When a person is arrested and placed in the county jail for their arrest, the court will commonly set a price for bail. Bail is money paid to the state in order for a defendant's release from jail. Bail is typically dependent on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, and the court does not always grant bail for serious crimes or violent crimes. If bail is granted for a serious or a violent crime, it will likely be at an incredibly high amount, as to reduce the likelihood of letting an alleged violent offender out into the public. However, bail is not always affixed at the initial amount that it was set. In Lancaster County, when a person wishes to reduce the amount of bail, they may file a motion with the Bail Administration Office at the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.
Motions to Reduce Bail in Lancaster County
Bail is often very expensive and may necessitate debt, or taking out bail bonds. Bail is likely to be even higher for When a person wishes to reduce their bail, they can file a motion to do so with the court. When determining whether or not to reduce bail, the court will consider the following:
- The offense that the defendant is charged with
- The severity and impact of the alleged offender's actions
- The likelihood of the defendant fleeing prior to their hearings
Motions to reduce bail are ultimately decided upon by either the judge who set the bail, another judge within Lancaster County's jurisdiction, or a judge from a higher court.
Hearings to Reduce Bail in Lancaster County
After the motion to reduce bail is filed, the court will schedule a hearing for a modification to bail orders. At this hearing, the defendant will be present to allow for arguments in support of their case. The prosecution may be present as well to argue against them, in the interest of the state. The hearing will likely be decided by the same judge that set the bail, however, another judge from the court may be able to rule instead. The judge must be convinced by the defendant, or the defending counsel that the defendant is not a risk to flee upon release of bail and that their alleged actions do not warrant such a high bail amount.
When trying to negotiate better bail terms, it can be difficult for a defendant to argue their case while imprisoned. An attorney involved this early on the case can not only help with a reduced bail motion but can also move onward to help with the defensive case at large. Building a defense early on can tremendously improve a defendant's chances at a positive outcome.