Cash Bail Reduced With a Lawyer

August 24, 2020

Many states and localities are making efforts to eliminate cash bail.[1] Unfortunately, cash bail remains in Maryland as excessive bail amounts keep defendants in jail for months without ever having been convicted of a crime. Lengthy pretrial incarceration often causes people to lose employment, miss school, or be unable to care for their family.

When a criminal defendant is arrested in Maryland, the defendant appears before a judicial officer who will make a determination of pretrial release.[2] With certain exceptions, the judicial officer may determine to release the defendant on his or her own recognizance, unsecured bonds, or with special conditions including financial conditions.

A defendant who is denied pretrial release by a District Court commissioner or who, for any reason, remains in custody after a District Court commissioner has determined conditions of release under Md. Rule 4-216 shall be presented to a District Court judge immediately if the Court is in session, or if the Court is not in session, at the next session of the Court.[3]

In Maryland, a District Court judge may:

(1) set bond or bail;

(2) release a defendant on personal recognizance or on a personal or other bail bond;

(3) commit a defendant to a correctional facility in default of a bail bond;

(4) order a bail bond forfeited if the defendant fails to meet the conditions of the bond; and

(5) exercise all of the powers of a justice of the peace under the Constitution of 1867.[4]

Whether in front of a commissioner or judge, an attorney can assist a defendant in obtaining a release on the defendant’s own recognizance or at a reasonable bail amount. Prosecutors are increasingly requesting defendants to be held in jail without bail.[5] We have gained the release of hundreds of individuals at their bail reviews, allowing them to return to their normal lives.

For an experienced and aggressive defense lawyer who will fight for your release, call the Leonard & McCliggott Law Group at (410) 753-8687. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, we will fight to get you out and keep you out.



[2] Md. Rule 4-213, 4-216, 4-216.1.

[3] Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 5-215.

[4] Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 5-205.