At Bail Man Bail Bonds, we are committed to your interests and our honest communication will never lead you astray.
At Bail Man Bail Bonds, we are committed to your interests and our honest communication will never lead you astray.
Did you decide to represent yourself in criminal court? If so, you’re doing something very risky. Very few people can effectively plead their case alone, without the aid of an experienced and respected lawyer.
But if your case is small or the other person is also unrepresented, you may have a chance to win your case.
However, you should never go in blind. There’s only a small chance you will win. You will have to make a compelling argument to the jury and the judge and you may even need to dress the part.
If you’re still making the decision to stand alone in court, here’s your guide to representing yourself in criminal court.
Your first step is learning the legal names for all of the parties in the trial. This is easier said than done; legal names are complex and some are even in Latin.
Why do you need to know these names? The judge and your opponent’s attorney will refer to everyone in the court by these names.
Here’s a rundown of the names you need to memorize:
Pro Se Litigants: individuals in a civil lawsuit who are not represented by an attorney (in other words, you).
Pro Se Defendant: a Pro Se defendant is a defendant defending their own case (in other words, you).
Plaintiff: the person who’s filing the lawsuit (in other words, your opponent).
Prosecutor: the attorney that represents the state. They will present the evidence to the jury.
Knowing this basic information will increase your understanding of the court system.
After you study the names and their meaning, you need to know the rules of court. This is a little more difficult because each state has their own rules including federal rules.
First, find out if your trial will be held in state or federal court. If it’s federal court, you’ll have to read either the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or the Federal Rules of Evidence.
If your case is held in state court, you have to research the rules in your state. You can also contact the county clerk at the courthouse.
If your case is in civil court, you’ll receive a civil complaint. You don’t have to respond to this but it’s best that you do. If you don’t respond, the court will rule in favor of the plaintiff.
Before you respond, review the complaint. The complaint will list what you’re being sued for, how much, and how and when to respond. Retrieve an answer form; you can find them online and at the courthouse.
Your answer should be straightforward. Generally, you can decide to answer in one of four ways:
Once your response is finished, pay the filing fee.
If you’re fully sure you’re innocent, you can file a cross-complaint. In other words, you’re suing the plaintiff who’s suing you. But you can only sue the plaintiff if your complaint relates to the one against you.
It’s highly recommended you have an attorney if you go this route. But if your case is small or the plaintiff isn’t represented, you can easily do this yourself.
Before court, research the exact law you’re being sued for. In addition to searching the general law, research the claims for both a defendant and a plaintiff.
But pay more attention to the defense portion of the law. This way, you can effectively defend your position.
After you file your answer, a process called discovery begins. This means either party can request information from their opponents. This can help strengthen your defense.
This includes facts about the charges, evidence, witnesses, and even what arguments the opponent will make.
Discovery has two different categories: formal and informal.
In formal discovery, you’ll gain information by asking your opponent questions, interviewing other persons related to the case, requesting necessary documents, and ordering a subpoena.
You can also take the informal route. This includes conducting interviews, gathering documents, and even taking photographs or video.
Your court date isn’t the only court appearance required. Many cases call for a pretrial. This is when all parties meet with the judge and discuss how the trial will play out.
You’ll have to discuss certain topics, such as:
You may have one pretrial date or even several.
If you can, settle the case outside of court. This helps if you personally know the plaintiff.
These are called a settlement conference. You two will meet with a third party to come to an agreement.
This is the recommended course of action, especially if you’re not represented. You’ll save a lot of time and money because you won’t endure a trial.
You can also have more control because you’re not leaving the decision up to a judge or a jury.
As you can guess, representing yourself in criminal court isn’t easy. The stakes increase if you’re the defendant. But if your case is small and if the plaintiff isn’t represented, you may be able to win without an attorney.
Be sure to research and submit all documents on time. If you can, come to a settlement outside of court.
Do you need a bail bond while you or a loved one is in jail? If you’re in California, contact us.
Innocent until proven guilty, the presumption of innocence, the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution: each of these imply that the defendant on trial is not yet guilty of associated crimes. Unfortunately, appearing in court clad in an orange jail jumpsuit and handcuffs does not scream ‘innocent!’
It is standard for inmates to wear jail clothes to an arraignment or other hearings. However, this practice is detrimental to those that are forced to wear jail or prison garb to a jury trial.
We are going to take a look at how donning a jail jumpsuit can affect the outcome of your trial and how to prevent this from happening.
