Excessive bail?

Recently, I was appointed to a misdemeanor pot case in Kaufman. Yet another reason you should support HB 902, so you can quit paying me to fight this nonsense. The appointment sheet listed the charge as possession of marijuana under 2 ounces; a class B misdemeanor and that bail was set at $100,000.

Convinced this was a typo, I called the jail to confirm. It’s true. This defendant has no holds, no blue warrants, no probation revocation, no other charges and the magistrate set a $100,000 bail for a joint.

One of two things is at play here. Either the defendant royally pissed off the magistrate, or he has some prior criminal history. The former is a fairly rare circumstance. As to the latter. Does arrest for non violent meaningless victimless “crime” + criminal history= trapped in jail with a ridiculously high bond. Is that an equation for justice?

When bail is set there has no been no trial, no hearing, no day in court. Innocent people are arrested every day. Bail is supposed to insure that a defendant will return to court. More often, it’s used to punish defendants before a case is filed. Another “beat the rap, not the ride” element of the criminal justice system.

So now I have to call the DA to work out an agreed bail reduction, or file a Writ and have a hearing to get bond lowered. Either way, it’s your tax dollars wasted on another pot case.


5 responses to “Excessive bail?”

  1. me says:

    pot is a gateway drug. the magistrate is just keeping him from going out and murdering someone.

  2. Greg Jones says:

    “Me,” gimme a break. I’ve been defending people in Michigan for 32 years. I’ve been appointed in four murder cases, but I stopped keeping track of the pot cases about 32 years ago. We punish crimes that have ocurred, not something that might never happen. And, this guy’s more likely to get a better education in how to be a criminal in jail, than he ever will if he’s out on bond. No wonder jails are overcrowded.

  3. Nick V. says:

    Greg, it’s pretty apparent that Me was being sarcastic. This is quite ridiculous. I would be quite interested to see what this fella’s criminal history is.

  4. Don Foard says:

    Nick, I sure hope he was being sarcastic. But I see comments like this often on blogs, that are dead serious. Let’s hope. me, you WERE being tongue-in-cheek, rite?

  5. Robert Guest says:

    Ok. Let’s open the door to hypothetical.

    What criminal history could justify a $100k bail on a pot case? Serial murdering terrorist drug lord?

    Would that justify a $100k bond for a class B misdemeanor?

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