How is bail determined?

What is bail and how is it determined?

Money given to court to hold until resolution of the case is called bail. A dismissed case; a plea agreement entered; or a trial with a verdict is a resolved case. The purpose of bail is to ensure that the person returns to court when needed. The Commonwealth often does not request low level offense bail. But if it is requested, your attorney gets to argue that there shouldn't be any bail or less bail than the district attorney is asking. Judges examine a number of factors to determine what the right amount of bail is.

What factors do judges consider when determining bail?

Judges will consider:

  • Family ties
  • Facts and circumstances of the case
  • The potential penalties
  • Financial resources
  • Length of residence in the community
  • Character and mental condition
  • Record of convictions
  • Appearances at court proceedings
  • Any flight to avoid prosecution
  • Any failure to appear at any court proceedings

Can I be put in jail before my trial?

Yes, but it depends. Pretrial detentions without bail is appropriate when a judge concludes that it is necessary to assure the defendant’s appearance. He or she must also consider the length of the defendant’s pretrial detention and the equities of the case, including the extent of the prosecution’s responsibility for the delay, and the strength of the Commonwealth’s case.

Can I ask the court to reconsider my bail?

Yes, in Massachusetts, new evidence or a change in circumstances can be a reason to re-request a hearing. Moreover, there is a review process in the superior court to petition for a lower amount.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.

CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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