Charged with murder? Your bond isn’t $150K max anymore. It’s $1.5M

Trial Settlement

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnosn

Changed to: Every time someone is charged with murder around West Alabama, residents say they’re shocked at how low their bail is. Before Friday, bail on a murder charge was capped at $150,000 in Alabama. But that’s been increased to $1.5 million, giving these residents peace of mind that people committing violent crimes don’t wind up back on the streets in just a few hours.

On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court amended the state’s bail order, which sets minimums and maximums on bail for those charged with a crime.

In Alabama, bond for people transporting or selling drugs often wound up far higher than those who committed violent acts up to and including murder. This change was a long time coming, and can only mean fewer criminals on the streets, said Tuscaloosa District Attorney Hays Webb.

“Frequently, people would say ‘hey look, there’s a $1.5 million bond on a trafficking case but only a $100,000 or $150,000 bond on a murder. How did that happen?’ ” Webb said. “I think this was intended to say that murder is at least as dangerous as trafficking, and the bond amount ought to be at least the equivalent of that.”

Not every murder charge will get the maximum bond amount, Webb said, because those decisions are up to the judges involved. But now those judges can give a more restrictive bond for anyone they believe could be a danger to the community.

The Alabama Supreme Court adopted the Criminal Rules Committee’s recommendation regarding the bond increase, Webb said.

Anyone who commits a crime while they’re out on bond for another crime is eligible for their bond to be revoked, Webb said.

You can view the changes to the bond schedule below:

Download the PDF file .


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