Bail Review Hearings

Bail Review Hearings

Bail Review Attorneys

The main purpose of bail is to make sure that a person accused of a crime will come to court for proceedings related to their case after they’re released from jail or from being held at a police station.  Bail isn’t supposed to be a form of punishment, but rather a way of helping ensure that a defendant will appear in court at a later date.

In some cases, a person will be held on “dangerousness,” when a judge finds that no conditions of release will ensure the safety of the community, or a specific person.

Bail review process

If your bail is set too high, or if you are held without bail after a dangerousness hearing (also known as a 58A hearing), you have a right to a bail review.  The venue depends on where the initial bail was set, or denied.

For bails set (or held on 58A) in the District Court, you would request a bail review hearing in the Superior Court.  A Superior Court judge would hold a new hearing, from scratch, and would not be bound by the District Court judge’s rulings.  They are even allowed to consider new evidence that was not presented at the District Court hearing.  We have been successful in many Superior Court bail reviews, both for reducing bail amounts, and also for getting our clients released when they were previously ordered held without bail. 

If the Superior Court judge does not grant the relief you are seeking, the next step is to petition a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.  That judge is limited to deciding whether there was an abuse of discretion or clear error of law by the Superior Court.

For bails initially set by a Superior Court judge, you can obtain a bail review by petitioning a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.  In these circumstances, the single justice may consider the bail de novo, and even consider newly presented facts.

Appealing a revoked bail

If your bail was revoked in District Court, you do not have a right to appeal to Superior Court.  Instead, you can either file a motion for reconsideration with the same District Court judge, or seek appeal by filing a petition for extraordinary relief to a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.  Unlike a high bail, or a 58A detention, revoked bails expire after 60 or 90 days.

Attorneys for bail review

We have helped countless clients reduce unattainably high bail amounts, and get released after being detained under section 58A as a “danger.”  Our experienced defense attorneys have represented clients across Massachusetts, securing bail releases from Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Barnstable, Worcester, and more.  If you or a loved one needs help, call us at 781-797-0555 for a free initial telephone consultation today.


Single Justice Practice and Procedure

Commesso v. Commonwealth, 369 Mass. 368 (1975)

G.L. c. 211, §3

G.L. c. 276, §58

G.L. c. 276, §58A

G.L. c. 276, §58B

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