If you have been arrested, you will remain in jail until your trial unless you have been released on your own recognizance or have made bail. If you cannot afford an excessive bail, an attorney may be able to help get your bail obligation reduced.
The Louisiana Constitution Section 18 deals with the right to bail. It states excessive bail shall not be required and goes on to detail the right to bail and at what points during a criminal proceeding a defendant can be bondable. This section also details circumstances where an individual may not be bondable.
The main purpose for a bail setting is to not only ensure the presence of the defendant but also serve to ensure the safety of the community and possible victims. When setting bail, the Court looks to several factors which are outlined in article 316 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure.
Factors considered include the seriousness of the offense charged, the weight of the evidence against defendant, previous criminal history, ability of defendant to afford bail, the nature and seriousness of the offense, potential danger to any other people or the community, the defendant’s voluntary participation in drug testing, the absence or presence of drugs in defendant, whether defendant was out on bail when the crime was committed, and other circumstances affecting the probability of defendant\’s appearance at future hearings.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse battery, violation of a protective order, stalking, or any felony offense involving the use or threatened use of force or a deadly weapon upon a family member, household member, or dating partner, the Court may hold a contradictory hearing prior to setting bail. This hearing is commonly referred to as a “Gwen’s Law hearing.” If the Court orders that this hearing be set, it shall be set within five days from the date of determination of probable cause, excluding weekends and holidays. At a “Gwen’s Law hearing,” the Court will consider whether the defendant should be held without bail. As this hearing determines whether bail will be set on your case, it is vital to have an attorney present with you at the hearing.
Here at The Berg Law Firm, we can prepare and present information to the Court to assist in seeking a bond reduction in your case. Call today to schedule your free consultation.