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Does Michigan allow personal recognizance bails?

Being arrested for a crime in Michigan initiates the criminal justice process. One part of this process is finding out whether you will be released from jail while your case works its way through the courts. Defendants in this state might find it interesting that, with the exception of instances involving violent crimes, the state's constitution requires that people facing charges must be able to afford bail.

This doesn't mean this point is actually followed. In fact, there are some people who are remaining in jail simply because they can't afford to pay to be released. These are people facing nonviolent charges and who don't have any warrant holds.

Michigan law presumes that people facing nonviolent crimes should be released on a personal recognizance bond unless they meet one of a few conditions. It is imperative for anyone who is facing this situation understand what comes with the bail process.

What is a personal recognizance bond?

A personal recognizance bond means that you are released from jail with only a signed promise that you will appear at all of your court hearings. This doesn't require money to secure the release. However, you should remember that if you don't show up, you will face more legal problems because a warrant will be issued for your arrest. If you are arrested for not going to court, you will likely have to pay bail to be released or remain in jail until your case is handled.

What are the primary exceptions in Michigan?

The primary exceptions to a personal recognizance bond include nonviolent crimes. Even if there was only a small element of violence, there is a chance that you won't be eligible for a personal recognizance bail. The same is true if you have been convicted of two felonies within the previous five years or if you were already out of jail on a personal recognizance bond.

Individuals who are charged with armed robbery, treason, kidnapping, murder and a few other choice crimes may be denied bail. The law sets specific conditions in which the court can bypass providing a person with any option to get out of jail.

The bail system used throughout this country isn't perfect. In some cases, you might have to work to secure the release that you should receive. This is part of your defense strategy so be sure to treat it accordingly.

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