Criminal Court Judges Hear Case About New Bail Bond Law - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Criminal Court Judges Hear Case About New Bail Bond Law

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Davidson County district attorney and all six criminal court judges met Wednesday for a hearing about the bail bonding business. They discussed how a new state law has changed the way bonding companies conduct business.

The controversy started when a new state law took effect over the summer. It said bonding companies were no longer liable after someone has been found guilty or pleaded guilty in court.

The problem has been magnified because of the delay in sentencing, which can be up to 45 days from the time the individual was convicted.

"I think the problem is that people are all of a sudden put into a situation where they would have to go into custody prior to an actual sentencing hearing," said Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson.

While the new law didn't go into effect until this summer, the judges said the bonding companies were trying to enforce it for all of their clients. Even those who set up their bond before the law took effect were required to pay two bonds if they wanted to stay out of jail until their sentencing hearing.

Attorney Joel Moseley, Jr., was also in court to represent the interests of the bail bonding companies.

"This case or the hearing today is based upon an order that the criminal court judges entered on July 16," said Moseley. "This set forth new obligations on bail bonding companies to continue their business in Davidson County."

Bondsman Jeff Slater said not only do the new requirements go against state law but also create an issue of public safety.

"What I think a lot of people don't understand is that when someone is found guilty, the potential of someone absconding on that bond has greatly increased," said Slater.

As of Wednesday, criminal court judges had not made a decision regarding the order, which required bail bond companies to send notice or offer a refund for bail bond contracts executed before May 6.

Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
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