When you are arranged bail it can be a feeling of relief. That relief can quickly go away when you realize it is just not possible to pay the bail amount that was set. While judges follow a bail schedule to determine the prices, it does not mean that it can’t be negotiated.
The bail schedule is a system that looks at past crimes and bail amounts to determine future cases that are similar. Having said that with a separate hearing the schedule can be talked about.
Here is how it works.
Some don’t know that the Eighth Amendment protects against excessive bail being set. The reason for using a bail schedule is to prevent exactly just that. It also allows for suspects to have their lawyers or attorneys file a motion to have a separate hearing to lower the bail amount whether it is for excessive or affordability.
This is when three things are considered.
- Is the suspect a flight risk?
- What is the history of criminal charges?
- Are they a risk to others?
If the answers to these questions are no, minimal, and no, then there is a good chance you will get excessive bail reduced.
This is Not the Same for Guaranteed Bail
Just because you can fight for the bail amount to be lowered does not mean that everyone is guaranteed bail in the first place. Some suspects do not answer the above questions well and maybe a risk to others or a serious flight risk. If they also show that they have a history of repeated offenses, bail may not be set at all.
What’s a Stipulation?
Sometimes you can avoid motioning a hearing to reduce the amount of bail. In this case, you can use a stipulation to get the bail reduced. In this case, the judge will agree to the bond being reduced in the event that both the prosecution and the defense agree to it as well. This can be tricky.
Where these situations most occur is when there is a medical condition or being a parent to young children. In this situation, everyone may agree that it is best to reduce the bail.
Case by Case
While it is possible it is really important to remember that each case really is treated uniquely and that there is no guarantee that a bond can be reduced. If a bail is set, there is hope that the judge may not believe you pose a great risk. Having said that the bail is really only reduced in a number of situations.
If you feel like the excessive bail bond protection from the eighth Amendment has been violated based on a bail schedule, speak to an attorney right away. They can then start the process to move a separate hearing or in some cases use stipulations.
Stipulation is a little less common as there are usually underlying conditions or reasons for humanitarian purposes that bail would be lowered.