Requesting a Reduction in Bail

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Requesting Reduced Bail

The 8th amendment to the US constitution states in just a few succinct words that “excessive bail shall not be required…” This is intended to protect the accused from public servants who might abuse the bail system to keep a person in jail indefinitely. As any Arapahoe County bail bonds agent can tell you bail itself is hardly a new idea. Way back in 1275 the English parliament passed a law that defined exactly what was and what wasn’t a bailable offense. It took another 400 years to refine the law in a way that did away with the “Sovereign's command”, by which the English king could declare a person was not eligible for bail. And a further 60 years before excessive bail was banned in the English Bill of Rights. This concept of fair bail amounts was later adopted by those who wrote the US Bill of Rights.

The Purpose of Bail

While the concept of bail is many centuries old it’s still often misunderstood. Some people don’t realize they are eligible for bail while others harbor the notion that making bail or posting a bond with the help of an Arapahoe County bail bonds agent is the same as paying a fine and ending the matter. Once they make bail they are surprised to learn that they still need to appear in court to face the charges against them. But bail is neither a fine nor a punishment. The purpose of bail is to allow the accused to return to something like a normal life while they await their day in court. (Remember, they are presumed innocent.) It also acts as a way to guarantee the accused will indeed appear in court to face the charges against them. Because if they don’t they lose the entire bail amount. Whereas if they show up as scheduled the bail is eventually returned to them or the Arapahoe County bondsman who posted bail for them.

What Happens When Bail is Excessive?

In spite of the 8th amendment prohibition on excessive bail the amount of bail requested by the state is sometimes unreasonably high. When setting the bail amount the court looks at a variety of factors including:

  • The seriousness of the charges
  • The person’s past criminal history (if any)
  • The likelihood the person will flee if released
  • Their ties to the local community
  • Their financial situation

After weighing all the information the court will sometimes determine that bail for a certain individual should be higher than normal. Or at least higher than what many would consider reasonable. They may have determined that a person represents a significant flight risk or that the person’s criminal history indicates they may represent a significant threat to the Arapahoe County community if they are released. Should this happen to you or someone you love keep in mind that the bail amount initially set by the court is not necessarily the final word. You have the right to request a bail reduction.

Requesting Reduced Bail

Because the 8th amendment prohibits excessive bail you have the right to appeal for lower bail if you feel the bail amount set by the court is unreasonably high. At the bail hearing your lawyer can argue that the bail amount set by the court amounts to an effective denial of bail. And unless there are clear extenuating circumstances that indicate you are a danger to the public or a significant flight risk denying bail is not allowed. The lawyer can also argue that the bail is excessive because it doesn’t take into consideration your financial state and/or that of those who are likely to come to your aid and work with an Arapahoe County bail bonds agent to affect your release. The lawyer may also argue that it’s important for the sake of your children that bail be reduced so you can rejoin them while awaiting trial.

The court will take these and any other arguments made by the defense into consideration. At the end of the day however, they have a right to set whatever bail amount they wish as long as it is not designed to be overtly punitive. If the court denies a reduction in bail they must specify why the bail amount they set is an “indispensable” condition of release.

Can the Arapahoe County Bail Bonds Agent Lower the Bail Amount?

The Arapahoe County bail bonds agent has no say in the amount of bail set by the court. They cannot arbitrarily lower it to satisfy your particular needs nor can they appeal the bail amount for you. If you wish to have your bail reduced you must appear at a hearing where you (more likely your lawyer) will argue your case. Whatever the outcome of that hearing it is the final word and the Arapahoe County bondsman has no way to influence the matter.

Can the Government Increase Bail?

If the prosecution in your case believes the court set the bail amount too low they will request an increase. They may believe you represent a real risk to the Arapahoe County community or that there is a strong likelihood you will flee if released. If the court is convinced by the prosecutor’s argument they have the right to increase the amount of bail. In addition, the court may hold a hearing to determine if the suspect is using proceeds from illegal activity to make bail. If they determine that is likely the case bail will typically be revoked.

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