If you have been charged with a criminal offense, and you believe the bail set in your case was unfair or discriminatory, it’s important to call a Texas criminal defense lawyer right away.
Most people have a general idea of what bail is and how the cash bail system works. In some criminal cases, the judge may set a bail amount, which means the accused must put up a certain amount of money before he or she is released from jail. If the accused appears at the next court hearing as promised, the bail money is returned.
Because many people don’t have access to enough money to post bail on their own, they must use the services of a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman acts like a short-term loan lender in that they give the accused the money they need up front, but they keep a percentage once the accused has fulfilled their obligations to the court.
Recently, the U.S. Justice Department has weighed in on a case pending in Georgia, in which a criminal defendant has argued that the cash bail system is unconstitutional because it unfairly punishes minorities and the financially disadvantaged.
If you have been charged with any type of federal crime, it’s important to speak to a Texas criminal defense lawyer right away.
Challenges to the Cash Bail System
In the Georgia case in question, a 54-year-old man with a mental illness was arrested for a suspicion of public intoxication when police spotted him walking down the road. The court set his bail at $160. When he couldn’t pay, he was forced to remain in jail for a week.
A civil rights law firm stepped in and filed a lawsuit on the man’s behalf, claiming the cash bail system in the city is unconstitutional. The case is now pending in a federal appeals court, and the U.S. Justice Department has lent its support to the man’s position. According to an NBC News report, there are several similar lawsuits pending across the country.
Research published in 2016 by the University of Pennsylvania Law School says that cash bail systems often punish innocent people by keeping them incarcerated while they await a hearing. Researchers also say that bail can create a domino effect of legal problems for indigent defendants, as they may be more inclined to plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit, simply so they can obtain an earlier release and get back to work or their family obligations. A White House report says that the number of un-convicted jail inmates rose by 59 percent between 1996 and 2014.
Discuss Your Case with a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, and you believe the bail set in your case was unfair or discriminatory, it’s important to call a Texas criminal defense lawyer right away. At Broden & Mickelsen, we are Board Certified in Criminal Law and Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Get your free case evaluation from a Dallas criminal defense lawyer Mick Mickelsen today by calling 214-720-9552.
Broden & Mickelsen, LLP
2600 State St Dallas, Texas 75204
Main Phone: (214) 720-9552
SOURCE: Broden & Mickelsen