What to Know About Bail for Felonies in Ohio

What to Know About Bail for Felonies in Ohio

A felony is the most serious level of charge you can face in Ohio. As such, the process for bailing out of jail after an arrest for an alleged felony offense can be different from that for misdemeanor crimes.

In this blog, our team at Andy Callif Bail Bonds will discuss some of the things you can expect when seeking release from police custody after being accused of a felony.

If you need help with the bail bond process in Columbus or the surrounding areas, please contact us at (614) 945-4334 today.

What Are Felonies in Ohio?

As noted above, felonies are considered the most severe crimes. Ohio separates them into different degrees, depending on the severity of the offense.

Examples of felonies by degrees include, but are not limited to:

Because felonies are serious offenses, they come with harsh penalties, including years to decades in prison and/or thousands of dollars in fines.

Setting the Bail Amount for a Felony

Ohio law provides that in a case involving a felony, a judge or magistrate shall determine the amount of bail (O.R.C. § 2937.23). That means someone must appear in court before knowing how much they must pay to seek pre-trial release.

In contrast, for many misdemeanor cases, the bail amount can be set by a predetermined bail schedule. A judge or magistrate may decide on the amount. However, if they are not available, a sheriff, marshal, police officer, or jailer can determine the amount of bail based on the bond schedule.

Aside from that difference, the process of deciding the price for bail – including that for a felony – is similar.

The bail amount will be determined based on:

  • The severity of the offense
  • The defendant's criminal history
  • The likelihood of the defendant appearing for trial.

Based on the above considerations, the more serious the offense and the greater the probability that the defendant will fail to appear in court, the higher bail will be. Since the seriousness of the crime is one of the factors playing a role in the bail amount determination, it follows that felonies will generally have a higher price than misdemeanors.

Bail Can Be Denied for Some Felonies

At the prosecutor's or the judge's request, the court may hold a hearing to determine whether the defendant should be released on bail. While the hearing is pending, the defendant will remain in police custody.

Bail hearingsare held for the most severe felonies, including:

  • Aggravated murder (not a capital offense)
  • Murder
  • First- or second-degree felonies
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide
  • Menacing by stalking
  • Felony OVI

At the bail hearing, the burden rests on the State to prove that bail should be denied.

For the judge to decide that bail is not warranted, they must be convinced by clear and convincing evidence that:

  • Reasonable cause exists to believe that the defendant committed the alleged crime;
  • If released, the defendant would pose a risk of serious physical harm to the alleged victim or the community;
  • No conditions of release would protect the alleged victim or community from the dangers posed by the defendant.

The judge will consider various factors when making this determination.

Some of the things they will look at include, but are not limited to:

  • The defendant's character
  • The defedant's physical or mental condition
  • The defendant's family and community ties
  • The defendant's criminal record
  • The defendant's history of drug or alcohol abuse

At a bail hearing for a felony, the defendant has the opportunity to tell their side of the story and present and cross-examine witnesses. Essentially, the defendant attempts to convince the judge that they are eligible for bail.

After the hearing, the judge will decide whether bail should be granted and what amount it should be set at.

Some Felonies Do Not Allow an Appearance Bond

Ohio allows what is referred to as an "appearance bond" or "10% bond." This type of bail enables a person to pay the court 10% of the entire bail sum from their own pocket. At the end of the case, the court returns 90% of the 10% deposit, provided that the defendant showed up for all hearings.

However, the "appearance bond" option is not available for all felonies. In cases involving serious charges, such as those for first-, second-, or third-degree misdemeanors, the 10% deposit is not permitted. This means that the defendant would have to pay the entire bail amount to be released from jail while awaiting trial.

Bail amounts for felonies can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Because of the high cost of bail for felonies, many bail bonds agencies will not provide service for these cases.

At Andy Callif Bail Bonds, we do help with felony matters. We know how important it is for you or your loved one to be out of police custody while your case is pending. It allows you to spend unrestricted time with friends and family (provided the court has not prohibited contact with certain persons) and gives you time to build your defense.

Bail Bondsman Serving Ohio

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a felony in Columbus or the surrounding cities, please let our team help get you out of jail. We have been providing quality service since 1960, have an excellent grasp of the bail bonds process, and are available 24/7.

Our Ohio bail bonds agency serves clients in the following areas:

Speak with one of our knowledgeable bail bonds agents by calling (614) 945-4334 or submitting an online contact form today.


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