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February 2018

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  What Is a Bail Hearing?

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PostSubject: What Is a Bail Hearing?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:49 pm

A judge must be willing to believe that the defendant will not harm the community or commit crimes while on bail, will not run away, and will not interfere with legal proceedings, such as by intimidating witnesses. If a defendant fails to convince a judge on any of these key issues, bail may be denied and the defendant held until the trial begins. Factors that may affect a judge's decision on qualifications during a bail hearing may include the defendant's prior criminal history, the nature of the crime, behavior while in custody, and the presence or absence of violence in the alleged crime. Certain crimes may allow a judge to deny bail outright, but these regulations vary heavily based on jurisdiction.

The second function of a bail hearing is to allow the judge to set the terms of the bail, if the defendant successfully qualifies for relief. If the judge has no doubts that the witness will return for the trial or act legally in the meantime, and the offense is minor, he or she may be released with a simple promise to return and abide by laws. With minor children or incapacitated adults, the court may make a third party, such as a guardian, responsible for returning the defendant to the trial. Other conditions for release might include protective orders to stay away from witnesses or crime victims, a promise to avoid alcohol or drugs, and an agreement to attend parole meetings or counseling sessions.




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