A judge has the right to set bail at any amount after considering several factors, including the seriousness of the crime. However, the judge is legally restricted from setting the amount at a ridiculous level. If the bail set is too high, the defendant can request a reduction hearing. If your relative is planning to ask for a reduction, here is what you need to know.
Why Request a Reduction Hearing?
The most obvious reason to request a bail reduction hearing is because it could potentially result in the bail being lowered by the judge. A lower bail gives you a better chance of coming up with the money needed to get out of jail.
There are other important reasons that you should want a bail reduction hearing. While you are confined to jail, your involvement in building a defense is greatly limited. Although your attorney has the responsibility of creating a defense, being able to physically review evidence and discuss the case in person can be helpful to your case.
Asking for reduced bail also gives your family a chance to get involved in your case. Family members can help by testifying and collecting evidence that you deserve a lower bail.
What Are the Possible Outcomes of the Hearing?
Ideally, the judge will agree to lower the original bail amount to a more reasonable amount. Depending on how well your argument was presented, the seriousness of the crime, and your background, you might even be allowed to get out of jail on your own recognizance.
There is a possible negative outcome that could result from the hearing. If the prosecutor was not satisfied with the original amount of bail, he or she can request that the court raise the bail. If the judge agrees with the prosecutor's argument, you could face an even higher bail amount.
How Can You Prepare?
During the reduction hearing, you need to convince the judge that you are not a flight risk and that you are not a danger to the community. If you have a criminal record, you need to stress to the judge that you made all court appearances and completed the conditions of any punishments you received.
To prove your case, you and your family need to collect items such as an employment verification letter and reference letters from family, friends, and any well-regarded community members you know.
To learn more about getting a bail reduction, consult with an attorney and a bail bonds professional.