For a judge, setting an inmate’s bail amount is a constant struggle. They balance your character with specific types of alleged crimes getting committed, as well as how likely you are to return to court.

However, that doesn’t always mean that your bail gets to set an amount that you can easily afford. And if the amount is exceptionally high, you might need to try requesting a bond reduction hearing.


excessive bail amountHow Much is Too Much?

The constitution explicitly states that a prisoner can’t receive an excessive bail amount. However, the Eighth Amendment doesn’t expand what that should explicitly mean.

Primarily, if you can prove that the bail amount is so high that it’s essentially not having one at all, you may have it lowered to a price you can pay. Or, you might have to defer to a bail bond provider and borrow your way out.


Who Lowers the Bail Amount?

If the local courts agree that the amount is too high for what you remain accused of, then they are the ones to offer a reduced amount. However, if they don’t side with you, you likely have to go up the ladder.

The Supreme Court has already stated that the government must have a specific reason why their amount shouldn’t get reduced. However, if the state does have a case, you might not be going anywhere.


Avoid Accidental Incriminationjudge rules at a bond reduction hearing

Unfortunately, while you and your lawyer attempt to reduce your release payment, you could accidentally give the state evidence against you in the process. Because you are entering your financial resources into the court system, you could, in the process, give them details you don’t want to.

That is especially true if you remain accused of selling illegal substances or committing financial fraud. When you need to retain as much evidence as possible, it may be better, in the end, to stay in jail.


How Dangerous Are You?

In most situations, a bail amount is high because you appear dangerous to the public. The court may believe you’re a flight risk, or you could harm others.

In the process of arguing a reduced amount, you could, instead, lose bail altogether. If your lawyer believes that you shouldn’t push your luck, you may want to listen.