Understanding Your Rights

Can You Get Bail For An Assault And Battery Charge?

If you have issued a threat against another person, the police can charge you with assault. But once you place your hands on the person, the charge becomes a battery. While an assault charge by itself may only result in a verbal warning, a battery charge could result in arrest. If you find yourself arrested for an assault or battery charge, you may wonder if you can get out on bail. Unfortunately, your release depends on several factors. 

Understanding How Bail Is Set

Bail is the money you must post for the police to release you from custody. A magistrate or judge sets this amount at a bail hearing. This hearing can occur anywhere from a few hours to a few days following your arrest. Your bail hearing may take longer when arrested on a weekend or holiday.

Bail amounts act as collateral paid to the court, ensuring your future appearances before the court. The court can set the amount you must post in two different ways. Some areas use a pre-determined bail schedule. This schedule lists amounts based on the charges you face. Other places allow the judge or magistrate to set the bail amount.

At this hearing, the judge or magistrate asks several questions to determine the risk you pose to your alleged victim in your case and whether you will appear at a future hearing. Some questions solicit the following information:

  • Your prior criminal background
  • Your current charges and the severity of your crimes
  • Your stability as far as employment and housing

Once the court sets bail, you can post it and be released. If the amount is too high for you to post, you will have to stay in jail. 

What Are Your Charges?

Although the two charges are often together, there is a difference between assault and battery. Assault can be verbal threats against a person that places them in a state of fear, but battery involves putting your hands on another person. A person accused of battery poses a much higher risk to the court than someone charged with assault.

If you live with the person you have battered, you may face a domestic violence charge. Many areas have a mandatory hold for several days and will not grant bail for a domestic violence charge. Once this specified time is up, the court will then consider bail.

What Do You Need To Do?

Once the police arrest you, the first thing you want to do is contact an assault lawyer. Your attorney will represent you in your proceedings, including your bail hearing.