What is a Bail Hearing?
Bail refers to the conditions by which a defendant is released from or allowed to remain free from custody while a case is pending.
For violations of bail in Rhode Island go to the Bail Violations page.
What happens at a bail hearing?
When a defendant is first presented for arraignment, the trial court must make a bail determination.
How does a judge determine bail?
The court must consider if the defendant poses a flight risk and/or a danger to the community.
These questions are answered at a bail hearing, which is designed to determine what, if any, terms and conditions of release the court shall imposed against a defendant.
Flight risk refers to a particular defendant’s trustworthiness or reliability to appear for his or her future court dates.
When examining this particular factor, the court will look to a defendant’s ties to the particular community where the court sits.
Community ties relate to:
- the presence or absence of family;
- history of residence in the community;
- associations and affiliations with organizations,
- agencies or churches;
- substance abuse history;
- medical conditions;
- criminal history;
- track record for past court appearances where a defendant has a criminal record, etc.
Danger to the community
Danger to the community refers to whether a defendant poses a danger to others if placed on pretrial release.
Dangerousness may be inferred from:
- one’s prior criminal history or contact with law enforcement;
- reputation for violence in the community;
- the facts and circumstances of the presently charged offense;
- history with restraining or no contact orders;
- ownership or possession of weapons;
- specialized training with weapons or in martial arts;
- substance abuse or mental health history; etc.
At a bail hearing, the court will receive evidence and argument from the parties, both the government and defense regarding, these two factors.
The court will also receive evidence regarding the charges offenses to ensure there is sufficient evidence of the allegations to warrant the granting or denial of bail.
When will the judge deny bail?
The strength or weakness of evidence against a defendant will affect a bail determination. Where a court finds there to be strong evidence of the charges offense and a defendant is either a flight risk and/or danger to the community, the judge may deny bail and order that the defendant remain held in confinement to await trial.
Learn more about bail hearings below:
If you believe you have been charged with a new offense and seek to be released on bail, contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.