Q. Where do I find a bail bondsperson?
A. These people don't work for the court system. Many courts have a list of names available for the public. You may also look in the Yellow Pages.
Q. How do I post bail and when do I get it back?
A. The Court Clerk will tell you the type and amount of bail to be posted and how to do it. Bail is a way to be sure you show up in court. Bail can't be returned until the case is finished or bail is lowered or you are released in your own recognizance or returned to jail. There is a surcharge on cash bail (3% of the amount) which is not returned if there is a conviction.
Q. I have a warrant outstanding. If I come to court, will the judge put me in jail?
A. A warrant will not stop until the person makes a personal appearance in court. It's up to the judge about jail.
Q. I've been arrested. What will happen to me in court?
A. It is important to appear on the date you have been given. On the first court date, the judge will explain the charges and you will be given a copy of them. If you do not have a lawyer, the judge will decide if you can have a lawyer free of charge. The issue of bail will be discussed.
Q. I was a crime victim. Do I need a lawyer to prosecute the accused?
A. The district attorney's office or other local prosecuting agency represents "the people" in all criminal cases.
Q. There has been an indictment in my case. What happens next?
A. There will be a date scheduled for an "arraignment" of the indictment. At the arraignment, a plea will usually be entered and the issues of bail and your right to a lawyer will be discussed.
Q. The Court imposed a fine and a surcharge in my case. What do I do?
A. Talk to the Court Clerk about how to make payment with the court-ordered collection agency.
Q. How do I appeal?
A. A Notice of Appeal must be filed. Talk to the Court Clerk about time limits and who must get the notice.
Q. What is a Certificate of Relief From Disabilities and how do I get one?
A. An "Eligible Offender" may get this certificate so they don't have certain restrictions because he or she was convicted of a crime. (Examples of these restrictions may include giving up property or not being able to have certain jobs.) An application for this certificate is available from the Clerk's Office.
Figeroux & Associates
26 Court Street, Suite 701
Brooklyn, NY 11242