Pre-Trial: Charges & Bail ( 1. Charges Brought (Necessary Evidence ( …
Pre-Trial: Charges & Bail
2. Bail Hearing
Bail cannot be "excessive."
Bail cannot be set higher than an amount that would be reasonably calculated to assure that the accused individual appears before court.
Stack v. Boyle
A criminal defendant is not necessarily punished before trial, if she is denied bail.
If the government’s interest in protecting the community outweighs individual liberty, then pre-trial detention can be “a potential solution to a pressing societal problem.”
U.S. v. Solerno
Bail Reform Act of 1984
= If an impartial magistrate determines that there is probable cause, then no condition short of detention will ensure appearance.
= Federal courts must consider the criminal defendant’s criminal history and future dangerousness.
1. Charges Brought
The prosecutor does not have to file or maintain any charges that may be supported by evidence suggesting probable cause.
The charges must be supported by probable cause.
The decision to charge is in the interest of justice.
Admissible evidence will be sufficient to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
Number of Charges
Charges need to be reasonably supported by evidence.
AND necessary to fairly reflect the gravity of the offense or to deter similar conduct in the future.
However, the prosecutor does not have the discretion to nullify a law.
The federal government cannot discriminate by charging based on race.
If the criminal defendant proves that the government declined to prosecute similarly situated suspects of other races, then she is entitled to discovery on a claim that she was charged based on race.
U.S. v. Armstrong