Author Archives: Indiana Bail Bonds

The Role of a Bail Bondsman: Services and Responsibilities

bail bonds sign

What does a bail bondsman do?

The role of a bail bondsman is crucial in the criminal justice system, providing financial assistance to individuals who cannot afford to pay their bail. Here are the key services and responsibilities of a bail bondsman:

Posting Bail: A bail bondsman serves as a surety by posting bail on behalf of an individual charged with a crime. This allows the defendant to be released from custody pending trial without having to pay the full bail amount upfront

Financial Assistance: Bail bondsmen typically charge a non-refundable fee, known as a premium, which is a percentage of the total bail amount. This fee provides financial assistance to defendants who may not have the means to pay their bail in full.

Assessment and Approval: Bail bondsmen assess the risk associated with posting bail for a particular individual. Factors such as the severity of the charges, the defendant’s criminal history, and their likelihood of appearing in court are taken into consideration before approving a bail bond.

Securing Collateral: In some cases, bail bondsmen may require collateral, such as property or assets, to secure the bail bond. This serves as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court as required, and the collateral may be forfeited if the defendant fails to appear.

Monitoring Defendants: Bail bondsmen may be responsible for monitoring defendants to ensure they comply with the conditions of their release, such as attending court hearings and staying out of legal trouble while on bail.

Ensuring Court Appearance: One of the primary responsibilities of a bail bondsman is to ensure that the defendant appears in court as required. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail bondsman may be required to pay the full bail amount or forfeit any collateral provided.

More Responsibilities of a Bail Bondsman

Coordinating Surrenders: If a defendant fails to appear in court, bail bondsmen may work with law enforcement to locate and apprehend the individual, known as a bail bond forfeiture or surrender.

Legal Knowledge and Compliance: Bail bondsmen must have a thorough understanding of local laws and regulations governing bail bonds and ensure compliance with all applicable legal requirements.

Client Communication: Bail bondsmen communicate with clients to explain the terms and conditions of the bail bond agreement, answer questions, and provide support throughout the legal process.

Professionalism and Integrity: Bail bondsmen are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity, adhering to ethical standards and treating clients with respect and dignity.

Overall, bail bondsmen play a critical role in the criminal justice system by providing financial assistance to individuals awaiting trial and helping to ensure their timely release from custody.

Is Surety and Bonding the Same Thing?

An image of money with a post-it of the word "Bonds?" written in Sharpie.

What are Surety Bonds?

There are ‘surety bonds’ and there are ‘bail bonds’, both are issued by a surety company. What are the different types of bonds in Indiana? In a sense, they are the same, yet different. As a whole, there are different classes of surety bonds with each state having its own requirements, depending on the industry or agency. Three of the more common types of bonds are: 

  • Court Bonds (i.e. surety bail bonds), which is the focus of this blog)
  • Construction and Performance Bonds
  • License and Permit Bonds

Within the arena of court bonds, these are typically required for a person who has been arrested and is awaiting in jail to be released.  Once a judge has approved bail, the arrested person can get surety bail bonds via a bail bond agent, which creates an agreement between the three parties: 

  • Principal: the person who acquires the surety bond and promises to follow through with the promised obligations, such as a person who has been arrested. 
  • Obligee: typically, a branch of law enforcement, resulting in either surety bail bonds or a cash bond.
  • Surety: the company that backs the guarantee of the principal their obligation will be completed. If the principal, such as the arrested person) fails to complete their promise, the surety company becomes liable to the court. 

What is the difference between surety bail bonds and cash bail bonds?

A cash bail bond involves only two parties, the arrested and the court. This type of bail bond is paid in cash by the arrested person, or a person representing them, typically a family member or friend. 

How do I get a surety bond in Indiana?

Surety bail bonds can be acquired from a bail bond agent by either the arrestee making their one phone call to a friend family member or a lawyer. Any of those persons go to a bail bond agency office and request surety bail bonds in the amount set by the judge. 

Typically, lawyers are able to get the arrested person released on their own recognizance or by guaranteeing the defendant will return for their court date. The family member or friend who is acquiring surety bail bonds will typically need to pay a minimum of 10% of the bail amount to the bail bond agent, (surety company). 

What happens if they don’t have the 10% to pay? 

When a defendant, a family member, or a friend doesn’t have cash in the amount required to obtain surety bail bonds may be able to acquire the bond by offering collateral. This is determined by the surety company, i.e., the bail bond agency. 

What are the rules for obtaining surety bail bonds in Indiana?

The first set of rules for being released from jail will come from the arraigning judge. It is their decision if a defendant can be released based on basic information that includes: 

  • The reason for the arrest
  • Surrounding circumstances of the arrest
  • The defendant’s criminal background
  • The defendant’s employment status
  • The defendant’s family and residence situation

Once the judge has set a bail amount, which is determined by the charges being filed and following a set protocol, the defendant is returned to their cell until the bail can be posted. At that time, the defendant, a family member or friend, or a lawyer can seek a bond. 

