Over the years the issue of newly charged defendants looking to get out
on bail has gone up and down…..mostly “down” for Defendants.For
a significant period of time my firm has witnessed a major turn in events
where many Defendants have been given excessive bail or no bail at all.
They don’t get out.
A strict bail analysis in court by a Judge consists of a determination
of the Defendant’s probability of showing up for court, safety of
the community, nature of the crime alleged and other impacts.
A major bail review rule that Judges must follow and inures to the State’s
benefit is that the Judge
must accepts the facts as alleged by the state….that puts most Defendants in a situation where the Court hears
nothing but what the police or state alleges at that stage of the game.
Some good Defense attorneys take the opportunity to sometimes get into
the facts, but few and far between. Thats because many times the Court
does not want to take unproven facts “on behalf of the Defendant”
into consideration. This needs to change. A stronger new evidentiary component
in “bail reviews” needs to be implemented. Limited, but enough
to at least level the playing field. In the long run it will save time
because many Defendants will be released.
I’ve noticed even for simple domestic violence (DV) cases and accusations
where Defendants have a relatively good (no criminal history) background,
Commissioners and Judges are locking the door.The legislature needs to
get this bill fixed and fast. Court are guided by the legislature…they
make the laws. It’s about time everyone in Annapolis makes THIS
ISSUE PERFECTLY CLEAR!
James E. Crawford Jr.