A 42 year old Fall River woman was held without bail after being arraigned in the Dorchester District Court on charges of kidnapping, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and assorted motor vehicle charges.
At arraignment the prosecution disclosed that on July 22, 2008 around 12:00 p.m. Boston Police received information that a woman was screaming for help out of a window of the car being driven by the defendant. The responding officer attempted to pull the car over at which time the defendant proceeded to weave in and out of traffic in an attempt to avoid apprehension. Another officer observed the passenger crying out for help. During the chase the defendant was driving approximately 80-90 miles per hour. Police vehicles ultimately surrounded the defendant’s vehicle and after a struggle effectuated an arrest.
The woman was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.
Bail in Massachusetts in regulated by G.L. c. 276 sec. 42. The statute was written in 1971 as a mechanism designed to establish the right of those accused to be admitted to bail. In deciding whether to set bail, and how much bail to impose, clerk magistrates and judges consider several factors. They look at the severity of the crime, the individual’s roots in the community, the accused’s criminal record and the individual’s history of defaults.
In addition to this statute Massachusetts has a law that permits pre-trial detention based on a finding that the person is dangerous. See G.L. c. 276 sec. 58A. Under that law the prosecution may move for an order of detention on the grounds of dangerousness. You are entitled to a hearing on this issue and a judge must find by clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community or any other person. A person detained on dangerousness grounds cannot be detained for more than ninety days absent a showing of good cause.
District Attorney’s Offices in many Massachusetts counties attempt to use the dangerousness statute for specific crimes. The most common is domestic assault and battery. If you are charged with a crime it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the bail statute. Bail is typically set at the arraignment. Our office has handled hundreds of bail arguments successfully in Massachusetts and other states. If you are charged with a crime we encourage you to contact our office now.
Related Web Resources:
Highway Driver Charged With Multiple Assaults, Kidnapping Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office Press Release
The Massachusetts Bail Statute G.L. c. 276 sec. 42
Dangerousness Hearings G.L. c. 276 sec. 58A