Shreveport-Bossier Bail Setting & Reduction


Bail Setting & Motions to Reduce Bail

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in  United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987) that “liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception,” but held that bail could be denied when there is a risk of flight or to protect the safety of an individual or the public.

In an August 2018 report on the Louisiana bail system, the Louisiana State Bar Association reported that Louisiana had the highest pretrial jail detention rates in the United States. A 2015 study by the Vera Institute of Justice showed that Louisiana’s rate was actually double the national average of 455 per 100,000 residents between 15 years of age and 64 years of age.

If you or your loved one is being held without bail or facing excessive bail fees for release, you are going to need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Contact Attorney Ebonee Norris and The Norris Law Group for help. Our firm can fight to help you get your release on the most favorable terms possible. Call (318) 771-7000 or contact us online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.

Laws Regarding Bail

Article 1 § 18 of the Louisiana Constitution establishes that excessive bail cannot be required and Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 312 states that, with limited exceptions, a person is entitled to bail before conviction. Under Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 316, the amount of bail must ensure the presence of an alleged offender in court as well as the safety of any other person and the community.

The statute provides ten factors a court must consider when setting bail, which include:

  • The severity of the alleged criminal offense (including whether the offense is a crime of violence or involves a controlled substance)
  • Weight of the evidence against the alleged offender
  • Alleged offender’s prior criminal record
  • Alleged offender’s ability to pay bail
  • The danger posed to any person or the community by an alleged offender’s release
  • Alleged offender’s voluntary participation in a pretrial drug testing program
  • Absence or presence of a controlled substance in the alleged offender
  • Whether the alleged offender is already out on a bail for a previous felony arrest
  • Any other circumstances affecting the probability of an alleged offender’s appearance in court
  • The type or form of bail

Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 321(A) establishes five types of bail:

  • Commercial surety
  • Secured personal surety
  • Unsecured personal surety
  • Without surety
  • Cash deposit

Bail without surety is also known as a property bond, and personal surety and property bail are the two cheapest options for the alleged offender. Personal surety bail is also known as “sign out bond” or “release on recognizance.”

With a commercial surety bond, the alleged offender must pay a bail bondsman a percentage of the total bail (often 12 percent) to have the bondsman secure your release. If you fail to appear in court, the bondsman becomes liable for the full bail amount. Louisiana Revised Statute § 22:822 establishes that there is a fee on premiums for all commercial surety underwriters who write criminal bail bonds in Louisiana of three percent in Orleans Parish and two percent in all locations other than Orleans Parish.

Under the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 321(C), however, a person cannot be released on their personal undertaking or with an unsecured personal surety when they are arrested for:

  • A crime of violence (as defined by La. R.S. 14:2(B))
  • A felony offense involving the discharge, use, or possession of a firearm
  • A sex offense involving an alleged victim under 13 years of age
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Domestic abuse battery or domestic abuse aggravated assault
  • Cyberstalking (when the alleged offender has two prior convictions for the same offense)
  • Aggravated kidnapping of a child
  • False imprisonment or  false imprisonment while the offender is armed with a dangerous weapon
  • Killing a child during delivery
  • Human experimentation
  • Cruelty to persons with infirmities (when the alleged offender has a prior conviction for the same offense),
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated(when the alleged offender has a prior conviction for the same offense),
  • Aggravated cruelty to animals
  • Injuring or killing of a police animal
  • Jumping bail or out-of-state bail jumping
  • Violation of protective orders
  • The production, manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing or the possession with the intent to produce, manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled substance.

An alleged offender could be forced to wait for a bail hearing under Gwen’s Law when they are charged with domestic abuse battery. Under Gwen’s Law, a court can hold an alleged offender for as many as five days after the finding of probable cause, which is often the same day as the person’s arrest.

When you have bailed out, you cannot go back to court and ask for a reduction in your bail but a prosecutor is allowed to seek a bail increase even after your release. This is frequently the result of an alleged offender being charged with a new criminal offense, and it is important for people to understand all of the conditions of their release.

After you are released on bail, you will often be ordered to comply with any protective orders, refrain from criminal activity, abstain from drug use, and not leave the state. If you do need to leave the state during the time that your conditions are still applicable, you can file a motion to amend your bond conditions and have a judge issue an order that allows you to leave the state.

How We Can Help

The Norris Law Group can fight for a reduction in your bail so your loved one  can afford to be released. Our firm will do all of the necessary legal work to present the evidence needed to secure your release.

Are you or your loved one currently incarcerated and in need of reasonable bail? Make sure that you find legal representation as soon as possible.

The Norris Law Group represents clients all over the greater Shreveport-Bossier City and surrounding areas. You can have our lawyer discuss your rights, when you call (318) 771-7000 or contact us online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.

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Client Testimonials

Devin

Jun 12, 2019

Id recommend her to anyone.she was very open about everything, kept it touch and fought hard for me as a client. Thank you much!

J

Jun 06, 2019

Honestly where do I start with Mrs. Norris. She is such an amazing attorney!! I would recommend her to anyone that needs any succession advice or help! She also specializes in other great areas! She handled our case in a great manner. Answered all our questions. Laid down everything that was done and needed to be done. Mrs. Norris went above and beyond our expectations. She is definitely a GO GETTER! What she says she is going to do SHE DOES IT! She is straight to the point and she looks out for her clients! I love Mrs. Norris so much and her work is phenomenal. She’s a phenomenal person and she shows that she cares. CALL Ebonee Norris today and get your case started!!!

Slayducation

May 07, 2019

This Law Firm has tremendously helped me with the proper steps of taking legal action against the other party. Ebonee Norris who is very knowledgeable, was extremely helpful and may I add very professional. Thank You for being who you are. -Shalatashia

JasmineSudds

May 05, 2019

I would definitely recommend Mrs. Norris to any person or business for any legal matter! She was very helpful and attentive to the needs of my corporation and everything was handled very professionally.

Carol

May 03, 2019

Ms. Norris was a pleasure to deal with. We had lots of questions which she took the time to make sure we understood before signing the paperwork we needed. She's very professional and her appointment scheduling system makes it very easy to get what you need done in a timely manner. I would definitely use her again!

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