Presumptions Against Bond: Va. Code 19.2-120

What is a presumption against Bond?

Once you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you will be presented in front of a Magistrate, were you will have the opportunity to be granted Bail and Bond. Bail refers to the actual release from pre-trial confinement, and Bond refers to the conditions or funds that must be posted to receive Bail. Depending on the circumstances, you may be released “on your own recognizance” which means you will not have to post any Bond in order to be released. A Bond amount will likely still be set, which will be enforced against you if you fail to appear or violate the terms of your release.

When is there a presumption against Bond?

Virginia Code 19.2-120 lists a lengthy amount of crimes or circumstances in which there is a ‘presumption against’ Bond, which will need to be overcome. These include:

1. An act of violence as defined in § 19.2-297.1;

2. An offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death;

3. A violation of § 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-255, or 18.2-255.2 (Drug Manufacturing, Distribution offenses) involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance if (i) the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years or more and the person was previously convicted of a like offense or (ii) the person was previously convicted as a “drug kingpin” as defined in § 18.2-248;

4. A violation of § 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.2, or 18.2-308.4 (Certain Firearms offenses) and which relates to a firearm and provides for a mandatory minimum sentence;

5. Any felony, if the person has been convicted of two or more offenses described in subdivision 1 or 2, whether under the laws of the Commonwealth or substantially similar laws of the United States;

6. Any felony committed while the person is on release pending trial for a prior felony under federal or state law or on release pending imposition or execution of sentence or appeal of sentence or conviction;

7. An offense listed in subsection B of § 18.2-67.5:2 (Sexual Assault) and the person had previously been convicted of an offense listed in § 18.2-67.5:2 or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States and the judicial officer finds probable cause to believe that the person who is currently charged with one of these offenses committed the offense charged;

8. A violation of § 18.2-374.1 or 18.2-374.3 (Child Pornography) where the offender has reason to believe that the solicited person is under 15 years of age and the offender is at least five years older than the solicited person;

9. A violation of § 18.2-46.2, 18.2-46.3, 18.2-46.5, or 18.2-46.7 (Gang Related Activity);

10. A violation of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, or 46.2-341.24 (Driving While Intoxicated and related crimes) and the person has, within the past five years of the instant offense, been convicted three times on different dates of a violation of any combination of these Code sections, or any ordinance of any county, city, or town or the laws of any other state or of the United States substantially similar thereto, and has been at liberty between each conviction;

11. A second or subsequent violation of § 16.1-253.2 or 18.2-60.4 (Violations of Protective Orders) or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States;

12. A violation of subsection B of § 18.2-57.2 (Domestic Assault, prior offenses);

13. A violation of subsection C of § 18.2-460 (Obstruction of Justice) charging the use of threats of bodily harm or force to knowingly attempt to intimidate or impede a witness;

14. A violation of § 18.2-51.6 (Strangulation) if the alleged victim is a family or household member as defined in § 16.1-228; or

15. A violation of § 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1 (Prostitution Related Activity).

C. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is being arrested pursuant to § 19.2-81.6 (Illegal Immigration).

If you or a loved one has been denied Bond

Our attorneys are experienced in handling Bond motions and helping client’s maintain their freedom through Trial. If you or a loved one has been denied Bond, contact Farheena Sidiqqui or Brian Szmak, who can talk to you about the process for appealing denial of Bond, and what we can do to help.