Understanding Wyoming’s Bail Process
After being arrested, one of the first things a defendant has to deal with is a bail bond. A bail bond is an agreement the defendant makes with the court that he will go to all court appearances on time. In order to be released from jail before your trail, you need to pay a “bond” to the court, either in cash or through a bail bond agent. If you attend all court appearances and follow the court’s rules for your release, you will get the money back. If you miss an appearance or break a rule, then you lose the money.
Getting released on bail allows you to see your family and work more closely with your attorney on your defense. Otherwise, you will have to sit in jail throughout your trial. The big problem, though, is that Wyoming has high costs for bail, which is why you may need your attorney’s help to get bail reduced.
How Is Bail Calculated in Wyoming?
Bail is assigned at your first hearing (“arraignment”), where the prosecution will explain the crimes you are being charged with. A judge will look over your criminal history, the specifics of the crime you are being charged with, and your potential flight risk before assigning bail. In Wyoming, judges have a certain bail schedule to follow for minor crimes, but they can adjust the amount depending on the severity of your misdemeanor or felony charge.
Typically, the more serious the offense you are being charged with, the higher your bail. For minor traffic offenses, bail can be as low as $10.00 or as high as $500.00. However, with most misdemeanor and felony charges, bail will start at $1,000.00 and rise drastically based on the crime. With charges like homicide, bail may not be an option.
Judges do not look at your income or finances before assigning bail. They are interested in keeping the public safe and making sure that you attend all your court appearances. If you have a history of violent crimes or are considered a flight risk, meaning you might flee the county or state, then the judge will make bail expensive for you.
For first-time offenders of low-level crimes, you may be “released on your own recognizance,” which means you do not have to pay bail and are expected to attend all court appearances on time. The judge may also require you remain under house arrest, wear an ankle bracelet, or follow other rules.
How Do I Pay Bail?
There are two ways to pay bail in Wyoming:
- Cash Bond: If you, your friends, or your family have enough money, then you can pay bail directly to the court. So long as you attend all court appearances and fulfill the rules of your release, you will receive your money back at the end of your trial. However, most people cannot afford this option.
- Bail Bond: If you cannot pay bail out of your own pocket, then you can contact a bail bond agency to pay bail for you. The agency may also cover the cost of monitoring you for the court and will charge a fee for paying your bail. This fee can be as low as 10% of the total value of your bail bond, but some agencies offer payment plans.
What Can Attorney Do to Help Me?
As soon as you have been arrested for a crime, you should contact a Gillette criminal defense lawyer. Our trial attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., can begin working on your case and building your defense. We can also represent you at your bail hearing and advocate for your release without bail or for a more affordable amount. The prosecution may demand an expensive bail for your release, but we can use our skill, knowledge, and experience to fight on your behalf, by:
- Arguing that you are not a flight risk.
- Demonstrating that bail is excessive.
- Explaining that there is not enough evidence against you.
- Showing that you have a clean criminal record.
To discuss your case in a free consultation, call us at (307) 257-7800 and get started on your defense.
Your FREE Case Strategy Session
On All Injury and Criminal Cases
Contact our office right now to speak to
someone who wants to help you.