If you have been arrested and are facing criminal charges, you may be required to post bail to secure your immediate release as you await trial as scheduled by the court. Failure to raise the bail amount means you have to stay in jail until your scheduled hearing. However, the constitution sets limits on the amount of bail that can be imposed on a defendant. This means if you feel the court has demanded too much bail than allowed under the law, you have the right to contest by asking for a bail reduction. A bail reduction hearing allows the judge to schedule a hearing to determine whether you deserve a bail reduction.
There are situations when a defendant’s bail amount seems so high that the family cannot afford to pay the fees or premium on his behalf and the court may have to reduce the bail amount to enable the accused and his family to afford. Sometimes, the bail bondsman helps the defendant by providing valuable testimony during a bail reduction hearing to make a strong argument. To understand more about bail bonds view this site. In many states, several factors are considered before a judge sets bail, including the safety of the alleged victim and public, as well as the defendant’s flight risk. The bail is often set in an amount sufficient to enable the defendant to attend all court hearings. However, in the U.S., “excessive bail” is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. The bail bondsman can discuss their testimony with the defendant’s attorney prior to the hearing to determine whether a bail reduction is necessary to allow the defendant to afford the bail premium or fee.
Bail reduction hearings make defendants anxious because they do not know whether they will be able to afford the bail amount or bail fee once the bail is set. However, many become surprised when their bail is set in an amount so high that they are unable to afford the bail fee owed to the bondsman. Fortunately, defendants can seek a bail reduction, although the burden of proving their qualification for a reduction rests solely on the defendants.
The typical bail reduction process requires the initiation of a simple motion, which should state the charges, the bail amount, and a statement explaining the defendant’s inability to post bail. As a defendant, you may also include earlier findings of indigency. Following the filing of your bail reduction hearing, some jurisdictions may automatically set the motion whereas others may require the defendant to get a hearing by getting in touch with the court’s secretary or coordinator. However, the defendant should have the right type of evidence to present at the hearing to support his argument. While a bail reduction hearing may not be as formal as a typical jury trial, the same rules tend to apply, including rules of procedure, evidence, and etiquette. A defendant is allowed to present his evidence but it has to be in the right form and comply with the relevant rules of admission. The defendant should also remember that while this process may not be formal, it can have a significant effect/impact on the case.
A bail reduction hearing allows the defendant to file a motion to have his bail amount reduced if he feels it is set too high to afford. However, he should have a strategy to properly present the evidence to support his argument and follow the relevant rules of procedure.