WHAT TO SAY DURING YOUR BOND HEARING IF YOU'VE BEEN ARRESTED IN TENNESSEE
If you are arrested in Tennessee you must appear before a magistrate or judge to set bond. What you say, and even more so, what you DON'T say, is very important.
If you are facing a bond hearing without an attorney, it is important to be prepared and present yourself in the best light possible. The judge will be considering a number of factors when setting your bond, including the seriousness of the charges, your criminal history, and your ties to the community.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should not discuss your case or the circumstances of your arrest with anyone other than your attorney. This includes the judge, the prosecutor, and even other inmates. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it is best to remain silent and let your attorney do the talking. Some jurisdictions in Tennessee will allow the District Attorney to ask you questions. Even worse, if you go into the facts of your case they will allow them to ask you questions about the crime. Do not discuss the facts of your case.
Instead, focus on presenting facts about yourself. Be prepared to discuss your ties to the community, such as your involvement in local organizations (such as churches, charity work, business relationships, sports teams, schools), your employment history, and your family and friends who may be able to provide support. Also be prepared to discuss your criminal history, including any prior convictions or failures to appear in court.
Finally, it is important to demonstrate that you are responsible and reliable. This includes being able to demonstrate that you have reliable transportation to work or other important appointments, as well as being able to show that you are able to use a calendar app on your phone to keep track of court dates and other important deadlines.
If you are facing a bond hearing, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you prepare and present your case in the most favorable light possible. Contact my office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.
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Factors Considered During a Bond Hearing in Tennessee
When a person is arrested and charged with a crime in Tennessee, they may be eligible for release on bond. However, whether a defendant is granted bond, and the amount of the bond, will depend on a number of factors that the court will consider during a bond hearing.
In Tennessee, the factors that the court considers during a bond hearing are listed in Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-118. These factors include:
The defendant's criminal record, including any history of failing to appear in court or probation violations;
The defendant's ties to the community, including family, employment, and property ownership;
The defendant's reputation and character;
The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
The potential penalty or punishment for the offense charged;
The potential danger that the defendant poses to the community;
The defendant's mental condition and history, including any history of drug or alcohol abuse;
The strength of the evidence against the defendant;
The defendant's compliance with any conditions of pretrial release in the past; and
Any other factors that the court deems relevant.
These factors are considered on a case-by-case basis, and the weight given to each factor will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you prepare for a bond hearing, present evidence and arguments in your favor, and advocate for your release on the most favorable terms possible.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and is facing a bond hearing, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to protect your rights and interests.