Juvenile Criminal Attorney
The courtroom was packed as the juvenile criminal attorney began wrapping the arson hearing against the thirteen year old boy who was accused of setting fire to the town's public library. The library had been torched at night and there were no injuries, but the small town in the Allegheny Mountains felt injured by the audacity of one of its own children who had been taught in the local school system and who had attended several church youth groups in town could do such an act. Some of the adults were surprised that there would be an open public court for an underage proceeding, but changes in adlescent law in most of the states in the 1990s had torn down the privacy associated with juvenile court proceedings of the past. Also surprising to many of the adults was the fact that the judge was actually a barrister from an adjoining town and not an elected judge. In fact, the county had begun appointing various attorneys to rule in many of its juvenile cases, and this proceeding was no exception. The juvenile defense lawyer sat quietly, still taking notes as she had done throughout the hearing, and once in a while glancing over and giving the seemingly very little boy seated next to her a confident smile.
The juvenile defense lawyer knew that the mood of the town was to see this young man put away until the advent of the offender's twenty-first birthday. In the past twenty years, the entire American view of juveniles had changed, and with this change juvenile courts responded by making more punishment and less rehabilitation the rule of practice. For underage offenders, there is no constitutional right to an indictment, bail or a jury trial. Both the juvenile criminal attorney and the juvenile defense attorney liked the last caveat, because although the courtroom was packed, there was no jury in the box, and the only person that had to be convinced that their case was the correct one was the judge, who happened to be a friend to both. The juvenile criminal attorney, also a county appointed officer of the court, laid out the very convincing case against the thirteen year old. Not only had the young man told most of the school what the young offender had done, but dirty fingerprints all over the gas can found to be used in the torching belonged to the young man.
Both the juvenile defense attorney and the juvenile criminal attorney had sat down six weeks before the public hearing with the attorney who had been appointed the judge in this matter. The young presumed offender kept insisting on innocence, and so the young offender's parents knew what the stakes were in this very criminal matter, and decided that some of the boy's college money would have to be spent on defending their only child. They understood that a hearing before the judge would really not be about guilt or innocence, but about the boy's immediate future. Both parents knew deep in their hearts that the young man was probably guilty. At this private hearing, both attorneys gave an impassioned plea regarding the next five to seven years of the young man's life. The barrister for the county asked repeatedly that the young man be placed in a reformatory for under eighteen offenders until the boy's twenty first birthday. The juvenile defense lawyer for the boy argued passionately for leniency, or a compromised approach to punishment, which included a pastor, the boy's current teacher, and a psychologist giving testimony as to the basically gentle nature they had observed in the young man.
After all the evidence had been heard, the lawyer/judge asked the young man how he felt, and whether or not the offender actually owned up to the act so clearly proven at the hearing. The boy broke down emotionally and said he was very sorry for the actions, and that what had been done was an act not just directed at a librarian that had treated the young man poorly, but against the entire town. The juvenile offender shared with the courtroom the sadness that came with the anger so many people at directed at the boy. The boy shared that wherever in town the youngster traveled, people called the boy names and threatened to hurt the family. The young man also expressed deep sorrow for not admitting earlier the responsibility for the arson.
Before the lawyer/judge rendered the decision, the judge asked that the juvenile criminal attorney, the juvenile defense lawyer, the psychologist and the boy's parents meet in the judge's chambers, which was borrowed from a circuit court judge for the day. The judge began asking the criminal barrister to again state the case for incarceration until the age of twenty one. The judge then asked the defense attorney to give a list of compromise ideas for the boy's immediate future. The ideas included mandatory family counseling, a summer at a youth boot camp, community service that would be decided by the Chamber of Commerce and would be carried all summer for five years and a denial of a driver's license until twenty one. The judge also asked for the parents to speak of the boy's attitude and resolve in the months since the act was committed. Finally, the psychologist was asked to give her opinion in regards to the boy's ability to accept and react to correctional measures. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
Attorney For Bail BondAn attorney for bail bond is someone who will seek bail for his client if they have been allowed freedom until trial on the strength of a bond of a certain amount (set by the Court). This guarantees that the defendant will appear in court on a particular date for trial. A lawyer for bail bond makes the arrangements by paying cash, or putting up collateral owned by his client. The amount depends largely on the seriousness of the crime committed. A higher amount will be required of someone charged with armed robbery than someone who is jailed because they stole someone's car in the dead of night.
Once the lawyer has arranged for the client's release by obtaining the bail, he can then work on the client's defense. By the time the court date arrives, they will be thoroughly prepared for trial, and the client will have made a good first impression by honoring the bail bond and arriving on time. The lawyer for bail bond assumes the position of defense attorney. It is possible for someone to obtain bail on their own if they know how it is done, but for most people the best thing to do is turn that task over to their representation.
Someone arrested on a criminal charge may be held until trial, unless they furnish the required amount of money or collateral. The bonding company is guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant at court on the required date. This is a protection for the court. If the defendant does not appear as promised, the amount becomes payable by the surety insurer issuing the bond. This is why collateral is required in the form of cash, deed, or other property. Because of the nature of this business, bondsmen are licensed by the state, and if an individual requires the services of one, an attorney for bail bond will be sure the bondsman is licensed in the defendants state.
The attorney does not pay the amount for the defendant, so if the individual does not have the cash, some collateral will have to be offered that has a value of the premium. This amount is usually about ten percent of the total amount plus actual, necessary, and reasonable expenses. It may include reimbursement for long distance phone calls, excess travel expenses, posting fees, attorney fees and court costs. The amount will continue to grow and can add up over time. Keeping records accurate and up to date will be vital in this situation.
The defendant or the lawyer for bail bond should keep the bondsman advised of changes of address for any of the parties to the agreement. When someone other than the defendant has secured the amount, that person must aid the skip tracer in locating the defendant. The agent provides to the defendant and the court copies of all signed documents, and information regarding the status of the bond and changes in assigned dates. Along with the attorney for bail bond, the agent must also report the status of any costs due, as imposed by the court and must assist in locating the defendant, should forfeiture occur. And, presuming everything has gone as it's supposed to, the collateral must be returned upon the exoneration. The attorney will generally follow up on this, if it is necessary. The premium is not refundable.
There must be some sort of trust between the lawyer and the defendant. The attorney for bail bond must take the client's word that they will appear as ordered when the representative arranges for a bail bond. If that client does not appear, the lawyer for bail bond, and anyone else having any kind of relationship with the defendant will be called upon to assist in getting the defendant to court where he promised to appear. Since this process is dealing with criminals, that bond is frequently forfeited precisely because the client/defendant fails to meet their obligations.
This process is a courtesy the court offers to defendants to allow them freedom while awaiting trial. If a person believes in their defense arguments and the attorney for bail bond hired, there is no good reason for not meeting the obligations and making the most of the time until trial. If the defendant has a job, he or she can go back to work. If they do not work, this is not the time to get involved in anything else illegal, but an opportunity to do something good for the community--which will certainly look good in the eyes of the court judge. Court proceedings don't take place in God's system of justice. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" (Ephesians 1:7). Because of the salvation offered through Christ, sinners can repent of their misdeeds and ask for forgiveness.