Pretrial Services in Oakland County, Michigan
Assisting Courts in Making Bond and Bail Decisions Relative to People Recently Arrested.
Pretrial Services in Oakland County, Michigan, is a division of Oakland County Community Corrections that screens adults who have been arrested and begins the criminal justice process. The goal of pretrial services is to determine a person’s suitability for pretrial release from jail and what conditions should be placed on a person when and if they are released.
Pretrial services uses a Praxis test to evaluate a person for pretrial release from jail. Praxis is a pretrial risk assessment tool that scores factors that can predict pretrial misconduct, such as failure to appear or re-arrest. The score determines the bond type, amount, and level of supervision needed. The goal is to safely release as many people from pretrial incarceration as possible while not placing public safety at risk. A pretrial services report is an excellent help to a judge or magistrate in determining a proper bond amount. The pretrial services report gives the judge a great deal of information regarding the defendant. With this information, the judge can make an informed bond decision. Most judges and magistrates rely heavily on the pretrial services bond recommendation.
Oakland County Pretrial Services Checks for a Criminal History
Pretrial Services will also check all court records (district, circuit, and probate), Secretary of State, and LEIN to determine prior convictions and possible prior failure to appear in court incidents. Pretrial services will also contact references, family members, schools, employers, probation, or parole officers to get information relative to a person.
As part of an order for a bond, you might be directed to report to pretrial services directly as a condition of release. Violations or non-compliance with release conditions are reported to the court and the prosecutor’s office.
There are pretrial services investigators in almost every district court in Oakland County.
Do I Need an Attorney at a Bond Hearing?
The very beginning of a criminal case, the time just after being arrested but before a first court appearance, is very important. This is when things will be moving very fast and be very confusing. This is when you should have an experienced attorney to guide you through the maze so that no mistakes are made that could jeopardize your future. Some people think an attorney is not necessary at the first court appearance where it’s “just to set a bond.” This is not true. When setting a bond, a court has to decide if the person will come back to court and if that person is dangerous to the public. If there is concern regarding either one of those issues, the court will likely require the defendant to post a cash bond before being released from incarceration. An attorney’s presence will indicate to the court that the matter is being taken seriously, and therefore, the concerns regarding the defendant returning to court can be minimized. Also, an attorney’s presence can go a long way to lessen the bond dollar amount (likely a personal bond) and reduce conditions that a court will place on a person. A talented attorney can make an argument that can sway a bond decision in favor of a defendant.
Can my lawyer work with Oakland County pretrial services to help me get a favorable bond?
Yes! Many pretrial services officers and investigators see themselves as part of the prosecutor’s “team.” The involvement of a bias pretrial services agent is unfortunate because they are supposed to be neutral, fairly report the facts, and make unbiased recommendations. So how can a lawyer help? An attorney with a positive reputation with the court has a higher chance of getting the attention of pretrial services and being allowed to submit the information that might influence the bond recommendation.
In many cases, the pretrial services officer is extremely busy and cannot take the time to search for every favorable piece of information about the defendant. In fact, they will rarely go out of their way to verify the information the defense wants the judge to know about the accused. A retained criminal defense lawyer, especially one with a team to back them up, can do the footwork necessary to get favorable information to pretrial services that will positively impact the recommendation given to the judge.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys That Can Get a Bond for a Felony or Misdemeanor
The attorneys of the law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have spent the last few decades specializing in criminal law. Several of the firm’s attorneys have served in judicial capacities and have made bond decisions using the assistance of pretrial services. The presence of an attorney would add an air of seriousness to a bond hearing. A bond hearing may not sound important, but it can be the difference between being released from jail or not.
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have vast experience in all areas of criminal law and are here to help. The firm has a reputation of being very successful and getting resolutions or verdicts for people that are so impressive, even other lawyers are impressed! You need a criminal defense attorney in Oakland County if you have a criminal law question. The firm uses the motto “We Are Not Afraid To Win” because our attorneys are not afraid to stand up to judges, prosecutors, police officers, or anyone to protect our clients from unfair and unlawful treatment. We can help!
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.