When someone is formally charged with a crime, the court may set a financial bond, known as bail, as a condition of release. While bail serves the purpose of ensuring the defendant’s appearance in court, excessively high bail amounts can create significant challenges.
The burden of high bail
When bail amounts are set unreasonably high, it burdens the defendant and their family significantly. They may lack the financial means to pay the bail, resulting in prolonged pretrial detention. This situation not only disrupts their lives but also hampers their ability to prepare for their defense adequately. At such times, reducing bail bonds can be a choice for them.
The benefits of reduced bail
Even if you have already received official charges, reducing bail bonds can still have an impact on your case. Here is how:
- Presumption of innocence: Our legal system builds on the principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty. Exorbitant bail amounts can undermine this presumption by keeping people behind bars before they have had their day in court.
- Equal access to justice: Lower bail allows defendants, regardless of their financial status, to secure their release and actively take part in their defense. This ensures a fair and level playing field for all.
- Family and employment stability: Reduced bail means individuals can return to their families and jobs while awaiting trial.
If you or a loved one find yourself facing high bail, depending on the charges, you may be able to have it reduced.
Steps to reduce bail
The first and most crucial step to have your bail reduced is to consult with an attorney. You first need to assess your case to argue for a reasonable bail amount. An attorney can help you with that. They can file a formal motion to request a bail reduction hearing. During this hearing, they will present arguments to the court, emphasizing why a lower bail amount is fair and just in your case.
Showing strong ties to the community, such as family, employment and community involvement, can also work in your favor. It helps establish that you are not a flight risk and are committed to staying in the area to face the charges.
If possible, prove your financial resources and ability to pay a reasonable bail amount. This may involve supplying evidence of stable income, assets or support from family members.
Facing criminal charges is challenging, and for many, being out on bail can supply some form of relief, even if temporary, while their trial is ongoing. A reduced bail bond can be a huge lift.