Greenville, OH asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Constitutional Law for Michigan

Q: is 250,000 dollar bond excessive for a possession of cocaine charge in michigan?

the public defender just keeps taking the refusal for bond reduction. has yet to provide any type of paperwork regarding the case period. he says its due to being a flight risk. however, i beg to differ.. if it was for that reason isnt the judge supposed to offer the least restrictive means for setting bond? He hasnt been offered any type of tether despite asking if this would help. the public defenders remedy for allowing this to continue for 25 days now was this statement "i will try to get it lowered to 30,000"

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: There is little "science" to setting bonds. In some jurisdictions, initial bond is based on a "pre-bond" report. Unless you can show something substantial that was not contemplated by that report, bond will likely continue as-is.

$250,000 is on the high end for a cocaine possession. But we don't know the other factors that a relevant to a bond determination: does he have a history of FTAs (failure to appear)? Is he a 4th time offender and facing an enhanced sentence? Does he have multiple addresses on file? Is he from outside the area?

There is no requirement that judges consider a least restrictive means. Tethers are not available everywhere, and where they are available, are often in high demand. Additionally, in all cases where I've seen people released on tether, it comes with a $300-$400 / month fee. Tether is a bond condition, and bond conditions are apart from bond amounts. In short, you would in almost all cases have a bond amount plus conditions such as a tether - it's not an either / or.

The attorney is not "taking the refusal". Generally, you cannot simply keep asking - and it rarely does any good - without some offer of proof to one of the factors governing bond.

If you're only 25 days into the case, it is likely the attorney has little more than a police report. For whatever reason, people sometimes are of the belief that the police and prosecutors have some big dossier of evidence going back several years. The reality is that the prosecutor also has little more than a police report in many cases at this early stage. Most cases are not some high-profile multi-year investigation where a task force was working day and night to get to an arrest. Cocaine possession is little more than a cop found an 8-ball somewhere, or someone made a controlled buy. It's not that deep so don't expect boxes of evidence.

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