempt of court. When it comes to civil contempt, rapid compliance can often get the contempt charges dismissed. If you are held in criminal contempt of court, however,  those charges require an additional court date. Some defendants find themselves in trials for contempt charges long after the original trials have been settled or completed.

If you or a loved one have been arrested, and you need help posting bail, give us a call today at 888-224-5711!

When Bail is Set

Federal law does not determine when states and local areas will arraign someone. Most places, however, put a defendant in front of a judge within 48 to 72 hours. This time frame can vary if the jail is particularly busy, or if the courts are closed for a weekend, or holiday. If the charges are federal, however, then federal law requires that the defendant be arraigned within 48 hours; again, this only varies on weekend and holidays. It is after this arraignment that a defendant can be bailed out; the first court appearance is when bail is set.

When Bail Gets Set

Gavel Keys Home

When Bail is Set, Call Us.

After a person sees the judge and bail is set, then that defendant can get out of jail by posting that bail. There are situations in which a person doesn’t have to wait in jail prior to seeing a judge. In some circumstances, there is a preset bail amount for the crime, called a bail schedule; this is posted before the defendant sees the judge. Otherwise, a person must wait for bail to be set by the judge.

Every accused person has the right to see a judge. The time frame for this depends upon the crime and court. The person who knows his or her rights is more likely to get out faster. If you know that the crime of which you are accused has a set bail, then you can contact someone for bail immediately.

When you need bail in Lebanon, PA, contact Bail Shop. We know the local laws and how to get you out of jail fast when bail is set. Just call us at 888-224-5711.