The next set of rules is set by the surety company, i.e., the surety bond company. They have the same basic rules for issuing surety bail bonds that the judge follows and many will include a credit history check, based on the bail amount. 

How long is a defendant held in jail if they can’t make bail?

If a defendant or anyone representing them can’t make bail, by either posting cash bail or securing surety bail bonds, the defendant is held in jail until their court date.

Is there a “no cash” bail law in Indiana?

In such a situation that the arrestee or anyone representing them cannot obtain surety bail bonds or can’t pay a cash bail bond,  could be released without posting bail. This is only if the judge deems that the arrestee “does not present a substantial risk of flight or danger to self or others,”.

How is it determined if the arrestee is a risk to others or a flight risk?

In Indiana, there is ‘Rule 26’ which recommends the court use the IRAS (Indiana Risk Assessment System), an evidence-based risk assessment.

The IRAS is a screening test that can be administered by any certified person connected to law enforcement, such as a judge or probation officer. During the assessment process, Rule 26 prohibits the arrestee from making comments or statements. There are conditions and restrictions established by the judge when deciding to release a person under Rule 26 in lieu of posting cash or surety bail bonds. 

In Closing

While it can be confusing and frightening to receive that “one phone call” from a family member or friend, it is important to make the right decisions in having them released. This includes posting cash or surety bail bonds or obtaining the services of a lawyer. Now is the time to call us at 317-423-9300 if you need surety bail bonds in Avon and Indianapolis, IN.

How Do Federal Bonds Work?

Bail Hearing

In Indiana as in other states, there are bail bonds, including Federal bonds. Which type of bond is needed depends on the factors of the arrest and other facts about the defendant. There are two types of federal bonds

  • One type of federal bonds can be issued as a Signature Bond which is an unsecured bonds that is secured by a third party’s signature.  
  • Another type of federal bonds are secured by property, usually real estate. The second type of bond can be secured by other property like expensive art, jewelry, or vehicles. 

When are federal bonds required? 

The average person is more familiar with local and state bail bonds.  These are bonds that are granted for misdemeanor crimes such as: 

  • Class A Misdemeanors: The are crimes such as possession of 30 grams of marijuana. If over 30 grams, this crime can be upgraded to a federal charge requiring federal bonds.
  • Class B Misdemeanors: These are not the most serious of crimes, but they are still crimes that can be punished by a maximum of 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. One example is public intoxication.
  • Class C Misdemeanors: These are the least serious of crimes and are punished by up to a minimum of sixty days of jail time and a maximum of a $500 fine. An example of this type of crime is a first-time DWI arrest with no other arrests. 

Crimes that require federal bonds are more severe can include any of the following or the arraigning judge can deem any misdemeanor to a federal charge and whether posting federal bonds will be permitted. 

  • Arson
  • Grand Theft 
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder.
  • Rape.
  • Selling illegal drugs.

There are details of the arrest and surrounding circumstances that can have an impact if the judge allows or denies posting federal bonds just as with misdemeanor-level bonds. 

What are the rules on federal bonds in Indiana?

A licensed bond agent is required to collect 10% of the amount of federal bonds as set by the judge.  There are restrictions set by the judge for a person being released on federal bonds. Those restrictions include those that make federal bonds a conditional bail bond. This is typical when the defendant is considered to be a flight risk. 

The restrictions can include the defendant who is prohibited from traveling outside the jurisdiction and associating with known criminals or others on parole or probation.  They are restricted from consuming alcohol and drug use and are usually required to check in with the federal bonds agent every week. 

If any of these restrictions are committed, or the defendant fails to appear for all court dates, they can be arrested and returned to jail. At this point, they will have a new court date set for the original crime and the bail-jumping crime.

Is the money for federal bonds returned? 

Bail bonds are refundable by the court when paid in full to the court, after the hearing. Any fees will be deducted before the court returns the bail amount. When federal bonds are issued by a bond agent, only the 10% fee paid in addition to the bond amount is paid to the person who acquired the federal bonds. 

How much are Level 5 federal bonds in Indiana?

The possible bond amount for Level 4 federal bonds bail is set at $10,000.00. For level 5 and 6 federal bonds, the possible bond amount to bail a defendant is $5,000.00. For any federal bonds to be allowed is at the judge’s discretion based on factors the judge will consider. 

Those considerations include the defendant’s criminal history, standing in the community, employment status, and living conditions. If the defendant or someone representing the defendant will be required to post a cash deposit of a minimum of 10%.  The deposit amount is determined by the bail bond agent who will use the same factors in consideration as well as running a credit report on the defendant and/or the person representing the defendant. 

At The Day’s End

Being arrested and posting federal bail bonds is just the start of things that will have an impact on the defendant and their family’s lives.  This can have financial repercussions for days, weeks, months, or even years, especially if the defendant is incarcerated for any period or is unable to maintain employment. 

The best thing a person arrested on federal charges can do is to hire a defense attorney who has federal trial experience. They will know the legal system and can help the defendant and their family navigate the legal system, including having the charges reduced and getting a lighter sentencing. This can all help with the future life of the defendant and their family members, even possibly keeping their current employment or acquiring new employment.

