Arraignment in DC Sex Abuse Cases

It’s important to note that in DC there is no bond. Under the Bail Reform Act, they eliminated bond. They don’t set bail in DC, they either hold you or they don’t—depending on several criteria. They will certainly hold you if it’s alleged that a weapon was involved in any type of case. In any type of felony case, there are certain crimes that if the government requests a hold, then the court has no discretion. If you are charged with a felony sex abuse, you can usually expect that the government will request to hold you for the initial period of several days before your preliminary hearing. That is extremely common in a felony situation.

For misdemeanor cases, the government can normally only request to hold you if you are already on probation or parole or if you have another pending case. In those situations, the government could request a hold, otherwise the court will release you and set conditions such as reporting either telephonically or in person to pretrial services, being on house arrest, being on GPS monitoring, or being sent to a halfway house. These are all other types of release conditions that the court can place on you if they do not hold you in D.C. jail.

Factors in DC Sex Abuse Arraignments

They look at an individual’s personal criminal history, what kind of ties the individual has to the area, the nature of the charges, specific allegations of the case to see if that person appears to be a danger to himself or others, and whether weapons were used. Again, there are very specific facts that the court will look at to determine whether they can feel safe and secure that if they release this person, the person will come back to court as directed and will not commit any other crimes upon release.

The Benefits of Having an Attorney

The lawyer will present all of the important positive factors on your behalf as to why the court should release you. The attorney will be able to argue against the alleged negative factors that the government argues. It’s so critical to have an attorney at this stage. If you don’t already have an attorney, then the court will have an appointed lawyer for you because it’s such a critical stage and a critical decision about your release. The court is not going to let someone try to argue on their own about their release conditions.