Pittsburgh Bond Hearing Lawyers Work to Secure Clients’ Release
Western Pennsylvania firm advocates for clients in bail matters
In the United States, accused individuals are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, many defendants are incarcerated for extended periods of time before any determination has been made regarding their guilt. Throughout Pennsylvania, Magisterial District Courts have the authority to determine bail amounts and conditions. This system was created to ensure that someone released from custody will return to appear for trial. Unfortunately, in many cases, bail amounts are set so high that it becomes very difficult or impossible for a detainee to meet those terms. Located in Pittsburgh, Phil DiLucente & Associates, LLC represents clients in bond hearings so that they can attempt to secure fair bail terms and possibly regain their freedom.
What is a bond hearing?
Our diligent criminal defense attorneys advocate for the rights of Western Pennsylvanians charged with crimes and counsel them on factors that might be evaluated by the bail authority under Rule 523 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, such as:
- Risk of flight — Factors that might affect this decision include whether a defendant has ties to the area and responsibilities that would dissuade them from leaving, such as a job or parenting duties.
- Seriousness of the alleged crime — Bail is not available for people who are charged with murder in the first or second degrees. Likewise, determinations in other cases are based heavily on the nature of the alleged crime.
- Likelihood of conviction and possible penalty — It stands to reason that defendants are more likely to run away if they are facing the possibility of a long prison sentence and/or believe that the evidence is very strong against them. So even though bond hearings are not about deciding guilt or innocence, the merits of a potential case can be a factor.
- Character and fitness — Courts can examine a person’s character and reputation when evaluating if they should be released from incarceration pending their trial. Evidence of substance addiction or other types of erratic behavior may prompt a judge to refuse bail or increase the bail amount that must be posted.
- Prior record — Though someone’s criminal history, at times, may not be admissible at trial, a defendant’s prior criminal record and any history of noncompliance with bail terms can be considered by the Magisterial District Judge during a bond hearing.
Once the magisterial district judge reaches a decision on the bail amount, defendants who are unable to afford that financial commitment are permitted to appeal for a reduction of bond at the criminal court of common pleas. Our firm zealously advocates for clients so that they have a legitimate chance to continue their normal lives until the point where their legal case is adjudicated.
Contact a Pittsburgh defense attorney for a free consultation about your bond hearing
Phil DiLucente & Associates, LLC provides diligent counsel of bond hearings and other criminal defense matters to clients throughout Western Pennsylvania. To discuss your case with an experienced Pittsburgh lawyer, please call 1.800.GET.PHIL or contact us online.