What are the Penalties for Drug Possession?

drugs next to a skull and hammer signifying death and law

Drug Bail Bonds

Like in most states, there are laws pertaining to drugs in the state of Indiana. And they have established their outline for bail bonds for drug charges, with various classifications of the charges. They can range from a Class B misdemeanor that can face 180 days maximum jail time and a maximum $1,000 fine and up to a Level 2 felony that faces 30 years maximum prison time with a $10,000 fine.

About Drug Charge Bail Bonds

There are several questions about the unknown though, here in Indiana or in any other state. In this piece, we will answer some of the most asked questions, starting with, ”Is it possible to post bail bonds for drug charges without a bail bondsman in Indiana?” Well, that is going to depend on how much cash you have on hand. 

After being arrested by Indiana police, the accused is taken to the local jail or a processing center and ‘booked’. This is where the arrest is recorded, a mug shot is taken along with fingerprints. Then the police report is submitted to the prosecuting attorney where how the charges will be filed is determined. 

Once the charges are filed, the accused becomes a defendant and they are then taken before an arraigning judge. It is the judge who will determine if the defendant is granted permission to post bail bonds for drug charges or if bail is denied. Standard bail amounts are as follows: 

  • Murder has no bail allowed
  • Level 1 Felony  bail is $40,000 in Cash or a Surety bond
  • Level 2 Felony bail is $30,000 in Cash or Surety bond
  • Level 3 Felony bail is  $16,000 in Cash or Surety bond
  • Level 4 Felony bail is $600 in Cash or $6,000 Surety bond
  • Level 5 Felony bail is $300 in Cash or $3,000 Surety bond
  • Level 6 Felony bail is $200 in Cash and $1,000 Surety bond 
  • Misdemeanor Charge is $250 in Cash or $1,000 Surety

Most people don’t have those large amounts of cash on hand; thus they seek the services of a bail bonds agent. However, a defendant on drug charges will sometimes have large amounts of cash on hand at the time of the arrest, but that is confiscated or evidence and cannot be used to post bail bonds for drug charges.

various drugs on a table

What are the requirements to post bail for a drug charge in Indiana? 

The arraigning judge will review the arrest and surrounding conditions of the arrest. They will also review the defendant’s previous criminal record, employment status, family situation, and standing in the local community.  

A repeat offender will likely be denied the opportunity to post bail bonds for drug charges. If it is a first-time drug charge arrest, the factors that we just mentioned will be reviewed to decide if bail will be set and allowed.

What type of collateral is typically required for bail bonds on drug charges in Indiana? 

Collateral is any assets the defendant or a person posting their bail bonds for drug charges has. Collateral secures the debt for the bail bondsman in the case the defendant skips town or doesn’t appear before the courts as required. The types of collateral that can be offered to post a bail bonds for drug charges include: 

  • Cash
  • Bank Accounts
  • Bonds
  • Jewelry
  • Real Estate
  • Stock
  • Vehicles

… and more. A bail bond agent can advise as to what they will accept for collateral. 

The bail bond agency may not require collateral based on some of the same information that the judge uses for determining bail. 

What are the consequences of skipping out on a bail bond in Indiana?

Skipping out on a bail bond for drug charges, or any charges, is a serious event that will result in additional criminal penalties in addition to the original charge. If the original charge was filed as a misdemeanor, bail jumping could result in that being increased to a felony. 

In addition to the criminal charges, the judge has the ability to declare any of the following:

  • order any money or collateral for the bail bond for drug charges to be forfeited.
  • order an arrest warrant for the defendant to be arrested.
  • revoke the pretrial release and the defendant will be incarcerated until their trial.
  • impose additional conditions, including a higher bail bond for drug charges if so allowed by the judge. 

A Closing Question: 

Does the court consider the defendant’s financial situation when determining bail? No, the only financial consideration a judge takes when determining bail bonds for drug charges is if the defendant is employed.  As it has been said, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime, the same could be said if you can’t pay the fine (or bail bond), don’t do the crime. In summary, don’t get involved with drugs or those who are involved with drugs, and you won’t have any worries going forward about posting bail bonds for drug charges.

Indiana Bail Bonds helps with bail for drug charges in Avon and Indianapolis, IN. Call 317-423-9300 to find out more.

What Is a Bench Warrant?

Accused Stands Before Judge on Bench Warrant.

Bench Warrant Defined

For somebody that has never been arrested, asking “What is an Indiana bench warrant?”, wouldn’t be an odd question. You’ve probably heard the term “arrest warrant” and you probably have a good idea what that means, but not the term bench warrant isn’t as commonly used, for most of us anyway. 

What is the purpose of a bench warrant in Indiana? 

In Indiana, the purpose of a bench warrant is to ensure that a defendant shows up for a court-ordered appearance when summoned by the court. It is how the courts enforce the orders they hand down. 

When and why is a bench warrant issued? 

