Understanding the Maryland Bail Review Process
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  3. Bail Review
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Baltimore City
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
229 N. Howard Street, Suite 201
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Baltimore County
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
The Woodholme Center
1829 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

Prince George's County
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
8713 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Main Office:   (410) 528-1177
Fax:(443) 817-0700
24 Hour Hotline:   1-866-592-0020

Criminal Defense Attorney - Maryland Bail Review Lawyer

The Court's Decision-Making Process

Being arrested is an incredibly frightening, confusing and anxiety-producing situation. The only thing possibly more stressful is having to remain in jail for any amount of time. This is why the first thought of almost every person who finds themselves under arrest is, "HOW DO I GET OUT OF HERE?"

If the situation is such that you are released on your own recognizance (without any bail or financial payment), consider yourself fortunate. You can now deal with your situation and prepare for your case from the comfort of your own home.

On the other hand, if you are placed into custody and will face a Commissioner or other official to determine your release status, you understand that this decision can determine where you will be spending much of your immediate future.

As a Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer who regularly represents clients at District Court Commissioner Hearings and Bail Review Hearings, Marc Snyder understands how important these proceedings are. Many times, the first determination of bail will set the stage for the rest of the proceedings. In other words, once a high bail amount is set, it becomes more difficult to get it reduced. This is why it is so important to handle the initial bail review the right way, the very first time.

Lost Paycheck, Lost Income, Lost Job

Not only is being released while your case is pending important for the obvious reason that nobody wants to spend any time in jail, but there are other important reasons, as well. When you are incarcerated, you cannot go to work. This results in loss of pay and possibly loss one's job. When this happens, an entire family can be affected as a result of the lost income that was being counted upon.

The Bail Review Process


When you appear in front of a District Court Commissioner or a Judge at a Bail Review, your immediate freedom will be decided. The possible outcomes are as follows:

  • (a) Released On Your Own Recognizance. This means that you will be released without any bail or other financial requirement. You are, in effect, being released on your word that you will return to face your charges when you are required to do so.
  • (b) Released Subject to Bail. This is when the Court determines that you may be released upon paying a required bail. The actual amount of the bail will be based upon several factors, discussed below. In most cases, a certain percentage of the total bail will be required, and this can be decided after speaking to a bail bonds company that can facilitate your release.
  • (c) Held on No Bail. This is when the Court determines that you will not be released. In effect, no bail will get you out of jail. This is the most severe finding of a bail review, and again, will be based upon the factors discussed below.

Factors Considered By the Court at Bail Review

The Court will consider several factors when deciding the release status of the Defendant at a Bail Review. These are:

  • (a) Defendant's Prior Criminal Record. The criminal history of the defendant will play a large role in what the Court decides. The more serious the prior criminal record, the less likely the Defendant will be released without a significant bail, or at all. The Court will also consider whether the past offenses are the same kinds of crimes as the current charges and how much time has passed since the last criminal event on the Defendant's record.
  • (b) The Current Charges. The more serious the charges that the Defendant is facing, the less likely he or she will be released on bail.
  • (c) Potential Danger to Community. The Court will examine whether they believe the Defendant poses a danger to the community should he or she be released. If the charges are of a violent nature, the Court will look at this factor much closer than if they are non-violent. If there was a specific victim involved, the Court will want to protect the alleged victim and not put that person in risk of any further incident.
  • (d) The Defendant's Ties to the Community & Family. The Court will look to the Defendant's relationship to his family members and the community, as a whole. Since the main point of a bail review is to determine what is most likely to make sure the Defendant shows up for his court date, having local family ties and/or other ties to the local community play an important role. If the Defendant has a job or other responsibilities in his local community or a family that lives close by, it is much less likely that he or she will attempt to flee the area and avoid prosecution.

How I Can Help You at Your Bail Review

When the Court looks at the factors discussed above to determine if someone should be released, it is not always an easy determination. Each of these factors can have many other factors that play a role and it truly helps to have someone who can present "your case" to the Court in an effective and persuasive manner.

For example, even if you have a prior criminal record, your lawyer can present that information in a way that shows the Court how you have improved your life or how the situation has changed since those charges were filed. There are many ways an attorney can "frame" your information to best work to your advantage.

Your Baltimore bail review lawyer can also learn about your family through interviews and meeting with them and present to the Court a picture of your family that makes a strong argument that you will show up for your trial.

Even if there was an alleged victim involved, a lawyer can present a picture to the Court based on factors and other supporting information that shows it is not a risk to release the Defendant pending trial.

The bottom line is that, when facing the important decision of whether the Defendant will be released or will remain incarcerated until trial, a defendant needs to make the most persuasive and effective presentation to the Court possible. An experienced bail review lawyer understands what the Court needs to hear in order to have the confidence to release the Defendant.

A Note On a 'No Bail' Finding

If the Defendant appears in Court and receives a no bail finding, he or she will, unfortunately, have to remain incarcerated until trial. It is possible, however, for us to file a Motion to have the bail determination reviewed and possibly changed. Our office can file a Motion to Modify Bail and make a persuasive argument to the Court to have the Defendant's bail either reduced or set for the first time.

When Should You Contact Us?

As soon as possible. Obviously, it is not always possible to predict when an arrest will take place. following an arrest, a Defendant will appear in front of a District Court Commissioner within 24 hours. This is not a lot of time to research, contact and hire the right lawyer to facilitate a release. Therefore, we suggest that you contact our office as soon as you believe someone will be having a Commissioner Hearing or Bail Review.

Our office can assist you with contacting a local bail bonds company in order to have the bail ready should the Court grant a release. By contacting us as soon as a situation arises, we can put the utmost preparation into doing everything possible to get the Defendant released and back home as soon as possible.

Arrests and Bail Review Hearings do not take place according to normal business hours. This is why our office is available to assist you at your Bail Review or District Court Commissioner Hearing 24 Hours a Day/ Seven Days a Week.

When contacting our office at (410) 528-1177(9529), please let our receptionist know that you are calling for a Baltimore Bail Review Lawyer so that we know the time-sensitive nature of the situation. As soon as you call, we will get "the ball rolling" on how we can best help you or a loved one remain free.

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