At Holmes, Moore, Waldron, & Parrish P.L.L.C., we frequently are called upon to represent clients at bail and bond hearings in order to obtain a bail bond at a favorable economic rate for our client.
The purpose of setting bail or bonds is to reassure the court (state or federal) that a defendant in a given criminal trial will appear before the court at a future date.
The process may vary from county to county and can depend on where the defendant is being held. Bail is to be set high enough to reasonably assure that a defendant will appear at trial, but should not be so excessive as to serve as an instrument of oppression.
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 defendant's 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.