Have you or a loved one been saddled with unreasonably high bail? Want to know how to get a motion to reduce bail so you can reduce your financial burden?
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about bail reduction, from how to get bail lowered to the bail reduction hearing.
How to Motion to Reduce Bail
Looking to file a motion to get your bail lowered? Here’s what you’ll need to do in this situation.
Decide If You Want to File
The first step in the bail reduction process is determining if it’s something you actually want to go through. Most jails have a bail schedule, which details how high bail is for any given crime. If you think your bail amount is too high given your crime, you can ask the judge to lower it during your first arraignment, which occurs between 1 to 2 days after your arrest.
Get a Good Lawyer
The next step is hiring a lawyer who can represent you in your bail reduction hearing. A lawyer will give you insight on how to get bail reduced lowered, and can present a defense argument in a way a judge may be more receptive to. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can ask the court for a public defender, and then fill out an application for one.
Build a Strong Case
An important part of the bail reduction process is building a strong case for the bail reduction hearing. That involves knowing the set of guidelines a judge uses to determine if he or she should reduce bail, which differs by state. Here are some of the factors he or she may consider:
- The seriousness of your crime
- Your prior criminal record
- Your involvement in your community
- Family ties in your community
- How long you’ve lived in your community
If you’ve lived in your community for a long tie, have family there, and have a clean criminal record, the judge is more likely to approve your motion for a bail reduction.
Another thing you should do during this step is to organize any documents that may help strengthen your case. Here are the documents you should have on hand:
- Copies of your pay stubs
- Property tax records
- utility bills
By providing your lawyer with these documents they can build a stronger argument for your case.
Find People to Testify on Your Behalf
The next step in this process is asking people to testify on your behalf in court. If you want to do this, make sure you ask witnesses in advance and have you or your lawyer provide them with the contextual information needed to give good testimony. The best topics to talk about are the ones that establish you as a productive member of your community.
File Your Motion
Your lawyer can then draft a motion for you and file it on your behalf. Your motion should list the key factors of the case such as the charges filed and the amount of bail. You then need to prepare to argue as to why you deserve a bail reduction.
Make sure you attach a certificate of service and then file your motion with the court clerk! After that, your bail reduction hearing will be scheduled.
Attend Your Bail Reduction Hearing
At your bail reduction hearing, you and your lawyer will submit any relevant evidence for the case. You and your witnesses will also have an opportunity to testify on your behalf at this hearing. Your lawyer will propose for any opposing document but prepared to be questioned.
After the hearing is over, the judge will make a decision about your case.
Motion to Reduce Bail: Final Thoughts
Filing a motion to reduce bail can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. By preparing in advance and hiring a great lawyer, you can navigate this process in an easy and effective way.
Are you or a loved one currently in need of bail assistance? Have questions about bail bonds? Contact us to learn more!