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Serving Wicomico County & The Eastern Shore of Maryland

It is normal to be scared and frustrated after being arrested. Initially, after an arrest, the question that comes to mind is: “When will I be released and be able to go home?” The answer to this important question is defined by whether the arrestee is granted bail. Similarly, those facing a violation of probation (VOP) hearing often ask: “Will I go to jail for violating my probation?” The answer to that question is that it depends.

The stakes could not be higher in these two types of criminal proceedings. A negative outcome in a bail reviewing hearing or a VOP proceeding can mean lengthy jail time. For those accused of violating parole, or who are awaiting bail, a criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between time behind bars and time with their family.

For more than 30 years, the award-winning lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A. have efficaciously represented Salisbury clients in hearings pertaining to bail and probation violations in Wicomico County courts and throughout the Eastern Shore. We understand the process and the stakes. We are prepared to advocate for you through thick and thin.

Call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online to request a free, confidential consultation.

Bail Review Hearings in Salisbury, Maryland

After being arrested, the arrestee must be brought before a District Court Commissioner within 24 hours. During this initial appearance, the District Court Commissioner decides if probable cause existed to support the arrest. The District Court Commissioner also sets bail.

There are three possible outcomes of a bail review hearing:

  • Bail is set.
  • The accused is held without bail.
  • The accused is released on their own recognizance.

If the District Court Commissioner determines that the accused should be held without bail or sets bail at a price that the accused cannot afford, then the accused is entitled to a bail review hearing before a District Court Judge. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a criminal defense lawyer may file a motion for reconsideration after an unfavorable bail decision, or potentially a writ of habeas corpus.

These bail review hearings are not always in-person. In more populous areas, initial appearances occur via video conference.

How is Bail Set?

There are many considerations for a judge to weigh when deciding whether to grant bail. The two primary considerations are flight risk and safety.

As to flight risk, the judge evaluates the probability that the accused will show up to court for their trial date. The judge considers things like the accused’s ties to the community, family relations, place of residence, and employment. Furthermore, the judge considers the accused’s criminal records and if those include prior failure to appear notations.

At the end of a bail hearing, the District Court Judge can:

  • Order the accused be held without bail
  • Increase the amount of bail
  • Decrease the amount of bail
  • Set additional conditions for bail

According to Supreme Court precedent, the amount set for bail should be no more than is necessary to assure the accused’s presence at trial. Bail is considered collateral to ensure appearance at court later and is not intended to be a punishment for crimes not yet proven. A knowledgeable attorney will argue on behalf of the accused and explain to the judge why they are not a flight risk and do not pose a danger to the public.

Violation of Probation Hearings

When a criminal sentence is imposed, the sentenced individual typically receives probation, too. The specific conditions and terms of probation are defined by the judge. Probation in Maryland typically includes reporting requirements and a probation agent.

Additional conditions of probation include:

  • Community Service
  • Pay restitution
  • Ignition interlock device installation
  • Drug or alcohol treatment
  • Obey all laws
  • No drinking or drug use

If probation conditions are imposed, and subsequently violated, a violation of probation occurs. The probation officer typically writes a report, and then the individual must then appear before the judge that originally sentenced them. A violation of probation hearing is distinctive from other criminal proceedings in that the accused is not entitled to a jury. The case is decided solely by the judge that imposed the underlying sentence.

Common violations of probation include:

  • Failed drug test or failure to appear to take a drug test.
  • Failure to attend drug or alcohol treatment.
  • Being charged with a new criminal offense — even if this criminal offense is subsequently disposed of via dismissal or a not guilty finding, a violation of probation hearing will likely still be necessary.

If a judge determines that the accused violated their probation, the judge has wide discretion to impose a penalty. If the judge originally suspended the individual’s jail or prison term, a VOP can result in the accused serving the remainder of that prison sentence. On the other hand, the judge may extend the length of the probation period and/or impose additional conditions.

Award-Winning Lawyers at your Service

The litigation team at Portner & Shure, P.A. has successfully represented accused clients in bail review hearings and violation of probation hearings throughout Queen Anne’s County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland for more than two decades. Our well-earned reputation in the legal community is best evidenced in our five-star reviews and the numerous awards we have earned during our years of practice. For example, the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure, P.A. as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms.”

To schedule a free consultation with a Salisbury bail review and violation of probation attorney, call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.


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