Where an arrest warrant will typically result in the defendant going to jail, that isn’t always the case with a  bench warrant that is issued for the following: 

  • Custody hearings
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Witness testimony

A bench warrant may be issued for the following situations, which can end up with the defendant being arrested and held in custody. For these situations, the defendant will have a separate court date for these situations as well as the original reason court date:

  • Failure to appear in court for a previously set court date
  • Failure to pay a court fine
  • Violation of parole
  • Violation of probation 

What happens when a bench warrant is issued in Indiana? 

A bench warrant may not be as serious as an arrest warrant. However, if necessary, a defendant can be arrested, taken to jail, arraigned, and will need to post bail to be released. This will require them to be held in a cell for a few hours versus possible days. 

Many times, a defendant can be released on their own recognizance, however,  whether they are allowed to bail out or not, they will be faced with two court dates. One for the reason that is stated on the bench warrant and for their original crime or reason. 

A key fact to a bench warrant is if the defendant named is pulled over for a traffic infraction, the officer may arrest them there and take them to jail for booking.

How do you find out if you have an Indiana bench warrant?

Any person that suspects there may be a bench warrant issued for them can contact or visit the county clerk’s office where the warrant was issued. They may also contact the county sheriff’s department or an attorney. 

What should you do if a bench warrant is issued for you in Indiana? 

If you find out that there is a bench warrant issued for you, the best thing to do is turn yourself into the court that has issued the bench warrant or to a law enforcement officer in that jurisdiction. Alternatively, you can hire a defense attorney and have them file a motion for a bench warrant to be recalled. 

What are the consequences of having an Indiana bench warrant? 

A defendant that is released from lawful detention with the understanding that they must appear before the courts on a certain day and time and doesn’t, can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. 

How long does an Indiana bench warrant stay active? 

A misdemeanor warranty expires within 180 days. If their original arrest was a felony charge, it is automatically upgraded to a Level 6 felony. A warrant of arrest for a misdemeanor expires 180 days after it is issued. For a felony arrest that leads to a bench warrant with a rearrest, there is no expiration time.

How can an Indiana bench warrant be recalled?

Your criminal defense attorney can request the courts to recall the bench warrant. If this request is denied, the second step a defense attorney will usually take is filing a motion for a combined bond review and bench warrant surrender.  

What happens if an Indiana bench warrant is not recalled? 

When every effort by your defense attorney has been denied: recall of bench warrant or a review of the bond and surrender of the bench warrant, the last resort is for the defendant to surrender themselves. 

Can an Indiana bench warrant be served in another state?

Bench warrant arrests are only within the state that they are issued. Arrest warrants or bench warrants cannot cross state lines. It will require the legal process of extradition requests being filed by the defense attorney or the court that issued the bench warrant.

An Person in Handcuffs on a Bench Warrant

In Closing

Anytime you are in a situation resulting in an arrest warrant, bench warrant, or any other legal matter, hiring a defense attorney is recommended to be the first step. An attorney will have the experience and knowledge to walk a defendant through the process that is taking place and help find the best defense possible.  An arrest of any kind can be damaging to a person’s standing in their community, their employment, and the stress that is placed on the family. Need bail for an arrest on a bench warrant in Avon and Indianapolis, IN? Never hesitate to call Indiana Bail Bonds at 317-423-9300 for help.

How Long Do You Stay in Jail for a Bench Warrant?

A Court Hearing on a Bench Warrant

What is a bench warrant?

Do you know what a bench warrant is? Most of us don’t until we’ve received one! A bench warrant is another type of arrest warrant that is usually issued by a judge.  When is a bench warrant issued? In Indiana, as in most other states, a bench warrant is issued when a defendant facing other charges fails to appear before the courts as instructed. 

A bench warrant gives any law enforcement officer the authority to arrest the named defendant. They are then taken to jail and placed in holding until they are called to be presented to the judge and answer the charges against them regarding the bench warrant. Any previous charges that placed them in jail the first time will be addressed at a different court date.

A bench warrant may be released and put into action by the courts for a person with unpaid court costs and fines as well. In general, a bench warrant is issued for any cause the court finds a person in contempt. If you need bail after arrest on a bench warrant in Avon and Indianapolis, IN, just give us a call at 317-423-9300.

What are the possible consequences of a bench warrant? 

Every state may have different penalties for bench warrant arrests. In Indiana, the penalties for a bench warrant are as follows: 

  • A Class A Misdemeanor: Maximum 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • A Level 6 Felony: From 6 months to 30 months incarceration and maxim and a maximum fine up to $10,000. 
  • A failure to appear before the court for a traffic summons: Suspended driving privileges. If the failure to appear is between 120 days and 1 full year, the bail bond will be forfeited by the courts. 

What is the difference between a bench warrant and an arrest warrant? 

An arrest warrant and a bench warrant are different in how the process for each begins.  The arrest warrant process begins with a law enforcement officer. A bench warrant process begins with the reigning judge that the defendant didn’t appear before as instructed.  Both types of warrants are authorization for any law enforcement officer to place the defendant under arrest and transport them to jail to await being brought before the judge. 

How do I find out if I have a bench warrant? 

