Seeking Bail When Arrested – Not Always A Sure Thing
Every person facing criminal prosecution has one guaranteed right granted to them: they are innocent until proven guilty. Just because you were taken to jail and booked on charges doesn’t mean you’re guilty yet. You’re entitled to have your day in court, which is why judges often allow the accused a chance to post bail. Bail is a refundable cash amount set by the judge to encourage them to return for their court date. If they don’t, then they forfeit the money, which is often many thousands of dollars.
The big question is, can you have your bail denied? If so, what are the main reasons why a judge would deny your bail? If you’re innocent until proven guilty, wouldn’t a judge’s decision to force you to stay in jail go against your rights as a citizen? This isn’t always a straightforward answer, but yes, a judge can deny a person bail for some very good reasons. There’s a bit of a balance the court needs to settle on by grating a presumption of innocence and protecting innocent people.
Exceptions To The Rule
If someone has been denied bond, there are usually good reasons for that. The judge might find the accused is a threat to society in some way. Many prosecutors will say that the defendant should be denied bail on what’s called a “public safety exemption” and/or “protective detention.” While one has the right to the presumption of evidence, there was a new law enacted in 1984 called the Bail Reform Act. If someone is found to be extremely dangerous and a hazard to the general public, they can lawfully be denied bail and must sit in jail and wait until their court date.
These exceptions include violent crimes, a crime that might end in a life sentence or even the death penalty, major drug crimes, if the person has been previously convicted of two or more felonies, crimes and convicted felonies that involve minors, crimes that involve weapons, and even failing to register themselves as a sex offender as per a previous ruling against them. Any one of these classifications makes one eligible to be denied bail by a judge. However, that rejection is not always certain. Even bail bonds for murder are available if the incarcerated meets the requirements.
Considerations of the Judge
Even though a defendant might be eligible to be denied bail, it’s still a matter of consideration for the court. There are other conditions the judge must make before invoking the Bail Reform Act. For example, what is the nature of the crime itself? How serious is the danger the defendant poses to the general public? Are they like to harm someone if they are granted bail? What is their criminal history? Do they have mental health concerns?
Another main consideration a judge has is whether the defendant is a repeat offender. If they were given a chance before, grated bail, served their time, then went out and committed the same crime, the judge might opt for a stricter leash this time around. They obviously didn’t learn their lesson, which heightens the risk of safety to the public. Being a repeated felon often doesn’t inspire a judge to consider leniency.
One final consideration for the judge is whether they think the defendant is a flight risk. They might get someone else, like a bail bondsman, to put up the money for their bail, only for them to use the opportunity to flee town and hide. There are many reasons why a judge might suspect someone is a flight risk, such as a previous history of missing important court dates or even if a source comes forward claiming they don’t believe the defendant won’t appear. Such an ongoing record will be heavily weighed when determining whether bail should be denied.
What Can You Do If You’re Denied Bail?
If someone is denied bail, then there must be certain circumstances that lead the judge to believe the person should not be walking around free. They are considered a risk to cause violence or to flee prosecution. It’s not a decision the judge takes lightly and they must write a denial order with the reasons why they’ve come to that conclusion.
If you’ve been denied bail for any reason, you have the opportunity to appeal the judge’s decision at a higher court. The odds aren’t really in your favor to win the appeal, but it’s entirely possible and might be worth a try. If your bail has been approved, give us a call to secure your bail at the lowest rates allowed by the state of Connecticut.
Connecticut Bail Bonds Group
11 Asylum St, Suite 512
Hartford, CT 06103, USA