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 beginning the criminal justice process. The goal of pretrial services is to determine the suitability of a person for pretrial release from jail and what conditions should be placed on a person when, and if, they are released.
To evaluate a person for pretrial release from jail, pretrial services uses a test known as Praxis. Praxis is a pretrial risk assessment tool which 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 a great help to a judge or magistrate in determining a proper bond amount. The pretrial services report gives them a huge amount of information regarding a person so that a good, proper, bond decision can be made. Most judges and magistrates rely heavily on the pretrial services bond recommendation.
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 a bond, you might be direct to report to pretrial services directly as a condition of release. Violations or non-compliance of 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 the time where 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. There are some people that think an attorney is not necessary at the first court appearance where its “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 when they are supposed to and if that person a danger to the public. If there is concern regarding either one of those issues, the court will likely place a dollar amount on a bond to be posted before a person can be released from incarceration. The presence of an attorney will indicate to the court that the matter is being taken seriously and therefore, the concerns can be minimized. Also, the presence of an attorney can go a long way to lessen the bond dollar amount (likely a personal bond) and likely eliminate any possible conditions that a court will place on a person. A good attorney can make an argument that can sway a bond decision in favor of a defendant.
Can my lawyer work with 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.” This is unfortunate because they are supposed to be neutral, fairly report the facts, and make fair recommendations. So how can a lawyer help? An attorney who has a positive reputation with the court has a higher chance of getting the attention of pretrial services and being given the opportunity 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 the practice of criminal law. Several of the firm’s attorneys have served in judicial capacities and have actually 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 the 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! If you have a criminal law question, you need a criminal defense attorney in Oakland County. 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 client 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 and we will contact you promptly.