Once a person is arrested, they may be held under police custody for a certain time period. This depends on the circumstances of their arrest and crime, as well as the judge's opinion on certain factors pertaining to the situation. Many times, at a defendant's arraignment, the judge may choose to set an amount for bail for the defendant. Bail is a monetary amount paid to the state for a defendant's release from custody. Bail amounts depend on a number of factors, however, bail can be set very high for crimes that a judge believes has caused a great deal of harm to the community. High bail amounts, however, can reduce a defendant's access to their attorney and other resources, as they will be kept in jail. When a person wishes to negotiate bail for a crime in Bucks County, they may do so at the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
Reducing Bail in Bucks County
If a defendant wishes to reduce their bail amount, they must file a motion with the court. Higher bail can mean staying in jail, or having to take out greater expenses or debt in order to be released. When considering whether or not to reduce bail, the court will consider the following:
- The overall "flight risk" of a defendant
- Any potential threat a defendant can pose to the community
- The charges against the defendant
These are also factors that play a role in setting the initial bail amount, as well.
Hearings for Reducing Bail in Bucks County
Defendants have the ability to motion with the court to reduce their bail. Successful filings may result in a court hearing, however, to defend their motion. These hearings will likely be attended by judge and prosecutor. A defendant will need to defend themselves against the prosecutor's claims against their request to reduce bail. The judge will consider evidence from both sides before making a final decision on whether or not bail will be reduced.
While a defendant is allowed to file motions without an attorney or can make use of the services of a public defender, these motions are still likely to be argued in court in order to be successful. While a public defender is capable of making an argument, a private attorney will have much more time and experience to dedicate to a person's case. In addition, a dedicated attorney involved at a stage as early as bail and arraignment hearings can be much more effective, as early involvement allows an attorney gain more perspective.