The state of New Hampshire is finally eyeing a change to its bail system, which has long been stacked against poor people. The judicial system is taking a look at the 3DaysCount campaign, which aims at reducing the number of people being held in pretrial detention simply because they cannot afford the cost of posting bail. If adopted, the change could work wonders for the world of criminal defense.
The Problem of Bail
If you get arrested for a relatively serious crime, you’ll be held in jail as a guarantee that you will be there for your arraignment. At the arraignment, though, the judge will “set bail”: He or she will look at a handful of factors – including the seriousness of your crime and the perceived likelihood that you will try to disappear before trial – and decide how much money you will have to post in order to get out of jail until trial. If you then fail to show up at a court hearing, that bail money will be forfeited to court. If you make it through trial without an absence, it will be returned to you.