Interviewer: What about the bail and a bonding situation, are these not bondable offenses?
Tom Chaves: Bail and bonding is a separate whole category and it really doesn’t depend on necessarily the type of offense in terms of how bail is set. Obviously, for the most serious charges under the Supreme Court guidelines, there are ranges of bail which are available with different grading from first to fourth degree of offenses based on the offense. So, there’s a range of bail that can be given for different types of offenses. So, you can’t really say that you know for a fact that a bail will be set at a certain amount for a particular offense, there’s a range of bail that is strongly recommended pursuant to these guidelines but a judge has a discretion to go below or above those guidelines. So, you know, it really depends.
The Current Bail System Is Intended to Guarantee that the Defendant Will Show up for Trial
The current bail system is intended to give some type of guarantee that the defendant will show up for trial. If the person is deemed not a flight risk, then a substantially lower bail would generally be set as opposed to someone who would be deemed as a higher flight risk. Now, with respect to the determination of what is a flight risk, the nature of the charge against the person, the degree of the charge has to be considered so that is typically why when someone has the most serious charges that they will have very high bails because there’s a concern that given the exposures the person has that they have a strong incentive to become a fugitive.
Non-Bailable Sex Offenses in the State of New Jersey
Interviewer: Are there any sex crimes where they just don’t give bail?
Tom Chaves: Everyone in the state of New Jersey is entitled to bail. However, that doesn’t mean that there are not individuals who are held with no bail given certain circumstances, but that is not what the law generally requires or seeks. In general, the people who are held without bail are either people that are deemed to be an active danger to the community for a very serious type offense or people that had been fugitives, they’re arrested on bench warrants, those people often are held without bail because they’ve already been a fugitive and it’s determined that they will continue to be a fugitive if they’re released together, they’ll once again not report to court, but the instances where people are held without bail are very limited.
Repeat Sexual Offenders Are Fairly Common in New Jersey
Interviewer: When you handle sex crimes, do you ever get repeat offenders or pretty much just like a first time offender?
Tom Chaves: I have represented people that are both first time offenders plus repeat offenders. Once you get into certain areas, it’s very common to have repeat offenders. For example, someone who is charged with possession of child pornography, it really is a mental disorder which causes the persons to have interest in the child pornography to begin with and often there is addiction to it so that even if somebody has a prior conviction for possessing the child pornography, it’s not very difficult at this time to find child pornography on the internet.
Serial Rapists with Sociopathic Tendencies Are Quite Rare in New Jersey
Interviewer: For other sex crimes, do you normally see repeat offenders?
Tom Chaves: Generally, you don’t see repeat offenders. I mean in general terms I think there are not many, as a percent, of the cases involving serial rapists. Obviously, there are individuals that tend to be sociopaths who go out and they will rape a whole different group of people.