If you or your family member has been arrested, it feels like everything is crashing down. It’s embarrassing, expensive, you missed work, your family is angry, you’re scared.

Your first hurdle, or your family’s, is the bond. If your family hires an attorney before posting a bond, the attorney may be able to get you out on your family member’s reconnaissance or a personal surety bond, or a property bond. If your family member owns property in the same parish in which you were arrested, the attorney can arrange that property be put up as security for you’re your appearance. That’s all a bond is, it’s insurance you will show up in court. For a property bond, if you show up , the property bond is released at the conclusion of the case. However, the family member’s equity in the real estate must be sufficient to cover the amount of the bond. If you use a bondsman, your family will pay 12% interest that is non-refundable for the privilege of using the bondsman’s money to post the bond. Best case scenario is a personal reconnaissance bond in which you or a family member guarantees that you will show up for court.

Whether innocent or guilty, if diversion is offered, you should probably take it. It allows you to ultimately walk away from the charge, without a criminal record. Taking a case to trial is always a gamble; there is no such thing as a sure thing, even if you are wrongly accused. The downside to diversion is that if you don’t comply with the terms of your diversion, you will be kicked out of diversion and the prosecution of your case will resume. Of course you are right back to where you were before, without an increase or decrease in you odds of being found innocent or guilty.

If expungement is offered, this should sweeten the deal for you. It allows you to ultimately have the arrest and prosecution erased from your record. Your employer won’t find it; it won’t show up if you have to be bonded; your insurance company won’t find it. The only purpose for which it will show up is if you are arrested, you can be prosecuted as a multiple offender. But remember, expungement is not a constitutional right. The Parish, the Sheriff, the FBI, everyone is going to charge you a fee and the Public Defender will not help you, no matter your tax bracket. Lastly, just because your plea was entered, subject to expungement, it doesn’t mean that it happens automatically. You are going to have to hire a private attorney to do it.

If no time served is offered to you, just probation, again this is an offer usually too good to refuse, because there is no time served. You will still have a record and need to be concerned with expungement, but you are not going to jail. Again, just like diversion, prosecutors are waiting with baited breath for you to fail. If you fail, forget, blow off a term of your probation, the D.A. will anxiously jump on violating you, revoking your probation and reinstating your prosecution. Do not go to a violation or revocation proceeding without an attorney.

The lawyers at Ellen Cronin Badeaux, LLC, have 27 years of experience defending people accused of a crime. You need an attorney experienced in the bond and prosecution process. Let us help you and Call Now for a consultation 985-892-1955.

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