In Tennessee, bond and bail are often used interchangeably. Initial bond amounts are set by magistrate judges when they review police officer’s arrest warrant statements. The only consideration is often the statements of the police officers and any criminal background information that may be in court records.
While bonding companies typically charge just 10% of the total bond to secure release, bond amounts are often too high for families in these tight economic times.
If your loved ones bond is set too high, an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney can ask a judge to lower the bond amount to something more reasonable.
Under Tennessee law (T.C.A. 40-11-118) the court must consider the following when setting bond:
- The defendant’s length of residence in the community;
- The defendant’s employment status and history and financial condition;
- The defendant’s family ties and relationships;
- The defendant’s reputation, character and mental condition;
- The defendant’s prior criminal record, record of appearance at court proceedings, record of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings;
- The nature of the offense and the apparent probability of conviction and the likely sentence;
- The defendant’s prior criminal record and the likelihood that because of that record the defendant will pose a risk of danger to the community;
- The identity of responsible members of the community who will vouch for the defendant’s reliability; however, no member of the community may vouch for more than two (2) defendants at any time while charges are still pending or a forfeiture is outstanding; and
- Any other factors indicating the defendant’s ties to the community or bearing on the risk of the defendant’s willful failure to appear.