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The problems with being in jail before trial

Being arrested and charged with a crime can be traumatizing. This much we know for sure. But for those who cannot afford to post bail and go free until their next hearing date (or trial) the odds of mounting a viable defense are certainly tougher. Indeed, people who sit in jail awaiting trial are at a significant disadvantage within the criminal justice system. This post will explain why.

Collecting evidence – Good cases are built with reliable evidence. Part of this involves interviewing people who may have witnessed the crime or obtaining critical documents or releases. But when the defendant is in jail, all of these tasks become more difficult because he or she is not as available and conversations between client and counsel are not exactly private. 

Appealing to the judge – Most criminal defendants don’t understand that judges are human, and they tend to root for people who take responsibility for themselves and do things that show they are serious about rehabilitating themselves and staying out of trouble. When a person is in jail, he or she cannot do the good things that judges look at, such as getting and maintaining a stable job, entering rehab or simply staying law abiding.

The edge to get out – It may go without saying, but jail is not a nice place to spend time. Because of this, those who are incarcerated may develop such a desire to get out, they will say or do anything; even if it means pleading to something that is not in their best interests.

Because of this, it is imperative to find ways to make bail and get out of jail before your next hearing. 

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