27 Jul 23

Bail Revocation in New York: Modifications and Mandatory Evidentiary Hearings

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Last Updated on: 7th August 2023, 01:12 am

Bail revocation lawyers in New York have studied the nuances of the state’s bail laws. There are a number of conditions in which your bail might be revoked or modified. Sometimes a person’s bail conditions will be revoked or modified because they are arrested for a new felony crime while waiting to go on trial for a different case. You can also have your bail conditions revoked if you violate a restraining order or engage in a willful and persistent refusal to appear on scheduled dates. Even if the prosecutor wants to modify the bail because of one of these circumstances, though, this cannot be done until the judge holds a hearing.

During the hearing, the prosecutor will explain why they want your bail conditions to be revoked or modified. The judge will then need to decide whether there’s justifiable cause for the belief that you might have committed a felony while out on bail, or that you may have otherwise violated a restraining order or other described law. The judge must review all pieces of relevant evidence, which can include witnesses being called by the District Attorney’s office. At the hearing, your defense attorney can cross examine the witnesses.

It is possible that a Grand Jury can be used to make a decision instead of having a judge hear testimony. But if the judge does listen to testimony, then this kind of hearing can be a good opportunity for you and your defense counsel. Your defense attorney has a chance to cast doubt upon the DA’s witnesses, bring up challenges to the evidence that’s been compiled against you, and create a record of you having been treated with adversity by law enforcement.

Though there can be long-term benefits to the hearing, the short-term is also a concern. Your defense attorney’s goal is to keep your bail conditions from being made stricter or being revoked entirely. If the prosecutor gets their way, you could be remanded to jail until your trial. Though this is unlikely with New York bail laws as they currently stand, it’s also possible that much stricter bail conditions will be imposed upon you.

If the prosecution in a case is trying to modify your bail conditions, it’s critical that you have an experienced defense attorney behind you. They can advise you on the right course of action and create a spirited defense to try to keep you as free as possible until your trial.

Revocation Hearing Process in Specific Circumstances

There are some rare but serious circumstances in which a revocation hearing becomes mandatory. This means that the prosecution is required to convene a hearing within 72 hours of the event, even if the prosecutor wouldn’t ordinarily voluntarily try to revoke your bail.

In New York, if you are out on bail while waiting to be tried for a current felony accusation, a revocation hearing process becomes mandatory when:

  • You are charged with a class A felony
  • You are charged with any level of victim or witness intimidation
  • You are charged with a violent felony

While waiting for the revocation hearing to be held, the judge has the right to remand you into custody. You will be held with no bail until the prosecutors have had their revocation hearing. You will not be permitted to leave custody until the prosecutors establish cause to believe that you are the perpetrator of the new crime. If the prosecutors establish good cause, they can ask the court for another 72 hours so that the District Attorney can conduct the hearing. You and your defense attorney also have the right to ask for an extra 72 hours in custody should you decide it’s beneficial for your case.

Revocation Hearing Process

If you are charged with a new felony while out on bail regarding a different felony charge, the judge must conduct a hearing before they can restrict your bail conditions. The judge must also determine whether there’s reasonable cause to believe you committed any of the crimes that require a mandatory revocation hearing.

Should the judge find reasonable evidence that you did commit one of these crimes, they will then be required to adversely modify the bail.

There are a number of other circumstances in which a judge may choose to adversely modify your bail, but it’s at their discretion. These include:

  • Being charged with a non-violent felony offense
  • Being arrested for witness tampering or intimidation after being released on bail for a misdemeanor
  • Violating a restraining order of any kind
  • Persistently and willfully refusing to show up to scheduled hearings

Before the judge can adversely modify your bail conditions, they need to determine that there is convincing and clear evidence that you did indeed commit the act in question.