Criminal Defense

How to Convince a Judge to Lower the Initial Bail

May 16, 2023 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense  
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How to Convince a Judge to Lower the Initial Bail

Various variables affect the determination of bail magnitude. The legal statutes and protocols pertaining to pretrial release exhibit a certain degree of variation across different states. Nevertheless, defense lawyers often consider various aspects when securing reduced or waived bail for their clients.

Judges’ Evaluation of Bail or Bond Reduction Requests

Judges focus on two critical factors while determining bail. Judges prioritize ensuring defendants won’t flee or miss future court appearances. If defendants don’t show up for court hearings without a valid reason, they could lose the money they paid for bail or the collateral they used to obtain a bail bond. Higher bail may increase defendants’ attendance in court as they will have more at stake if they fail to appear.

Judges worry about the community’s safety if the defendant is set free. Judges may consider a defendant’s potential danger when deciding on bail if the prosecution has reasons beyond ensuring the defendant’s attendance at court.

In certain states, when determining bail, judges cannot consider the defendant’s potential to be dangerous.

However, the possibility of danger can be considered when assigning requirements for release, such as restraining orders or electronic monitoring. Nevertheless, it has no bearing on the amount the defendant is required to pay. Detention orders can be issued by courts in various states to deny bail, citing the defendant’s dangerousness. However, such an order typically necessitates a distinct hearing where the prosecutor must demonstrate the defendant’s danger with “clear and convincing” proof.

Judges consider the potential danger to society when determining the appropriate bail amount. Although courts in some states are not allowed to take it into account, the potential risk a defendant poses to others is likely to influence a judge’s decision on bail.

Things That Influence Whether You Can Get Bail or reduced bail

Judges think about these things when they decide how much bail or bond someone needs to pay:

How severe the crime is

Someone who commits a terrible crime with lots of evidence they are guilty might not want to go to trial. If someone is accused of something serious that could result in being locked up forever, they might try to run away and hide instead of facing prosecution or punishment. Moreover, if the accused committed a violent crime, the judge may feel worried that the person could harm others.

Criminal history

If a person continues to break laws, they do not respect rules. A judge might worry that the person won’t follow the judge’s command to come to court. The judge may think the person could be a danger to others based on their previous crimes.

Previous court cases

If the accused person has gone to court before while not in jail, the judge may think it’s more likely they will go to court again. If the person didn’t show up in the past, the judge might not look at them kindly.

Community connections

When someone has connections to a place, like a job, family, or property, they are less likely to run away if accused of something. If family members and an employer show up in court to support a person at a bail hearing, the judges might think it’s reasonable and more likely to let them go free.

Personal finances

Sometimes judges need to think about how much money the defendant has when they decide how much bail the defendant needs to pay. If a judge in California decides a defendant can be freed on bail, they must set a reasonable amount that the defendant can pay.


The judge may consider whether you have obligations or duties that serve an important purpose in society. If your job is essential, if your children will suffer great hardship, and that you deserve a chance at redemption.

Bail hearing

A bail hearing is an official legal process typically initiated by the defense counsel. The counsel will endeavor to persuade the presiding judge to grant either the defendant’s release on Personal Recognizance or a reduction in the bail amount. The judge has the authority to impose conditions that do not involve monetary payment as a component of the Own Recognizance release. To obtain an Own Recognizance release, the defendant must provide a commitment to appear at all scheduled court proceedings without the need to furnish bail. In instances where prosecutors deem the amount of bail inadequate, they are empowered to petition for a bail hearing.

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Lara S.
December 3, 2019
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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