Bail and Bond Hearing Attorney, Hernando County, Florida
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that bail not be excessive. In plain English, this means that bail should not be used to raise money for the government or to punish a person for being suspected of committing a crime. The purpose of bail is to give an arrested person her freedom until she is convicted of a crime, and the amount of bail must be no more than is reasonably necessary to keep her from fleeing before a case is over. Pretrial release may be by way of a simple promise to appear, also known as being released O.R. – on one’s “own recognizance.” However, for more serious misdemeanors or felonies, or where the person accused of a crime has a prior record, posting bail may be required to secure release.
At Morris Law Group, we frequently are called upon to represent clients at bail and bond hearings in order to obtain a bail bond at a fair and favorable economic rate for our client.
After a defendant has been arrested, a bond will be set. A reduction of bond can be requested, and a hearing may be required. At the hearing, a judge will consider the details such as the seriousness of the charges, the defendants work record, local family and community ties, length of residency, and prior criminal history. The court will also consider if the defendant has fulfilled the terms of any prior bonds that were set, if any bonds are outstanding, and the circumstances and nature of the crime. If the judge determines that the defendant poses a flight risk, the defendant is remanded and no bail is set. This means that the defendant will remain incarcerated until a trial is set.
At the federal level, a defendant will undergo a process called a “detention hearing,” where facts will be presented regarding the defendant and a decision will be handed down on whether or not a defendant will be released from custody before trial. It is necessary to obtain legal representation before the hearing, as a defendant will appear before a federal magistrate judge who will hear evidence presented by the U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Pre-Trial Services along with evidence presented by defense counsel. This hearing can be beneficial in obtaining valuable information or testimony.
Retaining the services of a lawyer before the hearing is highly recommended in order to secure the release of the defendant. Obtaining release from custody can give the favorable impression that the defendant is reliable and trustworthy and possibly gain an advantage at trial.
A defendant with a prior criminal history is very likely to have a higher bail amount than someone with no prior criminal history. Serious felony charges such as murder, kidnapping, arson and high-level drug charges can mean that if a defendant is convicted, they could face several years to life in prison. An effort to secure the services of a lawyer before the hearing also conveys the impression that the defendant has a vested interest in fighting the charges.
Bail is a complex issue, and there are many special rules that apply to certain types of cases. If someone you care about has been arrested or accused of a crime and you have questions or concerns about release from jail, please contact the lawyers at Morris Law Group today.