Jeff Downer There exists a persistently held belief that a court may weigh only factors that relate to the defendant’s likelihood in showing up in court when determining bail. While at one point in time that may have been true, such is not the case now.
What is different today? Public safety concerns can also be considered. The overwhelming majority of courts can and are considering potential threats to the public as well as a specific individual’s well being as part of the bail setting equation.
The scope of using public safety factors in setting bail is vast. Courts in 46 states currently include public safety as a factor in setting bail. Furthermore, the courts of 27 states and the Federal Court System may go as far as authorizing preventive detention and deny release on bail entirely.
Like most anything else the landscape of how bail and bonds are set has been changing. The use of public safety factors in setting bail is part of the new view.