Boston Bail Hearing Lawyers
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, and the crime is such that your actions place society in danger, you may have a hearing following your arraignment to see if you are eligible to be released on bail. Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited with the court to persuade it to release a defendant on the understanding that he or she will return for trial or forfeit the bail.
Why Do Courts Require Bail Money?
The purpose of bail is to ensure that the person charged appears in court for trial and other court appearances such as Pretrial Conferences and motion hearings. However, often times, financial difficulties make it difficult for certain defendants to obtain even a nominal amount for bail. Therefore, for minor crimes, and non-violent first offenders, exorbitant bail is generally not an issue. However, for more serious crimes, or if there is a concern that the defendant will not appear, the Commonwealth tends to request a higher bail.
How Do Courts Set Bail?
At a bail hearing, factors concerning the likelihood that the defendant will appear in court are considered. These include whether or not the defendant has missed court appearances in the past, the defendant’s ties to the community, or whether the defendant is a flight risk. For example, the court will consider how long the defendant has lived in the area, if they hold steady employment, or whether they are involved in any local organizations. The more connected the defendant, the less likely they are to skip out on court. Additionally, the court evaluates the level of danger associated with the defendant depending on the crime that he or she is being charged with and any other previous criminal behavior. The higher the danger to the community, the less likely he or she is to be released.
In Massachusetts, anyone charged with any offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death, certain drug offenses, repeat felony offenders, and anyone charged with a crime of violence may be subject to being held without bail. In addition, if the court finds that the defendant poses a flight risk, has the potential to tamper with witnesses, or obstruct justice in any way, their bail can be denied.
Types of Bonds/Bail
Recognizance: To be released upon a defendant’s word that they will not engage in illegal activity and will show up to all future hearings.
Surety Bond: To be released upon a third person’s agreement to provide the obligation for the defendant. This is normally done through a bail bondsman. A bondsman uses collateral to secure a 10% fee and the defendant’s appearance in court. The bondsman then provides the court with the defendant’s bail.
Property Bond: To be released by offering real property that holds a value equal to the amount required to post bail. If the defendant fails to appear, the state can levy the property.
Cash Bond: To be released by posting the total amount necessary in cash for the court to hold until the case concludes.
If you have recently been arrested and have a bail hearing in the near future, you will need a knowledgeable and aggressive attorney to fight for low bail and a quick release. The lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law can do just that. For a free consultation and realistic evaluation of your charge, call the lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law today at 617.807.0855.