From start to finish, Tennessee criminal court judges control every aspect of every case in every courtroom. WIth regard to bail and pretrial release, sometimes that control is indirect and sometimes it is direct.

Bail amount is the most important element in this discussion. If the defendant cannot afford bail, nothing else with regard to pretrial release makes any difference. So, essentially the judge controls bail amount. The judge also controls bail conditions, which in some cases, can be just as important as the bail amount.

How is Bail Amount Determined: Initial Bail Amount

Legally, a Montgomery or Robertson County judge does not have to hear a case for several days after ones arrest. But, most people want to get out of jail before then. So, judges set presumptive amounts largely based on:

  • Severity of the offense, and
  • Defendant’s criminal history.

Local sheriffs carry out the judge’s instructions and apply the presumptive amount. That amount might be $1500 for a misdemeanor and $2,500 for a lower-level felony. Presumptive conditions are often offense-specific; for example, DUI bail might involve an ignition interlock device and assault bail might involve a no-contact order.

The sheriff has no authority to raise or lower the presumptive bail amount. So, talking to the sheriff about bail amount or conditions is a waste of time and energy.

If the bail amount is too high for you to pay with the cash you have on hand, the professionals at Fizer Bonding Company (bail bond near me) are available for a free surety bond consultation.  For a fraction of the bail amount, a surety bond ensures instant relief, in most cases. Your bondsman can also answer any questions you have about the process.

Direct Control: Bail Reduction Hearing

There may be special situations that require the reduction of bail. In these situations, judicial influence is much higher at a subsequent bail reduction hearing. An attorney can demand this bond reduction letter hearing if the defendant cannot afford bail or a bail bond. At the hearing, a Robertson and Montgomery County judge will consider additional factors. These additional factors include:

  • Amount the defendant can afford,
  • Defendant’s ties to the community,
  • Any threat to witnesses or alleged victims, and
  • Defendant’s ability to flee the jurisdiction, if any.

The bail reduction hearing also gives an attorney a chance to correct possible errors that may have occurred in the bail process. For example, bail is usually higher for serious offenses. But evidence suggests that people are more likely to appear in court if they face severe charges. So, the presumption may be wrong, at least in this case.

There is also the possibility that the prosecutor and defense attorney meet and discuss the possibility of settling the bail reduction matter out of court. That settlement could include a lower bail amount in exchange for more conditions.

If you or your loved one is in need of a bail bondsman in Clarksville, TN or the surrounding area Fizer Bonding Company provides 24/7 access to a professional bondsman that can get you discreetly out of jail quickly and easily.  If you have more questions about how bail bonds work, see our website page:  Fizer Bonding Company is a member of Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents.

“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”

Fizer Bonding Company in Montgomery County Tennessee

(931) 449-9351

Fizer Bonding Company in Robertson County Tennessee

(615) 667-1109


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