The Wisconsin teen who is accused of fatally shooting two Jacob Blake police shooting protesters is free pending trial after he posted a $2 million cash bond.

Mr. Rittenhouse, who is under the age of 18, turned himself into authorities shortly after they identified him as a person of interest. At an earlier hearing, Kenosha County Commissioner Loren Keating ruled that Mr. Rittenhouse was a “flight risk” since a conviction meant a “mandatory life sentence or at least significant amounts of time, likely decades of time period of incarceration.” Mr. Rittenhouse’s lawyer said he planned to plead self-defense at trial. 

Actor Ricky Schroder and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who are both noted conservatives, spearheaded the successful fundraising drive.

Why Jail Release is Important

Politics aside, most people would probably agree that jail is no place for a 17-year-old who has not been convicted of a crime. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

From a personal standpoint, incarceration is almost always a horrible alternative to freedom, especially for an American teenager. There are also some often-overlooked reasons why pretrial jail release is so important.

Jail changes people. That’s a scientific fact and not just a line from a movie. Incarceration significantly elevates stress hormone levels. Prolonged exposure causes a permanent brain injury. There are short-term effects as well, mostly impaired judgement and confusion. These effects often hamper criminal defense efforts. More on that below.

Possible adverse health effects are even more acute in the coronavirus era. Social distancing rules are very hard to enforce behind bars. Additionally, many inmates have pre-existing health conditions that make them especially vulnerable to coronavirus. According to some studies, jails, colleges, and nursing homes account for a significant number of infections. Stress and anxiety over COVID-19 makes these health effects even worse. During a pandemic, emotional health is at least as important as physical health.

Speaking of long-term consequences, people who are behind bars cannot assist in their own defenses in any meaningful way. Additionally, because of coronavirus, they might have very limited contact with their lawyers. So, there is a double whammy. On a related note, largely because of the aforementioned brain injury symptoms, many inmates accept unfavorable plea bargain agreements simply so they can “get it over with.”

Initial Determinations

So, if possible, you will want to partner with Fizer Bonding Company (Clarksville, TN bail bond) to get out as quickly as possible. In most cases, the county sheriff sets presumptive bail amounts. Some serious offenders, such as Mr. Rittenhouse, must wait until they see a judge. The bail hearing, which will be discussed below, is generally about seventy-two hours after release.

Typically, the sheriff sets bail based on the severity of the alleged offense and the defendant’s criminal record. Traditional thinking, which may be incorrect, is that defendants facing serious charges, such as Mr. Rittenhouse, are more likely to flee the jurisdiction. That’s especially true if the defendant has a criminal record, because in that case, the potential punishment is usually higher and that in itself can be a potential deterrent to flee. Some research indicates the opposite is true. Misdemeanors and other such minor offenses do not scare some people, so they are less likely to fight them. That’s especially true if they have not been through the system before and do not fully understand the consequences of bail jumping or failure to appear.

So, some argue that the whole system might be wrong. That’s the idea behind pretrial release, a program which recently expanded in Montgomery County, partly because of bail reform and partly because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jail Release Options

The presumptive amount varies in different jurisdictions, but it is usually around $750 for most misdemeanors and $2,000 for most felonies, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Pretrial Release

In pretrial release situations, the amount of bail is largely irrelevant. Most defendants are eligible for no or low-cost pretrial release if they allegedly committed a nonviolent offense and have no criminal record. The definition of “nonviolent” is a bit vague. This category is normally limited to possession and theft offenses. As for the criminal record portion, as long as the defendant has no record in Tennessee, that’s usually good enough, unless there is an out-of-state record that involves a felony.

Pretrial release essentially reduces a criminal arrest to a traffic ticket. Signing the ticket is your promise to appear in court. Likewise, pretrial release opens the cell door if the defendant pays a small fee and promises to appear in court.

The obvious drawback to pretrial release is that the nonviolent/no record requirement immediately eliminates many defendants. Furthermore, a review board usually considers pretrial release petitions. This board often meets infrequently. Getting out of jail in a quick and timely manner is seldom on your side with this option. 

Cash Bond

This jail release mechanism, which usually does not involve a bail bondsman near you, is on the opposite end of the financial spectrum. It’s the most expensive jail release option. You have to pay every dollar of the full bail amount. If the defendant posts the entire bail amount in cash, the sheriff releases the defendant. Some bonds, like Mr. Rittenhouse’s, are cash-only bonds. These bonds are normally reserved for bail forfeiture matters, but judges sometimes order them in extreme cases as well.

If the defendant complies with all bail conditions, the sheriff normally refunds most of the money after the case is resolved.

The obvious drawback here is that cash bonds are prohibitively expensive for most people. $2,000 might as well be $2 million for many families.

Bail Bond

The third option, and usually the best option and most used option, involves Fizer Bonding Company in Montgomery and Robertson counties (bail bondsman near me). A bail bond is basically an insurance policy which guarantees the defendant’s appearance at trial.The fee is only a 10 percent premium of the full bond amount for this service (Clarksville, TN bail bonds)t .

When you partner with Fizer Bonding Company, you are not just saving money. You also get an answer center for your questions about the Robertson County criminal justice system. People who choose pretrial release or a cash bond are essentially on their own.

Subsequent Modifications

If they are unable to secure immediate release, most defendants see a judge about three days after they are arrested. At this hearing, one of several things can happen. Some defendants choose to immediately plead guilty or no contest. Others argue for bail reductions through their attorneys.

At a modification hearing, the judge considers additional factors, such as the defendant’s connection to the community, ability to flee the jurisdiction, and physical threat to victims or witnesses. Sometimes, attorneys delay these hearings, so they can collect additional evidence and present it to the judge.

Frequently, these matters settle out of court, usually by way of a tradeoff. For example, the prosecutor might agree to a lower bail if the defendant agrees to additional bail conditions, like electronic monitoring.

If you need more information about the Tennessee bail bonds process for yourself or a loved one, contact Fizer Bonding Company. Your need may not be as big as Kyle Rittenhouse but we are here to help you just the same. Fizer Bonding Company is a proud member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents and offers their bonding services for only 10% of the bond amount. For more info about Fizer Bonding Company bail bonds, click here.

“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”

Fizer Bonding Company in Montgomery County Tennessee

(931) 449-9351

Fizer Bonding Company in Robertson County Tennessee

(615) 667-1109

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