A trio of bills currently pending in the state legislature could significantly affect the criminal justice process in Montgomery County. Fizer Bonding Company, serving clients throughout Montgomery and Robertson counties, is watching these bills closely as they could potentially impact citizens needing to get out of jail quickly with their local Fizer bondsman.

According to the State Department of Corrections, a little more than half of DOC inmates are unsentenced. Pending legislation would address some issues in this area. SB 2377 would require authorities to alert interested parties prior to hearings. House Bill 2355 adds new bail bond company regulations, and Senate Bill 1791 makes some changes to bail reduction hearings.

Some have said that these proposals may never become law. They face considerable opposition from “tough on crime” conservatives. Additionally, some liberals oppose them as a misallocation of resources. With opinions fierce on both sides, Fizer Bonding Company wants citizens to know that their bonding services get everyone out of jail fast with respect, dignity, and the lowest rates around (usually only a 10% premium of the bond)

Conditions of Bail 

Senate Bill 2377, the automatic notification law, is mostly aimed at crime victims. Generally, unless crime victims are material witnesses, which means the state can’t make the case without their testimony, crime victims are generally left in the dark throughout the process. They don’t know anything about pending procedural hearings, or why the hearing is important. Typically, they don’t know when the trial is either.

This law addresses these issues. Of course, if crime victims really care about the case, they can look it up on the internet and find out what’s going on. But even this can be challenging trying to figure out where to look, to get the information you are looking for, and take some time and determination. 

This bill also addresses a fundamental misunderstanding that’s common in cash bond matters (more on that below). Many people assume paying a cash bond is like paying a fine, so from that moment, the case is closed. 

The attitude is understandable. Some minor offenses, like public intoxication and disorderly conduct, work that way, especially if authorities know the defendant was just passing through. A text message alert about an upcoming hearing date reminds the defendant that the case is ongoing.

Showing up for trial is the main cash bail or Montgomery County bail bonds condition. However, there are other conditions as well. Some of these conditions may be difficult or impossible to keep.

The standard keep-away order in a domestic battery case is a good example. Robertson County judges routinely order defendants to avoid all physical, verbal, and other contact with alleged victims in these cases. This condition could be a problem if the defendant and alleged victim have young children together. That’s especially true if, as is usually the case, the keep-away order includes no visitation or other provisions. Many criminal judges view these orders as civil matters.

If a bail condition is a problem, cash bond defendants are usually on their own. A Fizer, Clarksville bail bondsman, in certain situations, may have some authority to tailor conditions to specific case needs. Fizer Bonding Company does their best to help all of their clients get “outta jail fast” and meet their bail bonds release terms and needs.  

Bail Bond vs. Cash Bond

Alas, we have all read about the few bail bond companies that take the money and run. Or, they take the money and ghost you. But for the most part this is what happens on tv or in the movies. And for convenience sake, a bail bond is usually a much better option than a cash bond.

We mentioned bail bond condition accommodations above. Sometimes, the issue is assistance as opposed to accommodation. DUI bail bonds are a good example. Most judges require most defendants to obtain Ignition Interlock Devices. IIDs are like portable Breathalyzers attached to vehicle ignition switches. If the defendant fails a breath test, the vehicle won’t start, or it won’t restart, if it’s in motion at the time.

The IID order is usually just that. It’s a directive to get one that comes with a very tight deadline. Many cash bond defendants have no idea where to go for IID installation. They also can’t tell between reputable providers and scammers.

At Fizer Bonding Company, we can help our bonding clients that have this directive for an IID, a list of reliable IID providers. That’s one less thing defendants have to worry about during a very difficult period.

We aren’t a law firm or a lawyer referral service. We can’t give you advice about your case, and quite frankly, we don’t want to. However, we help people know what to expect in their criminal cases. Most criminal cases go through the following process:

  • First Appearance: Legal representation is the first, and often only, item on the agenda at an initial court appearance. Most defendants who have made bond are ineligible for court appointed lawyers or public defenders. So, if the defendant needs more time to hire a lawyer, s/he gets more time.
  • Announcement: This word is Legalese for “let’s decide what to do next.” Attorneys review the evidence in the case, identify weaknesses in the prosecution, and look for possible defenses. Most criminal cases have procedural and/or substantive defenses. Legal analysis takes time. Many cases stay in the announcement phase for at least two months.
  • Resolution: Eventually, attorneys must set cases for plea or trial. Agreed pleas settle almost all criminal cases. Open pleas, bench trials, and jury trials resolve the rest. In open pleas, defendants almost literally throw themselves on the mercy of the court. Judges serve as both factfinder and legal referee during bench trials. Most of us are familiar with jury trials.

Unless a Fizer bail bondsman near you gets involved, many cases never make it past first appearance. Most incarcerated individuals are so anxious to get out of jail they’ll take the first plea bargain the state offers.

Bail Reduction Hearings

We mentioned the occasional connection between bail and punishment above. But for the most part, these concepts are separate. The only issue at a bail reduction hearing is the likelihood the defendant will appear at trial. Some traditional indicators are wrong.

Conventional wisdom says that people charged with serious crimes are more likely to run away than people charged with non-serious crimes. That’s usually true in most cases. If Jason Statham threatened me, I’d run away if I had half a chance. But that’s not true in this case. Generally, people who face serious charges are anxious to have their day in court. People facing non-serious charges usually don’t care.

Conventional wisdom also says that bail should be higher for people with criminal records, probably because they face stiffer possible punishments. Once again, conventional wisdom is often wrong. The system is scary for first timers. Many of them would rather not deal with it.

An attorney can leverage these facts and obtain a more reasonable bond amount. That reduction makes it easier to get out of jail before trial. Prosecutors are usually willing to make favorable deals in these cases. They want to make sure there’s plenty of room behind bars for the real bad guys.

To get “your tail outta jail fast” and more information about the criminal justice bail bonding process, contact the bail bondsmen in Clarksville, TN at Fizer Bonding Company. We have the lowest bail bond fees around over 35 years of bail bonding experience in Montgomery and Robertson counties. We offer fast, respectful, and courteous 24/7 bail bond service!  More value added FREE information can be found in our online articles. Fizer Bonding Company is a proud member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents and the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce

“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”

Fizer Bonding Company Montgomery County Tennessee

(931) 449-9351

Fizer Bonding Company Robertson County Tennessee

(615) 667-1109

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