SETTING BOND

Pretrial bail is governed by Section 29 of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890.The Mississippi Supreme Court has adopted the American Bar Association's standards for setting bond. Accordingly, the judge should consider these factors in setting bond:

  1. The length of his residence in the community;
  2. His employment status and history and his financial condition;
  3. His family ties and relationships;
  4. His reputation, character and mental condition;
  5. His prior criminal record, including any record of prior release on recognizance or on bail;
  6. The identity of responsible members of the community who would vouch for defendant's reliability;
  7. The nature of the offense charges and the apparent probability of conviction and the likely sentence, insofar as these factors are relevant to the risk of non-appearance; and
  8. Any other factors indicating the defendant's ties to the community or bearing on the risk of willful failure to appear.

Surety bonds are set by law at 10% for in state residents and 15% for out of state residents. In addition, an individual may eligible for a clerks bond, property bond, or own recognizance (O.R.) bond. The purpose of bond is to assure the person's attendance at court, not to punish. In some circumstances a person may be released on pretrial house arrest, for example, so treatment can be received for alcohol or drug abuse.

If a person is released on felony bond and is arrested for a new felony which carries over five (5) years, the court shall revoke all bonds and hold the defendant without bond under the Mississippi State Constitution. Pretrial release in the Federal Court is governed by the Bail Reform Act of 1984 and involves similar considerations or to enforce a restraining order.