In the case of a weapons charge, many factors will affect the amount of the bond that’s set. Weapons laws vary greatly from state to state, but generally, the ranking and process are the same. Weapons charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on whether the weapon was or could have been used to harm someone, or if the defendant already has prior violent charges. Of course, probation, parole, and circumstances of the crime also play a large role in deciding bond amounts.
Misdemeanor Weapons Charges
In most states, a first offense nonviolent weapons charge is a misdemeanor and can carry hefty fines and a small amount of jail time. The following charges are common misdemeanor weapons charges:
Possessing a firearm without a proper license
Possession of a prohibited weapon
These charges indicate that the defendant was in possession of a weapon illegally, but no one was harmed or put in danger. These charges are likely to be bonded fairly inexpensively and are usually unchanged by the judge during the arraignment.
Felony Weapons Charges
When a defendant is charged with a weapons crime that had the potential to or did cause harm, the offense is much more serious. These charges carry a felony status and are difficult to predict when it comes to bond amounts. These charges include any violent crime performed with a weapon or any weapon charge with intent or possibility of bodily harm to another, and include but are not limited to:
Committing a crime with a weapon
Felony possession of a firearm
Assault with a deadly weapon
Trafficking or illegal sale of firearms or weapons
Many times, defendants facing these charges should wait for arraignment to post bond. This is because, during the arraignment, the charges could change or be lowered, or the judge can grant a bail reduction or a release on own recognizance bond which will reduce the amount owed. Oce bond is paid, a client cannot receive a refund. However, if the judge raises the original bond amount at arraignment because of severity, past offenses, or other issues, the defendant will be responsible for paying the owed balance. This is a long and difficult payment process that should be avoided if possible.
Still, other charges may be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the surrounding circumstances. These charges are best dealt with as felony charges and a postponed release is typically advised. These charges can include variances of the following:
Recklessly pointing a weapon
Firing a gun in a public place
Illegal discharge of a weapon
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For bond amount or process questions about weapons charges or other legal charges, take advantage of constant access to case studies, precedent judgments, and a professional directory. The Bail Bond Cooperative provides the tools you need for successful bonding procedures.