If you’ve never been to jail or known anyone that has, it is still likely that you’ve seen the striped black and white jumpsuits on older television shows. No matter how or where you’ve seen these clothes, it is a common theme in jails.
A more current look in institutions is typically a neon orange color, with the word ‘inmate’ painted across the back. Other facilities may have different colors or use stripes. However, it all serves the same purpose: security within the confines of the jail.
Dressing inmates in certain colors will allow officers to quickly see anyone who is out of place. This is a great way to keep inmates where they’re supposed to be, as well as giving the corrections team the ability to identify those who are flight risks or dangerous.
Inmates are also clothed in jail jumpsuits to discourage escape attempts. If an inmate attempts to leave in his jail clothes, the general population will know he doesn’t belong and officers can apprehend him.
If you think about any tv show or movie that depicts a jail or prison, the people found inside are often guilty. If the character is not actually guilty, they are in jail because they were found guilty.
Are all people in jail or prison guilty? No, but the media often displays them as such.
It is easy to make the association that a person in an orange jail jumpsuit and handcuffs is guilty. Jurors will see the defendant and subconsciously decide whether or not that person committed a crime before any facts are even presented.
It comes down to looking as much like everyone else as possible. No one in the courtroom will be wearing an orange jail jumpsuit but the defendant. This makes them easy to spot and easy to gawk at.
As a defendant, your behavior is important–but it won’t change the jurors’ first impression of you. Unfortunately, Justice isn’t as blind as she used to be and stereotypes are followed all too closely.
To some, it may seem obvious that oversized t-shirts, baggy pants, plunging necklines, or mini skirts have no place in the courtroom.
While these may be obvious, casual attire such as jeans, work boots, sneakers, and even fitted t-shirts for men are not appropriate. Women should stay away from overly tight, short, or revealing clothes, also veering from bold prints and bright colors.
The key to dressing in a courtroom is being conservative, humble, and likable. This includes your hairstyle, choice of jewelry, and makeup.
If you are incarcerated at the time of your jury trial, speak with your attorney. Quite often, your attorney can arrange for you to change from your jail jumpsuit into civilian clothes before entering the courtroom.
To ensure you will not appear in court clad in your orange jail jumpsuit, consider using a bail bondsman. Taking this route will allow you to choose your own clothes on the day of trial, and not appear in handcuffs.
Bonding out of jail can also afford you the opportunity to relax a bit, get your hair taken care of, and show up with your game face on. Having a chance to prepare while you are out of jail will also allow your attorney to instruct you on body language–which is as important as the clothes you wear.
Each of these aspects–the hair, body language, and clothes–all play a part in how you are perceived by your jury. It is also important to think about the conditions in jail and how those conditions affect your overall behavior and demeanor.
Opting to bond out of jail before the jury sees you for the first time can allow you time to adjust to being a civilian. Not only do you get to take the physical orange jumpsuit off, but you can remove it from your mind.
This might sound odd, but spending any amount of time in jail will force you to become guarded, untrusting, and hyperaware. These are survival mechanisms from your brain but can be offputting to a jury.
Being accused of a crime is NOT the same as being convicted of one! Unfortunately, when locked up, the mentality you adopt will inevitably show guilt. Coupling that mentality with an orange jail jumpsuit can make even the most innocent man seem at fault.
It is imperative to your case and your freedom that you arrive at court in conservative business attire. It is equally as important to arrive mentally prepared, showing a humble (not hardened) demeanor.
This is why we recommend allowing us to post your bail. We will help get you home faster which will allow you to meet with your counsel and prepare for your case.
Using a bail bondsman doesn’t have to be scary, and no one should treat you as a criminal. Our mentality is that you haven’t been proven guilty and should be given the benefit of the doubt.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime or landed in jail, getting out quickly should be the first thing on your list. To do this, contact us to get the ball rolling.
While having a lot of money can help you get the best lawyers or pay a high bond, it won’t keep you from getting arrested in the first place.
Many celebrities have learned this lesson the hard way when they got arrested for all kinds of shenanigans, from DUIs, Domestic Violence, to vandalism and everything in between.
One thing that celebrities and non-celebrities alike share though is that when they do get arrested, their only chance of not sitting in jail waiting for trial is hiring a bail bondsman.
Keep reading to learn about the 10 most famous celebrities in jail who needed to bailed out.
