If bail is going to be set, a court considers how serious the alleged offense is, whether or not the defendant is a flight risk, and whether or not the defendant could be a danger to the public if out of custody. If a defendant is unable to make bail because it was set excessively high, then they might have a constitutionally-backed reason to seek a lowered bail. The Eighth Amendment specifically says a court cannot set "excessive bail". There is no specific definition for "excessive", however. The Supreme Court has said this means bail cannot be set too high to purposefully keep a defendant behind bars. This does not mean, however, that a defendant has to have bail at all. Courts can still deny a defendant bail, if there is good reason to do so.
Do you think bail has been set too high? If you cannot make bail, you have the legal right to ask for your bail to be reduced. If granted a hearing, a defendant can show a court that because of how high bail was set, it is basically the same thing as denying bail altogether, despite the fact that the defendant poses neither a flight risk nor a safety risk to the community. Now, the right to ask for lower bail does not mean that bail has to be made affordable, or even lowered at all. The court can use its discretion in reducing bail or not, and by how much.
It should be noted, that just as you have the right to ask for reduced bail, a prosecutor is also able to ask for increased bail. The prosecution might argue that you indeed pose a risk, or they could ask for a hearing to investigate how bail was paid. This could be in cases where a prosecutor thinks that bail was created from illegal funds, such as from trafficking controlled substances.
Now a court's decisions concerning bail will depend on much more than whether it is affordable or not; no matter of criminal defense is a simple matter, unfortunately. This is one of many issues in your case where you should consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, a legal advocate who can tenaciously fight for your full rights. Find the rigorous defense you deserve when you contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson. Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer is a former prosecutor; he is thoroughly versed in criminal law from both sides of the bench. Find out we can mount a successful defense on your behalf when you contact us; you can
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