Is Bail Automatically Denied for Violent Crimes?

Is Bail Automatically Denied for Violent Crimes?

Posting bail after being arrested for a crime allows you to remain out of police custody while your trial is pending. But what if you were accused of a violent offense? Will your bail be automatically denied because the State believes that allowing you to be out on bail would put society at risk? Not necessarily. A judge will consider many factors when determining whether or not to allow bail. And in Ohio, the court must hold a hearing if a defendant has been arrested for a crime of violence before denying bail.

In this blog, we'll review the legal process that may take place when a judge is deciding whether to deny.

Ohio's Definition of Violent Offenses

Because the question posed in this blog is whether a person may automatically be denied bail if they were accused of a violent crime, it seems pertinent to discuss how Ohio defines these offenses.

Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2901.01(9)(a), offenses of violence include, but are not limited to:

  • Aggravated murder
  • Murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Felonious assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Assault
  • Menacing by stalking
  • Aggravated robbery

If you've been accused of one of the crimes listed above or any other offense involving the use or threatened use of violence against another person, bail might not automatically be denied. Depending on the evidence you and the prosecutor have concerning the crime, the judge may decide to set a bail amount. This means that even if you were accused of the crime, you may still be able to be released from jail while you await trial.

How Does the Judge Decide Whether to Grant Bail?

Whether or not a judge grants bail and what amount they set depends on a range of factors. Regarding violent crimes, Ohio has a law about the process a court must go through before the judge denies bail.

Ohio Rev. Code § 2937.222 specifically concerns the following serious criminal accusations:

  • Aggravated murder (not a capital offense)
  • Murder
  • First- or second-degree felonies
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide
  • Felony menacing by stalking
  • Felony OVIs

When deciding on bail in these cases, the judge will hold a hearing. During this proceeding, you and the prosecutor may present evidence supporting your assertions about whether or not bail should be denied.

The burden actually rests on the prosecutor to prove by clear and convincing evidence that:

  • You committed the offense,
  • You pose a risk of harm to others or the community, and
  • No conditions of release will protect others or the community.

Along with the weight of the prosecutor's evidence, the judge will also consider the seriousness of the alleged offense, your criminal history (if any), your ties to family, community, and employment, and the level of danger you pose to society should you be released.

Don't I Have a Constitutional Right to Bail?

The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution states that no person accused of a crime shall be subject to excessive bail. However, it does not provide that bail can't be denied. Thus, if a judge decides that your bail should be denied, your constitutional protections are not violated.

Seek Help from an Experienced Bail Bonds Agency

If you've been accused of a violent offense, bail might not be denied. However, the judge could set it at an amount that is beyond your financial means. Even though you might not readily be able to pay the amount upfront, you do not have to sit in jail while you await trial. You can enlist the help of a bail bonds agency to post bail on your behalf.

To learn more about the bail bonds process in Columbus and how Andy Callif Bail Bonds can help secure your release from jail, contact us at (614) 945-4334 today.


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