Bond Reduction – Lowering Bond
What should you do if bail is too high in Dallas, Fort Worth, or Denton?
If a defendant’s bail is too excessive, then the defendant has two different options–either a Motion for Reduction of Bail or an Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus. They are essentially the same thing, but there are a few key differences. Both will help you get your bond amount to a lower amount. Talk to your attorney to figure out which one would be most effective for your loved one in your specific case.
Why do the judges set bail so high in Texas?
A judge enjoys wide discretion in setting the bail amount. When deciding what bond amount to give a criminal defendant, the judge typically only sees the evidence the prosecutor presents—usually the police officers version of events and the charge. If the police officers facts are damaging and the person is charged with a serious crime, the judge will typically place a high bond amount with little regard for much else.
What are the benefits of lowering a bond in Texas?
First, if the motion is granted and the bail amount is reduced, it may now be affordable for the defendant to bond out of jail and gain his freedom. Next, it will usually force a hearing where the defense attorney can learn what information or potential evidence the prosecutor possesses.
What happens at a bail reduction hearing in Texas?
Typically in the hearing the prosecution will present information as to why the bond is set so high. Usually the prosecution wants to put out as little information as possible, so that the defense team will not know what cards the prosecution is holding.
The criminal defense attorney will typically present evidence showing the defendant’s financial situation, ties to the community and lack of risk to the community.
What can go wrong at a bail reduction hearing in Texas?
Sometimes, in an effort to get a defendant out of jail quickly, the defense will introduce evidence that the prosecutor can use against them later in the case.
It is important than when arguing for a bond reduction, your attorney act strategically and only present evidence that can help and not hurt the defendant.
What is the actual law regarding setting of bail in Texas?
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 17.15 explains the setting of bail and it is re-printed here:
“The amount of bail to be required in any case is to be regulated by the court, judge, magistrate or officer taking the bail; they are to be governed in the exercise of this discretion by the Constitution and by the following rules:
1. The bail shall be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking will be complied with.
2. The power to require bail is not to be so used as to make it an instrument of oppression.
3. The nature of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed are to be considered.
4. The ability to make bail is to be regarded, and proof may be taken upon this point.
5. The future safety of a victim of the alleged offense and the community shall be considered.”
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