DOVER, Del. - Dangerous, violent criminals would face tougher bail conditions under legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday. The the bail reform legislation now goes to Governor Markell, a strong supporter, to sign. The bill passed the House unanimously on March 28.
The measure requires that defendants who are arrested for a violent felony, while out on bail for a previous offense, have their bail for the first offense revoked if a Superior Court judge decides there is sufficient evidence that the person committed the later crime.
The repeat offender would forfeit the bail if it was cash and a hearing would be held to set a new bail amount. Under the legislation, that amount must be reset to at least double the initial amount.
The legislation sets the presumption that cash bail be imposed for persons charged with a violent felony involving a firearm. In addition, it makes clear that the Court must require a defendant to appear at court when summoned. Having this requirement as a clear condition of bail will allow the bail to be forfeited if the defendant does not appear for trial or other proceedings.