A bail hearing is a court hearing in which a judge hears motions and makes a decision regarding a defendant’s bail. There are two possible outcomes: that the defendant is granted bail, or is denied bail. If bail is granted, the defendant can make a motion to request the lowering of the bail amount in a bail reduction hearing or to make changes or adjustments regarding any conditions that may attach to the bail.
A bail hearing can take place as part of arraignment proceedings in which the formal charges are presented, or the bail hearing can be conducted independently. Typically, a bail hearing is required to be conducted soon after an arrest is made after the defendant has been placed in jail. The timeframe varies, but bail hearings are usually mandated to be scheduled from 48 to 72 hours after an arrest has been made. This is to insure against the possibility of unjustified imprisonment or prolonged pretrial detention, especially when a defendant has a reasonable right to be released on bail based on the crime with which he is being charged.
While there is a constitution prohibition against excessive bail, it often happens that a judge may set a higher than average amount of bail if he deems it necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance during the trial. Otherwise, a defendant can simply skip bail and, if caught, simply pay the bail amount without a second thought. The bail amount, therefore, has to be substantial enough to ensure the defendant’s continued appearance in court.
And yet the prohibition against excessive bail is based on the principle that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and should not unjustifiably suffer pretrial detention before the charges against him are proven. In other words, the bail amount should not be so excessive as to be impossible for the defendant to afford.
The line between what is excessive and not excessive bail is debatable, though it often depends on a judge’s discretion. Should the amount be too high for the defendant to afford, however, he can seek the help of a bail bonds bakersfield company.
The services of a bail bondsman are comprised of an agreement with the defendant. In exchange for the payment of a non-refundable fee, which is usually set at ten percent of the total bail amount, the bail bondsman will then act as surety for the defendant and post a surety bond to secure the defendant’s release on bail. Many defendants who cannot afford a cash bond will at least be able to afford the ten percent bail bondsman fee, thereby allowing him to exercise his right to bail even though, in his perspective, the bail amount is excessive.