The Decatur Police Department is informing the public about how bond amounts work after several citizens came forward with concerns.
“Over the last several months, there has been much discussion on our Facebook page about bond amounts,” the police department posted on Facebook. “We want to be transparent about this process and inform you, the public how the bond/bail process works.”
The latest questions from the community came from a Facebook post by the Decatur PD in which a man was charged with trafficking in cannabis, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, speeding, no tag light and following too close. He was issued a $25,000 cash bond.
Another recent arrest was that of a woman who was given a $5,000 bond after police said she was in possession of 500 fentanyl pills.
Many commenters online remarked that the bond amounts did not seem fair. The issue has been brought up by lawmakers, and the Alabama Legislature passed a bill this year to add mandatory sentencing on trafficking fentanyl charges.
In Alabama, there is a set bond schedule, and police have nothing to do with the amount of bond a defendant is given. A judge decides on the exact amount of bond after a hearing, but that amount still must meet the restrictions of the bond schedule.
Certain criteria can be considered when a judge decides bond, including criminal history, the presence of violence, threats made during or after the crime and if there are multiple crimes that took place. No bond can be given in capital cases and other violent cases in which the defendant has a violent criminal history.
The current bond schedule for felony offenses committed within the State of Alabama is as follows:
Capital Murder - $50,000 to NO BOND
Murder - $15,000 to NO BOND
Drug Trafficking or Manufacturing - $5,000 to $1,500,000
Class A Felonies - $10,000 to $60,000
Class B Felonies - $5,000 to $30,000
Class C Felonies - $2,500 to $15,000
Class D Felonies - $1,000 to $10,000
Misdemeanors - $300
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email email@example.com.
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.