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The intricacies of bail

When someone in Hackensack is arrested, he or she will usually be held in jail until he or she can make bail. There are certain crimes or individuals that may not get bail and, unfortunately, it is often up to a judge to decide whether a defendant will be able to return home in the lead up to a trial. And, since it can sometimes take quite a bit of time before a trial starts, a defendant may be waiting in jail for quite a while.

Generally, what a judge is looking at when he or she makes a decision on bail is what kind of criminal charges the defendant is facing, whether he or she will be a threat to others' safety, and whether he or she is likely to return to court after being released on bail. In most cases, a judge will find that a defendant is relatively harmless, that the charges are benign (in comparison) and that there is a high likelihood that the defendant will return. Sometimes, however, all the evidence would support bail, but a judge still refuses to release a defendant.

Though a California defendant with a history of jewelry theft has made a habit of returning to court when facing criminal charges, a judge has refused to release her on $65,000 bail. The woman's criminal defense attorney laments the decision, insisting that bail decisions have nothing to do with suspected guilt and everything to do with whether a client will return. As she claims, her client "has a long history" of showing up for her trials.

As for public safety, the defendant is an 83-year-old woman, so it is unlikely she is going to cause anyone any harm. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Doris Payne, 83, to stand trial in jewel theft,” Kate Mather, Dec. 11, 2013

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