After an arrest, the defendant makes an appearance in front of a judicial officer shortly after the arrest. During this hearing, the judge reviews the charges with the defendant, advises a person facing a felony charge of the right to a preliminary hearing, assigns counsel if the defendant does not have one and decides on pretrial release.
When making a decision to release or detain the defendant until trial, the judge considers a number of factors. If the judge decides on release, there are different types of release the judge will assign.
According to the Maryland Courts, a commissioner or judge will typically grant pretrial release unless the judicial officer establishes that no release conditions are reasonable enough for the situation. The judge considers two main things: Safety risk and chances of appearing at the trial.
If the judge determines that releasing the defendant could risk the safety of the alleged victim, community or another person, or if the defendant is a flight risk, the officer will deny pretrial release, and the defendant will remain in jail until, and during, the trial.
Types of bail
The Maryland Reporter discusses the different types of release conditions the judge may grant. With personal recognizance, the judge releases the defendant with no required conditions. Defendants released with no conditions is not only low risk, but the person also has deep ties and connections in the community that makes it harder to flee.
For most defendants, the judge will attach conditions to the release. The defendant will need to come up with the bail amount in the form of:
- Property bond
- Surety bond
If the defendant makes bail but does not show up for required court hearings, there is a warrant put out for the defendant’s arrest, and the court keeps the bail money.