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What Is Bail Or Bond In Minnesota? How Does That Process Work?


In Minnesota, every case is eligible for bail before a conviction is entered. Bail is a system that allows people to pay money to be able to be let out of custody, as a surety to reappear and follow through on their court appearances until the case is resolved. The bail bond process is the process of hiring a bonding company to pay a portion of the bail and then they pay the balance so that you can be released from custody without posting the full amount.

Is Bail or Bond Always Set In A Criminal Case?

In a criminal case where there has not been a plea bargain, a conviction, or a trial, bail is set. If the person is on probation and has a probation violation, then bail will not be set. A judge can hold someone without bail.

How Is The Amount Of Bail Determined?

The amount of bail is discretionary on the part of the judge. The law would require the amount to be reasonable. However, the definition of reasonable is going to vary from person to person and from judge to judge. If you are in court for a small theft incident, you are going to have a lower bail than someone who is in court for homicide. Likewise, if you haven’t missed court or been in trouble before, your bail will be lower than someone who has a history of not showing up in court.

Minnesota uses a pretrial bail evaluation score system to evaluate all of these factors, including whether you have a steady address, whether you are employed, whether you have family in the area, your prior records, how many prior warrants you have, and the severity of the offense. This gives the judge an idea of the risk that you may pose of not coming back to court or to the community if you are to be released without bail or with a low bail.

What If I Can’t Afford The Bail Amount Set? Is There Any Room For Negotiation?

Once a judge determines bail, it is the amount that has been set, unless another judge will reduce it. If you cannot afford the bail that has been set during the time the case is being fought, you are likely to be sitting in custody, unless the judge or another judge will reduce the bail to an amount you can pay.

Could I Ever Be Released On My Own Recognizance?

It is very possible to be released on your own recognizance. It all depends on the bail evaluation score, which takes into account the severity of the charge, your prior history with showing up to court, and whether you have had prior warrants.

What Happens To The Bail Money If I Posted Bail But Failed To Show Up For Court?

If you’ve posted bail through a bonding company and you fail to show up for court, the bonding company has to pay for the balance of the bail, which means that they are now going to come after you for the money. If your bail is $5,000 and you paid the bonding company $500, you now owe the bonding company the $4,500 that they paid for you to be able to get out of custody. If you paid the full $5,000 in cash directly to the court, you have now forfeited that money and you will not be getting it back.

For more information on Bail Or Bond Process In Minnesota, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651) 314-9620 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

Call For A Free Consultation (651) 314-9620