There are several ways to find out if there is a bench warrant issued in your name. While the state of Indiana does not have a database with this information, the individual cities and/or counties may have their own. This means you can contact the city or county you suspect of having a bench warrant and inquire. 

You can also have an attorney or bail bondsman check for your name on any bench warrant listing. Another option, and not the one most people do not want to do, is to go to the courthouse where your suspect you may be on a bench warrant and inquire. If you do this method, you should be prepared to be arrested on the spot. 

What is the difference between a bench warrant and a summons? 

A bench warrant is similar to an arrest warrant. You will be arrested and taken to jail, then held to appear before the judge. A summons is just what the word means: It summons you to appear before the courts, but you are not arrested. If you don’t appear as required on the summons, then a bench warrant will be issued. 

How long does a bench warrant stay active? 

Forever. A bench warrant in the state of Indiana does not have an expiration date. It will remain active until the defendant named on the bench warrant passes away. 

How can I clear a bench warrant? 

There are two ways you clear a bench warrant in Indiana without being arrested: 

  • Turn yourself in where you will be processed as if you were arrested.
  • Have your defense attorney represent you in the courts. 
A Person in Handcuffs

In Closing 

If you have a court order to appear before the courts and don’t, maybe you forgot about the court date, or had an emergency, or you just don’t want to deal with the matter. None of these are excuses to the courts and a bench warranty will be issued for your arrest. 

If any of these situations mentioned, or another, prevents you from appearing for a court date, contact the court yourself, your defense attorney, or your bail bondsman.  Ignoring a court date is not the way to handle the matter – it will not go away. Having a bench warrant could get you a visitor at home, at work, or anywhere else you may go that will be embarrassing with an arrest and being handcuffed. 

If a law enforcement officer doesn’t appear at your home, work or elsewhere to arrest you with a bench warrant, you could be arrested during a basic traffic stop. When the officer asks for your driver’s license and returns to their car to ‘call it in’, this is what they are looking for: warrants in your name!

What Happens When Probation is Violated?

close-up of a man's handcuffed wrists

Understanding Probation Violations

Being arrested for any type of crime, no matter if it is a misdemeanor or a felony, begins a chain of reactions that can seem endless. How you can go from being free to committing a probation violation doesn’t take much. And one thing is for sure, a probation violation can get you in more trouble than where you started.

A probation violation can result in the probation being extended or revoked. It can result in jail time as well as an extended or revoked probation. Probation is giving the offender a chance to get back on track and correct their behavior. 

What exactly is probation?

In the state of Indiana, the courts use probation to complete or replace a jail sentencing. Instead of serving time behind bars, the court suspends your sentence under the supervision of the city, county, or state probation department. 

A defendant could receive direct probation and never serve time behind bars, or once they have served time behind bars, be placed on probation for a period of time determined by the judge. 

Probably allows the person to return to the community, live at home and complete particular requirements, aka probation terms. The court will establish terms that must be followed by the defendant which can include any or all of the following, even additional things not listed here: 

  • No alcohol or drugs – and the defendant may be tested randomly or on a schedule
  • No association with certain persons
  • No allowed in certain areas like bars
  • Community service required
  • Meet with probation officer
  • Attend certain classes 

Failing or missing any of these things and any additional requirements not listed here is considered a violation of probation. At this time, the court can extend or revoke the probation, or require the defendant to serve time behind bars. 

What are the different types of probation?

There are several types of probation, which can vary depending on the requirements the offender has been sentenced to by the judge. Each of these probation have clauses of probation violation. The common probation types are: 

  • Supervised Probation: The offender is required to check in with their probation officer weekly or monthly depending on the crime committed and the offender’s criminal background. Other restrictions may be required such as a curfew or not associating with known criminals. Doing either of these things or committing another crime  while on supervised probation is considered a probation violation. 
  • Unsupervised Probation: No probation officer is assigned, but the offender is required to periodically report to the judge. This is typical probation for a first time offender. The offender is also require to either attend a classes, undergo counseling, and/or community service.
  • Community Control Probation:  The offender is released into the community under constant monitoring or placed under house arrest. An offender is often required to an ankle bracelet that allows their probation officer to know their whereabouts. 
  • Shock Probation: Typically given to a first time offender after they have spent some time in a jail. 
  • Crime Specific Probation: The offender of a drug offense or sex offense is required to participate in specific probation programs where counseling, education, comply to frequent substance abuse testing. 

What’s the difference in parole and probation?

Probation is part of the initial sentence and handed down by the judge at the sentencing. Sometimes it is lieu of serving jail time, sometimes it is in combination with jail time. The specific restrictions are given at the time of probation violation sentencing and they  must be adhered to during the probation. If any are not adhered to, the offender is in probation violation. 

A parole board will determine if an offender should be granted parole after they have served part of all of their sentenced time behind bars. Factors they consider in this decision include their  behavior while behind bars and their rehabilitation level. There are typically additional restrictions on the defendant while they are on parole. 

Can you be on parole and probation at the same time?

