What does the bail process involve in Louisiana?

In the state of Louisiana, defendants who are not released on their own recognizance will usually have to pay some amount in bail to be released from custody while awaiting trial. Following are some guidelines involving the bail process. Please note that if you are facing federal charges, the process will be different.

1) Bail is simply an amount of money that is deposited with the court to ensure that you show up for all court proceedings.

2) You may post your bail in cash with the court – and you will then be released from custody.

3) If the defendant does not have enough cash to post the entire bail, the court will accept a bail bond.

4) Bail is generally determined by a Bail Schedule in adult cases for matters that are not life felonies. In regards to life felonies, a bond hearing may have to be set by your attorney before the judge. If you have violated probation there is typically no bond set.

5) The State Attorneys Office may ask that your bond amount be increased at a magistrate hearing if the following factors are involved:

  • prior record
  • history of appearances on other matters
  • citizenship status
  • on parole or probation

6) Once bail has been set, you may either post bail or remain in custody. If charges are not filed within 33 days, the defendant may be able to be released on their own recognizance.

7) In court, the defendant may ask for a bail reduction, which may or may not be granted. This would be based on several factors such as your assets and your possible harm to society, as well as the guarantee of your appearance at future court dates.