What can happen at a bail review in Maryland? There are two factors the Courts consider when determining bail for a defendant:
- Risk to Society, facts of the case and the risk to the public if the defendant is released; and
- Flight risk, will the person that is pending charged return to Court?
What Can a Judge Do at a Bail Review
A Judge can make a number of decisions at a bail review in Maryland, including:
- The Judge can keep the bail at the same level that was set by the commissioner when the defendant was originally seen.
- The Judge can reduce the bail to a lower amount of money.
- The Judge can keep the bail at the same amount and set a percentage that may be paid to be released. For an example, the Judge can set a bail at $100,000.00 but set it at 10% is acceptable, and this the Defendant can post $10,000.00 and will be released pending trial. If the defendant appears in Court, then that amount would be returned to the Defendant after the trial.
- The Judge can increase the bail, making it higher than what was originally set.
- The Judge can reinstate an original bail. This happens when a person fails to appear, but then shows for another hearing or a motion is filed, then the Judge can reinstate the original bail. This also is helpful if the defendant has already posted a bail, then they can be released on that prior posting.
- The Judge can release the person on their own recognizance, this means let the defendant out without posting a bail. The Judge may impose some pretrial conditions, such as no contact with a witness or victim or stay away from a specific location or address.
- The Judge can release a Defendant in the supervision of a specific person or facility. This may happen of the Defendant is in a recovery home or facility, the Judge can release that facility and that facility will notify the Judge if the Defendant stays in that location or leaves.
- The Judge can releases a defendant with specific conditions imposed, such as complete a drug treatment program or seek a psychological examination pending trial.
- The Judge can also keep the trial date as set by a commissioner or change the trial date at the bail review.
Some reasons a Judge may deny the Defendant release on their recognizance is:
- Lack of family and employment ties to the jurisdiction.
- Prior failure to appear in Court or prior flight to avoid prosecution.
- The nature of the offense, weight of evidence against the defendant and possible sentence are such that sever risk of non-appearance exists.
- Other reasons, including recommendations from the State’s Attorney’s Office, pre-trial recommendations, investigations ongoing, or another factor that the defendant will not appear in Court on the next trial date.
If you or a loved one has a bail review and you want to have a lawyer at the hearing, contact our office at 410.288.2900 and speak with a bail review lawyer today.