Q: How long between arrest and the time the arrestee sees a Judge?
A: In NYC, it generally takes between 15 to 24 hours for the defendant to be arraigned. During that time, the complaint is drafted and fingerprints are taken and processed.
Q: Should we have bail money ready?
A: The most efficient way to ensure that your loved one comes home with you if bail is set is to have the cash on hand to post with the Court clerk. If that is not possible, the defendant will be kept in the custody of the NYC Department of Corrections until bail or a bond is posted or until the case is concluded.
Q: How will we know how much bail will be?
A: The purpose of bail is to make sure that the defendant (or principal according to the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL))returns to court on each and every court appearance. My goal, as defense attorney, at arraignment is to get the court to issue a securing order that consists of an order of recognizance or bail which, when satisfied, permits a defendant to be released. The term “bail” is the term applicable to cash bail or a bail bond. The term “bail bond” applies to any “written undertaking, executed by one or more obligors” which guarantees a principal’s appearance in court during the pendency of a criminal action. Compliance with the bond also requires that the defendant obeys other “orders and processes of the court” that may be incorporated into the securing order. Such conditions might include or exclude certain behaviors, limit a defendant/principal travel or require a defendant/principal to avoid contact with designated parties, especially a victim or a witness.