Can a Judge Deny Bail for a Defendant?
Bail may be automatically denied for several penal code violations, including murder and a prior escape from jail or prison. However, bail may also be denied for a host of other reasons. When a person is arrested and taken to jail and booked, the person will have to stay in jail while he or she awaits his or her trial. If a judge reviews the case and decides that there is a reasonable chance that the defendant will return to court to stand trial for a crime and also believes that upon release, the individual will not pose a threat to society, then the judge will set a bail for the individual.
When a judge goes about setting bail for a person, the first thing he or she will look at is the nature of the crime. The crime will have an assumptive bail rate associated with it. For penal code violation 187 (California for example), which is murder, there is no bail, unless there are special circumstances. The special circumstances might warrant a bail rate that begins at $1 million.
For penal code violations 4532a and b (California for example), which are escape and attempted escape from prison with or without force or violence, there is not bail allowed. However, if an inmate violates penal codes 4532a or b (California for example), which is escape or attempted escape by a misdemeanant, inebriate, or person on work furlough from a jail or an industrial farm, the person will not receive bail if he or she had been convicted. However, if the person had not been convicted, he or she may receive a bail of $100,000, in addition to the bail amount that was posted on the original charge.
The judge might also deny bail for a number of other reasons. For example, if you have already stated to an arresting office or a representative of the pretrial release program that you do not intend to return to court to stand trial for your accused crime, then the judge may not grant your bail. Also, if your crime is so offensive that you could be a threat to civilians if you were released, the judge might also deny your bail, even if there is an assumptive bail amount associated with your offence. Such is the case when a defendant could possibly pose a threat to his victim.
What Happens at a Bond Hearing?
A bond hearing is scheduled within a certain number of days of a defendant’s arrest. In Florida, for example, a defendant is entitled to a bond hearing within 24 hours of arrest, so bond hearings are held twice daily. Remote bond hearings are held by some judges. The defendant will appear in court, but the judge will be seen via video and/or voice technology. The courtroom where the defendants are awaiting their bond hearing is visible to the judge.
Bond is usually set once the arrest is processed, but some people may have to wait for a bond hearing. If the defendant is accused of a crime for which no bond will be set, he will appear before a criminal court to determine a) whether a bond will be set and, if so, what the bond may be. A court may deny bond if it believes, among other things, that the defendant will cause harm to himself or others or is a flight risk.
All defendants who have been arrested but have yet to have their bond hearing are brought to court. When their names are called, they either proceed to the podium or, if the proceedings are being videotaped, proceed to a specific point in the courtroom. The charges will be read aloud by the judge, and a bond will be set. People accused of heinous crimes are frequently denied bond.
Occasionally, the defendant may be granted bond, but the court requires additional information during the bond hearing. If the court suspects that the bond money was obtained through criminal activity, the court may either deny bond or require the defendant to show proof that the bond money was not obtained through criminal activity. The court is going to request documentation to show where the accused spent the money acquired from the hedge funds in one well-known case where the defendant allegedly siphoned money from hedge funds. If the defendant is unable to produce this data by the bond hearing, the court may deny bond in order to prevent the defendant from spending the money on his bond.
If the court believes the defendant is a flight risk, bond will be denied. This could happen if the defendant attempted to flee the country after committing the crime. It could also happen if a large sum of money was obtained during the course of the crime. The judge may deny bail at the bond hearing on the grounds that the defendant will use the money to flee the country to avoid prosecution.