Yes, with this scenario, there is usually multiple cases against the defendant. Once case may have them on probation and another case may have them on parole. This often happens when those different cases are in different courts like city, county, state and/or federal courts. 

officer pointing at another man with a pair of handcuffs on the table

Closing Comments

It is important that the defendant be aware and knowledgeable of what a probation period means. The judge will state the required probation period to begin and end on specific dates. During those dates, it is important for the defendant to ask any questions like, “How do probation violations work?” This way, they can be sure not to commit any probation violations. Probation for city, county, or state is less restricting than felony probation, and thus the probation violation won’t have as severe repercussions as a felony probation violation. Probation should be taken seriously no matter what level of the court has issued the given probation. 

What is the Bail for a Weapon Violation Charge?

close-up of an old handgun and bullets

Here in Indiana, if you don’t know what the law is regarding possession and use of any weapons, charges can be filed against you quickly. The next thing you know, you’re arrested for a weapons violation and waiting to post bail for weapons charges, and you may not even be sure how or why! 

The FBI accepts records of people that are identified as possibly being prohibited to acquire or possess a firearm under individual state laws and federal laws. Since 2021, the FBI databases have been utilized for firearm background checks, meaning that licensed firearm dealers can decline to sell firearms to certain individuals. 

In Indiana, what are weapons of offense?

Like many states, Indiana residents are privileged with the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. And while the state is rather liberal with this, there are some limitations. For example, a license to carry is required for possessing a handgun, and other examples as follows that violation of these laws can find you arrested on weapons charges: 

You must have a license to carry a handgun, stun, gun, or taser on your person or in your vehicle unless you fit any of the following exemptions:

  • you are on your property or have consent while on another person’s property
  • you are legally hunting, at a shooting range, or in attendance of a firearms course
  • the gun is unloaded & stored in a locking container in a vehicle, or
  • you are under a protective order for domestic violence or have a pending license.

In Indiana, it is important for identifying weapons of violation in your possession to avoid arrest on weapons charges. Among those weapons are: 

  • Armor-piercing handgun
  • Armor-piercing ammunition
  • Machine gun
  • Sawed-off shotgun
  • Switchblade

Other weapons charges that can get you arrested are as follows: 

  • Pointing a gun at another person
  • Using false information to obtain a gun
  • Having a gun on school property
  • A child in possession of a gun
  • Giving a gun to a child or a convicted felon
  • Possession of a gun by a violent felon
  • Possession of a person convicted of domestic battery

To be in any of these situations with the firearms listed, a person will be arrested and face weapons charges and the repercussions that may be implemented by law. Weapons that are considered legal in Indiana but may not be in other states are brass knuckles, stiletto heels, and handgun licenses are honored in Indiana that was issued in other states, known as reciprocity. 

Can you get bailed out for a weapons charge?

If the judge sets bail for an arrest on weapons charges, yes, you may post bond following the normal bail bond process. Bearing that in mind, can you get a bail bond for a weapons violation? How much is bail for a weapons violation?

This is determined by the arraignment judge who has a state guideline and will consider several factors in setting the bail amount for weapons charges.  Those considerations include the following: 

  • Previous criminal record
  • Current employment 
  • Current stand in the community
  • Surround circumstances at the time of the arrest, such as possession of alcohol, drugs, domestic violence present, etc.

Can weapons violations get dropped?

It is not easy, but it is possible to have weapons charges dropped, at the very least reduced, with the right lawyer. What type of lawyer handles weapons charges? You should seek for and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney that has experience and knowledge of how to beat weapons violation charges. 

The following are 5 ways an experienced defense lawyer will work to get weapons charges dropped in Indiana: 

1. Lack of Evidence and Violations of Rights

The details of your arrest will have an impact on the possibility of having the weapons charges dropped for lack of evidence or breach of constitutional rights. These two issues are frequently interrelated and to give your lawyer the maximum chance of success, they should be brought to light quickly 

2. Motion to Suppress Evidence 

An experienced defense attorney may choose to file a motion to suppress the evidence, which will involve removing any evidence that was obtained with breach of constitutional rights. This can include be arrested but not providing your Miranda rights, unlawful search of our car, home, employment, or person can be cause for this motion too. 

3. Exclusion of Witnesses and Their Depositions

The state relies on witness statements that are obtained through a deposition if the crime involves a victim. These depositions are to be obtained with the witness under oath who review the events of the arrest and weapons charges. 

4. Plea Agreement

Another way an experienced defense lawyer will use to have weapons charges dropped it negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor. 

5. Deferred Adjudication

In Indiana, there is the option of a pretrial diversion program that can help the defendant avoid the impact of a criminal conviction that requires a no contest or guilty plea to be entered into the court records. The defendant is usually required to attend some type of class to avoid going to jail.

young man aiming a pistol

Closing Thoughts 

While federal gun law provides states with a base floor, there are several important gaps that will allow individuals that are considered a significant risk, to acquire a gun or other weapon.  It is up to the states to establish and enforce laws that keep the intended system in efficient working order. 

