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Bail Hearings

Criminal Defense Attorney Helps Secure Pre-Trial Release for Clients Facing All Types of Charges

Despite being known as the “Land of the Free,” the United States is the most incarcerated nation in the world. According to recent estimates, more than two million Americans are incarcerated. Many of these individuals are being held in custody before they have even gone to trial. If you or a loved one is in jail awaiting trial, the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy can help. Patrick Murphy is an experienced Boston criminal defense attorney who skillfully handles bail hearings on behalf of clients charged with all types of crimes. He will do everything possible to get you out of jail so you can fight your case from the street.

What Is the Purpose of Bail?

When someone is arrested for a crime, the government has an interest in ensuring that they show up for their court dates. To encourage defendants to come to court, judges can require them to post a certain amount of money to secure their release. The idea is that someone is more likely to appear in court if there is a financial consequence of failing to do so.

The purpose of bail is not to keep people in jail before they go to trial. However, historically, bail has been used to keep many individuals—who are innocent until proven guilty—incarcerated leading up to their trial.

What Goes into a Court’s Decision to Set Bail?

A judge overseeing a criminal case has the ability to modify bail. However, under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, bail cannot be excessive. Generally speaking, there are two main considerations when setting bail: the likelihood the defendant will appear in court and the danger the defendant poses to the community. More specifically, Boston judges consider the following when setting a defendant’s bail:

  • The severity of the crime the defendant is facing;
  • A defendant’s flight risk;
  • Whether a defendant is on probation or parole;
  • Whether a defendant has ties to the community;
  • A defendant’s prior failures to appear at court;
  • Whether the defendant is employed; and
  • A defendant’s criminal record.

Once a judge sets bail, you must pay the bail to secure your release. If you can’t afford bail, you will remain in custody until trial. This not only denies you your freedom when you are still presumed to be innocent, but it also affects your ability to defend your case. For example, it is more difficult to talk with your lawyer, gather evidence, and prove to the judge that you are a contributing member of society if you are locked up.

The Importance of a Bail Hearing

Shortly after you are arrested, a magistrate will set your bail. However, once the magistrate sets bail, a judge can later modify the magistrate’s decision in a subsequent bail hearing.

While bail may seem straightforward, that is rarely the case. Judges walk a fine line when making bail decisions, balancing concerns on both sides. On one hand, judges are aware of the harms of over-incarceration, especially on People of Color. On the other hand, judges don’t want to reduce a defendant’s bail only to have them fail to appear or commit a crime.  An experienced Boston criminal defense attorney will understand the most effective way to explain to the judge that you are not a flight risk or a danger to the community.

Are You Being Held in Custody While Awaiting Trial?

If you are facing criminal charges and cannot afford to post bail, reach out to the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Patrick Murphy is a respected Boston defense attorney who has secured the pre-trial release of countless clients. He understands how to ease a judge’s concerns during a bail hearing and, in some cases, can even get the prosecutor to agree to a reduction in bail or pre-trial release. To learn more about how Attorney Murphy can help you get out of jail while you wait for your trial date, call (617) 367-0450 to schedule a free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
★★★★★
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
★★★★★
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User