If you have been arrested or summoned into court for a complaint, there are many factors the court will review. This determines what bail, if any, should be set in the case. Every client’s case is unique so it is essential to get a complete history. Typically I will negotiate a bail with the prosecutor if it looks like bail will be an issue. I was able to negotiate a bail that was an amount that the family could post. This usually happens the morning of the arraignment following an arrest. Usually bail is not an issue when you are summonsed into court since the overriding factor is your likelihood to return to court and walking in with your attorney’s pretty good evidence you
will return. The judge can take into a tremendous amount of factors into consideration, which I have listed below. These factors are: the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the potential penalty the person faces, the person’s family ties, financial resources, employment record and history of mental illness, his reputation and the length of residence in the community, his record of convictions, if any, any illegal drug distribution or present drug dependency, any flight to avoid prosecution or fraudulent use of an alias or false identification, any failure to appear at any court proceeding to answer to an offense, whether the person is on bail pending adjudication of a prior charge, whether the acts alleged involve abuse as defined in section one of chapter two hundred and nine A, or violation of a temporary or permanent order issued pursuant to sections eighteen or thirty-four B of chapter two hundred and eight, section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine, sections three, four or five of chapter two hundred and nine A, or sections fifteen or twenty of chapter two hundred and nine C, whether the person has any history of orders issued against him pursuant to the aforesaid sections, whether he is on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence for any conviction, and whether he is on release pending sentence or appeal for any conviction.
The superior court has the power to modify any condition imposed on a defendant as a condition of release. Interpreting the Massachusetts bail statute, G.L. c. 276 § 58A, our Supreme Court held that the plain language of the statute authorizes a defendant to seek review of any bail determination or condition of release as the statute states that if a defendant is not released from custody on personal recognizance then the defendant is entitled to appeal to the superior court. The SJC emphasized that being released on personal recognizance is not the same as being released subject to conditions as conditions of release can impose substantial
deprivations of an individual’s liberty.