- Amended by St.2014, c. 260, § 31
- Amended by St.2018, c. 69, §§ 166-169, effective July 12, 2018
A justice of the supreme judicial or superior court, a clerk of courts or the clerk of the superior court for criminal business in the county of Suffolk, a standing or special commissioner appointed by either of said courts or, in the county of Suffolk, by the sheriff of said county with the approval of the superior court, a justice or clerk of a district court, a master in chancery, upon application of a prisoner or witness held under arrest or committed, either with or without a warrant, or held in the custody of an officer under a mittimus, may inquire into the case and admit such prisoner or witness to bail if he determines that such release will reasonably assure the appearance of the person before the court and will not endanger the safety of any other person or the community; and may admit to bail any person committed for not finding sureties to recognize for him. Except in cases where the person is determined to pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community under section 58A, bail shall be set in an amount no higher than what would reasonably assure the appearance of the person before the court after taking into account the person’s financial resources; provided, however, that a higher than affordable bail may be set if neither alternative nonfinancial conditions nor a bail amount which the person could likely afford would adequately assure the person’s appearance before the court. All persons authorized to take bail under this section shall be governed by the rules established by the supreme judicial or superior court. No person offering himself as surety shall be deemed to be insufficient if he deposits money of an amount equal to the amount of the bail required of him in such recognizance, or a bank book of a savings bank, credit union or of a savings account in a trust company or national bank, or a passbook or paid-up shares of a co-operative bank doing business in the commonwealth, properly assigned to the clerk with whom the same is or is to be deposited, and his successors, and satisfactory to the person so authorized to take bail, or deposits non-registered bonds of the United States or of the commonwealth or of any county, city or town within the commonwealth equal at their face value to the amount of the bail required of him in such recognizance. The sheriff of Suffolk county may, with the approval of the superior court, appoint standing or special commissioners to take bail to a number not exceeding twenty and may, with like approval, remove them.
Except where prohibited by this section, for any violation of an order issued pursuant to section 18 or 34B of chapter 208, section 32 of chapter 209, section 3, 4 or 5 of 209A or section 15 or 20 of chapter 209C or any act that would constitute abuse, as defined in section 1 of said chapter 209A, or a violation of sections 13M or 15D of chapter 265, a person arrested, who has attained the age of 18 years, shall not be admitted to bail sooner than 6 hours after arrest, except by a judge in open court. Any person authorized to take bail for such violation may impose conditions on a person's release in order to ensure the appearance of the person before the court and the safety of the alleged victim, any other individual or the community; provided, however, that the person authorized to take bail shall, prior to admitting the person to bail, modifying an existing order of bail or imposing such conditions, have immediate access to all pending and prior criminal offender record information, board of probation records and police and incident reports related to the person detained, upon oral, telephonic, facsimile or electronic mail request, to the extent practicable, and shall take into consideration the following: the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the potential penalty the person faces, the person's family ties, the person’s financial resources and financial ability to give bail, employment record and history of mental illness, the person's reputation, the risk that the person will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice or threaten, injure or intimidate or attempt to threaten, injure or intimidate a prospective witness or juror, the person's record of convictions, if any, any illegal drug distribution or present drug dependency, whether the person is on bail pending adjudication of a prior charge, whether the acts alleged involve abuse, as defined in said section 1 of said chapter 209A, a violation of a temporary or permanent order issued pursuant to said sections 18 or 34B of said chapter 208, said section 32 of said chapter 209, said sections 3, 4 or 5 of said chapter 209A or said sections 15 or 20 of said chapter 209C, whether the person has any history of issuance of such orders pursuant to the aforesaid sections, whether the person is on probation, parole or other release pending completion of sentence for any conviction and whether the person is on release pending sentence or appeal for any conviction.
If bail is set at an amount that is likely to result in the person’s long-term pretrial detention because he or she lacks the financial resources to post said amount, an authorized person setting bail must provide written or orally recorded findings of fact and a statement of reasons as to why, under the relevant circumstances, neither alternative nonfinancial conditions nor a bail amount that the person can afford will reasonably assure his or her appearance before the court, and further, must explain how the bail amount was calculated after taking the person’s financial resources into account and why the commonwealth’s interest in bail or a financial obligation outweighs the potential adverse impact on the person, their immediate family or dependents resulting from pretrial detention.
The person shall, prior to admittance to bail, with or without conditions, be provided with informational resources related to domestic violence by the person admitting the arrestee to bail, which shall include, but not be limited to, a list of certified batterer intervention programs located within or near the court's jurisdiction. If the defendant is released on bail from the place of detention, a reasonable attempt shall be made to notify the victim of the defendant's release by the arresting police department. If the defendant is released on bail by order of a court, a reasonable attempt shall be made to notify the victim of the defendant's release by the district attorney.
The commonwealth shall be the only party permitted to move for arraignment, within 3 hours of a complaint being signed by a magistrate or a magistrate's designee, for a person charged with violation of said sections 18 or 34B of said chapter 208, said section 32 of chapter 209, said sections 3, 4 or 5 of said chapter 209A or said sections 15 or 20 of said chapter 209C or was a violation of said sections 13M or 15D of said chapter 265.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a person arrested and charged with a violation of an order or judgment issued pursuant to section eighteen, thirty-four B or thirty-four C of chapter two hundred and eight, section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine, section three, four or five of chapter two hundred and nine A, or section fifteen or twenty of chapter two hundred and nine C, or arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony involving abuse as defined in section one of said chapter two hundred and nine A while an order of protection issued under said chapter two hundred and nine A was in effect against said person, shall not be released out of court by a clerk of courts, clerk of a district court, bail commissioner or master in chancery.
Before the amount of bail of a prisoner charged with an offence punishable by imprisonment for more than one year is fixed in court, the court shall obtain from its probation officer all available information relative to prior criminal prosecutions, if any, of the prisoner and the disposition of each of such prosecutions. If the offence with which such a prisoner is charged is a violation of any provision of sections twenty-two to twenty-four, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and sixty-five or section thirty-four or thirty-five of chapter two hundred and seventy-two, and it appears from such information or otherwise that he had been previously prosecuted for a violation of any such provision, the court shall, before the amount of bail is fixed, obtain from the department of mental health a report containing all information in its possession relative to the prisoner, particularly with respect to any mental disease or defect with which he may have been afflicted; and said department shall furnish any such report to the court promptly upon its request.
No person arrested for violating any provision of section thirty-three or thirty-five of chapter fifty-six shall be admitted to bail unless there is deposited not less than five hundred dollars in cash, or there is offered real estate of the fair market value of not less than one thousand dollars, over and above all encumbrances, as security.
Participation in a community corrections program pursuant to chapter 211F may be ordered by the court, in lieu of bail, or as a condition of release; provided, however, that the defendant shall consent to such participation.
|Last updated:||June 7, 2019|