Getting Charged with unlawful possession of Marijuana more than 2.5g and less than 10g. My bond was $20,000. Currently the laws in Illinois is changing and just has to be signed by the governor.
First, criminal charges are always under the law in affect at the time the crime occurred. Therefore, the new law likely will not relate to your situation.
Secondly, the amount of Bond is case specific and up to the discretion of the court. There are many factors involved, including, but not limited to, things like length of residence where the crime is charged, employment, past history with the legal system including any priors for failure to appear or the issuance of warrants, severity of the crime, age of the defendant and more. You can see it is dependent on a lot of issue and there is no one, consistent thing that matters.
Typically, there are 2 factors that influence the amount of bond set by a judge: #1. The seriousness of the crime, and #2 the past criminal conduct of the accused, which include not only past convictions, but bond forfeitures as well. How much weight each individual judge allots to these 2 factors, is up to that particular judge. There is no set low as to how much, or how little bond should be set for any one person charged with any one crime. It's all arbitrary.
Conceivably, a person charged with a serious crime, but with no background, could get a lower bond than someone charged with a not-so-serious crime, if that person has either a bad sheet, or numerous bond forfeitures. That may be the reason your bond was so high for what is designated a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois. You also may have had the misfortune of appearing before a judge who sets high bonds. And, I guess I should include that as a third factor as well, i.e., the particular tendencies of the judge setting bond.
You are correct that the General Assembly recently sent a bill lowering penalties to the Governor's desk, but that has yet to be signed by Governor Rauner. Until that happens, your stuck with the current law, and he has indicated that he is in no rush to sign it.
Best to get a lawyer to sort through this.
The 20,000 warrant was what was assigned at the time the warrant was issued. It is a 10% bond. However, in Lake County it is a customary amount on an initial warrant. If you were to hire counsel and go to the Lake Co Jail and surrender on the warrant you would be taken to the bond court where the amount can be reviewed immediately. Unless you are currently on an open sentence (probation, conditional discharge, or supervision) for a different misdemeanor or felony or have a significant prior history the Judge typically converts the bond to a signature bond where you sign your name and promise to come back to court.
As to the change in the law, unless the new law is specifically written to include then pending charges it will only affect charges once it is enacted.
This comment is being left for informational purposes only and based solely on the information provided in the question. This comment does NOT create an attorney - client relationship. An attorney should be contact directly and given the full details of the specific circumstances in order to be best able to assist in the issues at hand.
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