While all celebrity arrests make the headlines, Justin Bieber’s 2014 arrest was on every TV station, newspaper, magazine, and web page for weeks.
He had already been in the news in past years for assault, vandalism, and other charges, but this would be his first arrest.
The pop icon faced a number of charges after drag racing a rented Lamborghini through a subdivision in Miami Beach. When police tried to stop him, he cussed and fought back, which resulted in a charge of resisting arrest.
Once contained, Bieber admitted to consuming alcohol and drugs. He was below the legal limit on alcohol, but failed a field sobriety test and later tested positive for marijuana and Xanax.
Bieber’s bond was set at just $2,500, and he got out as fast as he could.
Following his 2009 assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, even bail wouldn’t be enough to keep Chris Brown out of jail.
When he was first arrested for making criminal threats, his bail was set at $50,000, which the rich singer had no trouble posting.
But when he violated his restraining order and got arrested in 2013, he wasn’t given a chance to bail himself out and was instead ordered to spend one month in jail.
Lindsay Lohan is perhaps the most famous example of a celebrity needing to bailed out.
The once-popular starlet has had so many run-ins with police that she now keeps a bondsman on hire to bail her out. Rather than waiting around to learn how to post bail, she simply brought in a pro!
He was ready to post a bail bond at a moments notice for her.
Nicolas Cage has stared in a number of big screen hits in the past. If you’re wondering why you only see him in box-office flops now, his 2011 arrest might be the reason.
While under the influence of drugs and alcohol, Cage got into a fight with his wife, during which he tried to drag her back to the property they were staying at in New Orleans.
He then kicked and hit several cars before trying to hail a cab, only to have the driver refuse him when he saw the state that the actor was in. Cage began to yell and was then arrested.
Police took him away for alleged domestic violence, public disturbance, and indecency. It turned out that he had the right friends though, because his buddy, Dog the Bounty Hunter, who is actually a bondsman, posted his $11,000 bail.
Once best known for overcoming his physical disability to become a double-amputee Olympian, Oscar Pistorius, also known as Blade Runner, is now better known for shooting his girlfriend.
While he claimed that her death was an accident, the South African native received the highest possible bond by his home country.
Pistorius had to pay $1,000,000 in bail and he had to have an additional $1,000,000 to pay if necessary, and had to give up his guns and his passport.
Not only was he charged with her murder, but when the case went on to a higher South African court, they more than doubled his initial sentence.
In another case of an unbelievably low bond for a rich celebrity, Todd English posted just $1,500 to get out of jail following his 2014 arrest.
The celebrity chef, cookbook author, and frequent participant on “Iron Chef USA” was arrested at 3:30 am for DWI. The charge is only a misdemeanor, which explains the low fee for walking free.
While Pistorius might have had gone with the excuse that his girlfriend’s death was an accident because he mistook her for an intruder, this next celebrity had no such claim.
Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was indicted in 2012 for the murder of two men. If that wasn’t enough for him to get bail set, Hernandez was actually already in jail at the time for the murder of a third man.
The second NFL player on this list of famous people in jail is Michael Vick. Vick played for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons during his 13 seasons.
His lengthy career came to an end though in 2007 following his involvement in a dogfighting ring. After Vick pleads not guilty, he left jail without bond, but would later serve 18 months.
Another well-documented incident of famous people in prison was the back-to-back sentences served by husband and wife, Giuseppe and Teresa Giudice.
Famous for their stint on the popular reality show, “The Real Housewives,” the pair committed several frauds, including falsifying loan applications, bank fraud, and more.
Between the two of them, bond was set at more than $500,000. The pair later served sentences separately, allowing one parent to stay with their children while the other was behind bars.
Perhaps the best known of the celebrities in jail on this list is OJ Simpson.
The first time Simpson ended up in trouble for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, he was jailed without bond.
He would famously walk later that year, only to be arrested for robbery and kidnapping. This time, his bond was set to $250,000.
While it’s interesting to learn about successful celebrities falling from fame and landing in jail, there’s something that anyone, regardless of whether they are famous or not, can learn from them.
Whether their bail was small change or a hefty fee, most of the celebrities on this list enlisted the help of a bail bondsman.
If you’ve found yourself on the wrong side of the law or unjustly accused, a bail bondsman Bail Man Bail Bonds, 1-866 945 2245 can help get you out from behind bars to fight for your case. Click here to learn what you can expect when you work with a bondsman.