In the state of Indiana, it is the state law and the federal law that determine what is legal possession and what will have a person facing weapons violation charges. There are multiple federal statutes regarding regulating firearms and minimizing access and possession of firearms for the safety of the public. 

On the federal level, these laws are established and maintained by the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives).  In addition to the state of Indiana and other states with their own firearms laws in place in accordance with the federal government’s outlines. 

Are DUI checkpoints legal?

police car with lights on

The Dangers of the DUI

For the person that is going home from work or has just picked up a child from school, a DUI checkpoint is an appreciated safety check. For the party-going person, it is a dreaded and feared possibility in Indianapolis, Indiana that can often mean they’re faced with posting a DUI bail bond

Each state has a different limitation on what will get a person arrested for DUI, bail bond amounts vary, and the stipulation under which a judge will grant a DUI bail can vary. But when it comes to a person being arrested for DUI when under 21 years of age, most, if not all states are cracking down hard. 

So what is the law for those arrested for DUI when they are under the age of 21 years in Indiana? The State of Indiana refers to a DUI (driving under the influence) as OWI (operating while intoxicated), and with a select number of exceptions, the consumption, possession, or transportation of alcohol by any person under 21 years old is illegal. 

An OWI bail is a class C level and a person under 21 years of age, with a BAC between .02% and under .08%, will likely have a higher DUI bail amount. The results can be a maximum penalty of a $500 fine in addition to court costs.

How much is bail for a DUI for a person over 21 in Indiana? 

OWI laws in Indiana (otherwise referred to as DUI) prohibit all motorists to operate a vehicle with any of the following:

  • A BAC (blood alcohol concentration) over .08% or higher
  • Any level of a schedule I or II controlled substance found in their system
  • While intoxicated by alcohol or drugs

There is an extensive list of controlled substances considered a schedule I and schedule II classifications that is considered a DUI for drugs requirement with a hefty DUI bail amount that includes any of the following: 

  • Opiates
  • Hallucinogenic drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines

There is a zero-tolerance in the state of Indiana regarding any person under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol concentration level of .02% or more. The penalty for a DUI without a license could prevent a person from ever getting their driver’s license in Indiana, or most likely any state is just one way how a DUI affects your life in addition to having to post DUI bail. Five other possible ways that a DUI can and likely will significantly affect a person’s life, short and long term, include: 

  1. The Immediate Effects include the prospect of jail time if there has been a prior conviction, hefty fines, possible loss of driver’s license, and required to have an interlocking device on the vehicle to monitor any presence of alcohol in the system. 
  2. Employment and/or Education fallout, especially if current or future employment requires driving.  A job that requires driving, a DUI or DWI arrest, and posting a DUI bail is a serious issue in addition to getting to work and/or school can be affected. The reality is of a professional reputation is at risk, currently or in the future.  
  3. Civil Lawsuit is a possible consequence associated with a DUI or DWI arrest when posting DUI bail if there is any injury to another party while the arrested person was intoxicated in addition to the criminal charges. 
  4. Personal relationships are affected once DUI bail has been posted, the financial hardship this creates, along with the above-mentioned job loss, including family and friends. 
  5. Automobile insurance can be affected after posting DUI bail in the cost of the insurance, even possible cancellation of insurance. 

In Indiana, when is a DUI a felony?

With a first DUI arrest, a DUI bail is posted, and the first offense is a misdemeanor. A first DUI offense can turn into a felony if there is anyone seriously injured or killed if the arrested person was found to be driving under the influence. 

In Indiana, can a DUI be expunged?

In Indiana, the state only allows DUI expungement after completing a waiting period and meeting specific criteria. The waiting period is 5 years for a misdemeanor DUI charge and 8 year waiting period for a felony DUI charge. If during the waiting period a person is charged or convicted on additional charges, an expungement request may be denied. 

Will a DUI show on a background check in Indiana?

A DUI conviction will show in Indiana on a criminal background check unless the DUI has been expunged or sealed. Meaning a present or potential employer or landlord could find out on a common background check using the social security number. 

glass of alcohol next to car keys and handcuffs

In Closing

In Indiana, what is the distinction between DUI vs DWI? The state of Indiana uses OWI for Operating While Intoxicated a vehicle, which can include a boat, bicycle, or even a tricycle, while under the influence of drugs. A DUI is specific to alcohol. An OWI arrest in the state of Indiana is an umbrella covering the intoxication from alcohol to prescription drugs, including marijuana, narcotics, and pills. The “D” for driving, and the “O” for operating give law enforcement the right to arrest anyone sitting behind the wheel with the engine running without being in the act of driving.

What is the bail for a misdemeanor?

judges gavel and a stack of hundred dollar bills

Understanding the Law

Being arrested can be a confusing time, which is why having an attorney to represent you can be helpful even for minor offenses and charges. From posting the bail amount for misdemeanor charges to pleading your innocence or guilt and navigating the process to get the best outcome. Without a criminal defense attorney, you may find yourself behind bars longer for a misdemeanor than you should. 

