The Excessive Bail Clause
of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail set in pre-trial detention.
The Clause was drafted in response to the perceived excursiveness of bail in England. Excessive bail was also prohibited by the English Bill of Rights. If a judge posts excessive bail, the defendant's lawyer may make a motion in court to lower the bail or appeal directly to a higher court.
I argue when a defendant is out on bail, then remanded in court and bail is then set higher, that is a violation of the excessive bail clause of the Eighth Amendment. Let's take a look at a typical court action of raising bail after a judge sets bail and the defendant bonds out.
- Defendant is arrested
- Bail is set at $10,000.00
- Defendant is bail out (By 510 Bail Bond of course) paying $1,000.00 for the bond
- Defendant appears in court as agreed
- The judge reviews the case and then reassess bail to be $40,000.00
- Defendant now is put back in jail awaiting bail - now at the higher amount.
In this case the defendant would have to pay $5,000.00 for bail. $1,000.00 for the first bond and then $4,000.00 for the second bond. If the defendant would of sat in jail until court, he would of only had to pay $4,000.00. On the other hand if the Judge would of set his bail correctly in the first place the defendant would of saved $1000.00. Why should the defendant be punished financially for exercising his right to bail at the $10,000.00 amount? Why are attorneys not fighting this?
What are your thoughts on this matter?
Bail - It's what we do.