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Bail and Warrants on Late-Filed Cases

If I was booked into jail in Utah and bailed out before charges were filed, can a prosecutor have a new warrant issued requiring me to post bail again when they finally file the charge?

Short Answer: If a criminal case is filed with the court after you have already bailed out, and if a warrant is issued with the new case for the same amount as what you originally posted bail for, then the original bail should be applied to the case once it is filed in court. If the bail amount on the warrant is higher than what you originally posted, then you can be required to post the additional amount or be booked back into jail. A more detailed discussion follows below.

Posting bail can be expensive. And money paid to a bail bonds company is not refundable. There may be other more effective and cheaper options available for securing a release from jail while your case is pending. Contact us today to see what an experienced criminal defense attorney can do for your case.

Initial Bail Amounts - Pre-Filing

Utah Jails - Bench WarrantsMany suspects are arrested and booked into jail before formal criminal charges have been filed with the court. In such cases, an initial bail amount will usually be set based on the limited information that is available at the time.

If charges have not been filed yet, the person has the option of posting a cash bail (money that should be refunded once the case is resolved, assuming that the defendant appears at all required court hearings) or paying a bond company (typically a non-refundable fee) to post a bail bond on behalf of the incarcerated person.

Charges Filed - Setting New Bail

In most felony and misdemeanor cases, a person is both constitutionally and statutorily entitled to have a bail amount set when a criminal charge is formally filed with the court. In determining a reasonable bail amount, a court should consider a variety of factors including the risk that the defendant may flee, the defendant's potential danger to the alleged victim, general public safety concerns, and ensuring the integrity of the court processes. Because the initial pre-filing bail amount is set using only the information available at the time, a prosecutor who has gathered additional information at the time charges are formally filed may request a different bail amount.

If the bail amount is the same as the pre-filing amount, then the original bail or bond can usually be applied to the case and no further bail need be posted. But if the judge issues a warrant with a higher bail amount, the defendant can be arrested on the same charge that he had originally bailed out on.

Avoiding Arrest on a New Warrant

When criminal charges are filed and a new warrant is issued, it is usually just a matter of time before a police officer will arrest the defendant and book him in jail In order to avoid arrest, a defendant should be proactive.

Options for avoiding arrest include posting the additional bail amount as a cash bail, paying a bail bond company to post a bond on his behalf, or contacting the court to arrange for a bond hearing to request that the judge reduce the bail amount. (In Salt Lake County, arrangements can sometimes be made through Salt Lake County Pre-Trial Services for a surrender and supervision without the need to post additional bail.)

To better understand which options may be right for you and your case, consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is strongly encouraged. In many cases, an attorney may actually save you money by avoiding the necessity of using a bail bonds company.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerIf you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital from the very beginning of your case. Helping you stay out of jail while the case is pending, developing the best defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances, standing by your side through what can be a complex and intimidating legal process - the right criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.


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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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