Bethesda, MD asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Virginia

Q: Can money be recouped for wasted time spent in jail?

I was arrested for felony eluding police in southern Virginia and denied a bail bond, though I attempted to get one many times. I had a clean criminal record and was a VA resident. I ultimately ended up being held in custody for 8 months and 1 week before my jury trial. I was never offered a plea deal so I had no choice but to wait to go to trial. I ultimately was convicted by the jury but was only sentenced to a fine without any accompanying jail time or probation. Thus, none of the served jail time counted towards anything and was essentially a waste but I lost employment, income, my credit score was tanked, and my car was repossessed while I was in custody. Is there any legal action that can be taken to recoup my losses? Clearly, the jury didn't believe I was a threat to society and the judge's refusal to issue a bail bond was unnecessarily punitive. To make matters worse, the jail charged $3/day, which doesn't seem fair for me to have to pay since I didn't get jail time anyway!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Daniel P Leavitt
Daniel P Leavitt
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Midlothian, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: A judge has authority to hold you in jail pending trial and to deny bond if he/she thinks you are a threat to society or a flight risk... Danger to community and flight risk govern whether a judge will grant or deny bond pending trial. Usually there are multiple judges involved on bond hearings because you can appeal a denial of bond. I am not aware of any recourse you have.

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