Bail Check!

The Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas recently set bail in a murder case at $1,500,000.00. Defense counsel challenged bail as “unreasonable,” and the Fist District Court of Appeals agreed. The State appealed and the Ohio Supreme Court held the sole purpose of bail is to ensure an accused person’s attendance in court. The Court reiterated that, according to the Ohio Constitution, all people are “bailable by sufficient sureties, except for a person who is charged with a felony or a capital offense where the proof is evident or the presumption great, and where the person poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person or to the community.” Therefore, a trial court may not impose bail that violates the constitutional prohibition against bail in an amount higher than reasonably necessary to ensure the accused’s presence in court. See DuBose v. McGuffey, Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-8.