A criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids can explain the constitutional rules regarding bail and the amount that a court can order on a particular defendant. Additionally, he or she can discuss arguments that support a defendant’s request for a reduction in bail.
Goals of Bail
Your criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids may begin the discussion on bail reduction hearings by discussing the overriding goals of bail. The major purpose is to ensure that a criminal defendant who is released will show up for his or her trial. The court bases the amount of bail on the severity of the crime, whether the defendant poses a flight risk and whether he or she poses a risk to the community.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits a court from imposing excessive bail. However, this term is not defined. Courts have interpreted it as not allowing a court to require such an amount that a defendant has no choice but to remain in jail. However, the courts have also interpreted this rule to not guarantee every defendant a right to bail. The Supreme Court has held that a judge must have a compelling governmental interest in order to refuse to set bail.
Request for Bail Reduction
A Grand Rapids criminal attorney may represent a client who wishes to request a reduction in the amount of bail that was set in his or her case. A defendant has a right to request a hearing on this matter. At the hearing, a Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney may argue that the bail that was initially established is so high that it basically serves as a refusal to set bail. Additionally, he or she may argue that the defendant is not a flight risk or risk to the community. In response, the court may lower the amount or it can keep the original amount. The court is not required to set bail at an amount that is easy for the defendant to pay. The court must provide a reason why the amount it has set is an indispensable condition of release from jail.
Legal Assistance from a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Grand Rapids
For more information on bail reduction requests, contact a criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids at Miel & Carr PLC by calling (616) 773-2945.