Criminal Law Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between bail and a bond?
Most people who are arrested are entitled to have a their bail set.  Bail is the amount or type of surety that a court will accept to allow a person to be released from jail.  A bond is what gets posted to secure the bail.  The most common types of bonds are cash, property, surety through a bail bond agent, or personal surety also known as a signature bond.  You are not entitled to a bail if you are charged with an offense punishable by death, but you may be able to obtain a bail after a contradictory hearing.

How does bail get set and modified?
After a person is arrested bail will normally be set within 48 hours.  Bail is set by a judge or magistrate and often without any initial hearing or appearance before a judge or magistrate.  The judicial officer will set the bail after reviewing a police report or affidavit of probable cause for arrest and the defendant’s criminal history.  While there are several factors a court should consider when setting bail the primary factors are the defendant’s flight risk and whether he or she poses a danger to the community.  Once the bail is set an attorney will usually have to file a motion for it to be modified.  A defense attorney may file a motion to reduce the bail or a prosecutor may file a motion to increase the bail.  If a person is already out on a bond when they are arrested for a new charge a prosecutor may file a motion to revoke the previous bail based on the new charge. 

    Call Rusty Messer & Associates at (225) 963-9638 if you have been charged with a crime and would like to discuss your case with an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney.

    We regularly handle criminal charges in the following parishes: Ascension Parish, Assumption Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish, Iberville Parish, Livingston Parish, Pointe Coupee Parish, St. James Parish, St. Helena Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, West Feliciana Parish.

    We regularly handle criminal charges in the following cities: Baton Rouge, Clinton, Convent, Denham Springs, Donaldsonville, Gonzales, Greensburg, Livingston, Napoleonville, New Roads, Plaquemine, Port Allen, St. Francisville.



    If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, call us today to schedule a consultation where we can discuss the case and your rights. Being charged with a crime is a serious matter that can have life long implications. We have handled thousands of criminal cases and regularly handle cases in both state and federal courts as well as in juvenile courts. Let us fight to protect your rights. 

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