Every state has different levels of criminal charges. If you’re wondering “what misdemeanor means”, in Indiana this refers to the fact that the offense was a minor infraction, typically involving a crime against property, the public, or persons with little to no injury resulting. After being arrested, you’re placed in a holding cell to wait for arraignment before a judge. At that time, the judge will set the bail amount for misdemeanor charges you’re facing. 

What crimes are misdemeanors?

Anytime a person is arrested for any type of charge, even a misdemeanor, your first reaction should be hiring an attorney. Even with what would be classified as a misdemeanor, if you don’t know the law, you could find yourself facing serious consequences with long-lasting damages. The most common misdemeanor in Indiana is driving while intoxicated. 

An attorney can navigate the process of misdemeanor charges from getting a fair bail amount for misdemeanor charges to lessening the sentencing. In the State of Indiana, the most serious misdemeanor charges are Class A and can include the following: 

  • Carrying a handgun without a CHL.
  • Dealing marijuana or possession of marijuana.
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • Prostitution.
  • Resisting arrest.
  • Theft.

In the State of Indiana, the second-lowest crimes are Class B misdemeanors, such as the following: 

  • Battery
  • Criminal mischief, recklessness
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Marijuana possession
  • Public Intoxicated
  • Prurience

Can you get bail for a misdemeanor?

Yes, in most cases. The bail amount for misdemeanors will vary based on the judge’s discretion and the bail schedule they are required to follow. In Indiana, after a defendant has been processed and placed behind bars, the bail amount can be posted through the clerk’s office, usually without a hearing. 

If a defendant isn’t able to post the bail in cash at that time, they can contact a family member or friend to post bail to pay for the bail amount for a misdemeanor. They can also hire an attorney to represent them that will post the bail amount for misdemeanor charges. 

The bond is typically 10% of the bail amount for misdemeanor charges with some exceptions based on the judge’s decision. Things that can affect this would be the situation surrounding the arrest, the defendant’s previous criminal history, and results of the misdemeanor action to persons and property around at the time of the arrest. 

There are several ways that bond can be posted for the bail amount for misdemeanor charges: 

Defendant’s Own Recognizance – The defendant is required to sign a contract stating they agree to return to the court as required. There is no bail or security needed. This type of bail is typically for any non-violent misdemeanor crime. 

Cash Bonds – If the defendant has enough cash on hand at the time of their arrest, they can pay the bail amount for the misdemeanor charge in full or have a cosigner pay the full amount. With a cash bond, there is no bail bond agent involved. 

Surety Bonds – When the defendant doesn’t have enough cash to pay the bail amount for misdemeanor in full, they can get a bail bond agent to post the bond on their behalf. This is usually done with a family member or friend that will work with a bail bond agent, paying a minimum of 10% of the bail amount for misdemeanor charges to the agent. That 10% premium paid is non-refundable.

The XC Bond – This is a combination of cash and surety bonds for bail amount for misdemeanor, and is available if the court agrees to accept the split, part cash and balance in a bail bond. 

The XR Bond – A hybrid bond consists of a Personal Recognizance bond and a Surety Bond. If the court agrees, the bail amount for misdemeanor will be split between posting part cash bond, Personal Recognizance bond, and part Surety bond. Posting bond of this type will involve a family member or friend along with a bail bond agent. 

The PR Bond – Many states use a Personal Recognizance bond, but this option is a little different in the State of Indiana. A bail bond agent cannot post the bail amount for misdemeanor for this type of bond. This is because the court believes when a family member or friend is involved in posting the 10% bail amount for misdemeanor, the defendant is more likely to follow through. 

Property Bonds – This is typically not a bail amount for misdemeanor, but for charges involving a high bail amount, such as bail for a felony. In addition to a cosigner, a lien is placed on property like a car or home and is recorded in the county of the property. This type of bail bond involves a lot of paperwork and is time consuming as ownership has to be verified. 

What is the usual sentence for a misdemeanor?

A judge ruling over a misdemeanor case is required to stay within a set bail schedule that can include any of the following: 

  • Class A Misdemeanor

The most serious misdemeanor; an individual can be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail and have a maximum fine of $5,000. 

  • Class B Misdemeanor

This misdemeanor charge can lead an individual to face a sentencing of a maximum of 180 days in jail with a maximum fine of $1,000. 

  • Class C Misdemeanor

The maximum punishment for sentencing with these misdemeanors is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 

Can you go to jail for misdemeanor theft?

A shoplifting or theft arrest is typically considered a Class A misdemeanor. The sentencing can range in a penalty of up to a year in jail with a maximum fine of $5000.

Is it worth getting a lawyer for a misdemeanor?

Yes – without knowledge of the law, a person without a criminal defense attorney can find themselves sentenced to the maximum allowed by the law. An attorney can navigate the system, have the charges reduced, and follow through in requesting the minimum sentencing possible.

close-up of an individual in handcuffs

In Closing – Does a misdemeanor disqualify you from a job?

This is up to the employer’s discretion and will usually depend on what the misdemeanor charges were and the type of job you are seeking. For example, if a job requires driving and the misdemeanor is driving while intoxicated, an individual could lose their job.