My husband was arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs. At first, I had the duty lawyer visit him. My husband is still in custody, and I hope to have him released on parole. But when I consulted a lawyer, I was told it would cost around 2 million yen. What should I do?
When an accused person under indictment (kiso / 起訴) by a public prosecutor (kensatsukan / 検察官) and in custody (kōryū / 勾留) is released on condition of payment of a bond, maintaining the efficacy of custody while having the enforcement of detention suspended, this is known as hoshaku (保釈), or bail.
Release on bail can be applied for when the suspect (higisha / 被疑者) in a criminal case (keiji-jiken / 刑事事件) has been arrested, sent to the prosecutor, indicted and is being held in custody awaiting trial (saiban / 裁判). There is no system for applying for bail before the suspect has been indicted.
Persons able to apply for bail are the accused individual themselves or their lawyer (bengoshi / 弁護士), a legal representative (hōteidairinin / 法定代理人), a curator (hosanin / 保佐人), a spouse (haigūsha / 配偶者), or a direct blood relative or sibling of the accused.
Hoshaku requires payment of a bond (hoshōkin / 保証金). The amount of the bond is determined by the court after consideration of such factors as the seriousness of the crime, the financial situation of the accused, and the living conditions of the accused. In many cases, the amount of the bond is between 1.5 million and 3 million yen. If bail is not revoked and the bond forfeited, the bond will be returned to the payer upon completion of court proceedings, regardless of whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent.
If you are unable to gather sufficient funds for the bond yourself, you might consider consulting the Japan Bail Support Association (Nihon Hoshaku Shien Kyōkai / 日本保釈支援協会), an organization which makes temporary payment on behalf of those seeking bail. It's a good idea to discuss bail with the lawyer who will represent the defendant in court.
General Incorporated Association Japan Bail Support Association
Website: https://www.hosyaku.gr.jp/ (Japanese)
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