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After an arrest, bail is at a judge's discretion

Being arrested in Louisiana can be a very daunting experience. Once you have been taken into custody, there is no way to know exactly what might happen next. If you are ever arrested and placed in jail on a criminal charge, you will likely want your freedom back as soon as possible. But before being released, you will typically have to appear in court to have your bail set.

Depending on the charge, a judge at a bail hearing may choose to do one of three things. First, a judge could opt to simply deny you bail. This decision is generally based on the severity of the crime.

A judge's second option is to set bail. The intent of bail is to motivate a defendant to appear at his or her appointed trial proceedings. Once bail is set, then the defendant will have to pay before being let out of jail.

Finally, in a best-case scenario, you could be released on your own recognizance. This means you will not have to post a bond in order to be released. However, prior to your release, you will be required to sign documentation wherein you promise to appear in court.

When deciding whether or not to release defendants on their own recognizance, a judge may take different factors into account. For example, a judge could possibly look favorably on a defendant who demonstrates having steady, lawful employment.

This is why if you ever have to attend a bail hearing, it can be beneficial to have someone on your side working to show the judge your positive attributes. A Louisiana criminal defense attorney may be able to help you get manageable bail arrangements. The attorney could even possibly work to get you released on your own recognizance.

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