Search Site
IBC Centre, 130 East Travis Street, Suite #425 | San Antonio, TX 78205

Public Research Group Studies Effect of Assistance of Counsel at Bail Hearings

Researchers have made Potter County, Texas one of the first court systems in the United States to actively test the effect of the presence of defense counsel at bail hearings. The Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) at Texas A&M University is conducting a year-long study at the Potter County Detention Center, testing whether defendants charged with nonviolent crimes who are represented by defense attorneys are more likely to be released while awaiting trial.

Potter County Criminal Court holds virtual arraignments via Zoom within 24 hours of an arrest. The study randomly selects inmates to be appointed defense attorneys before the arraignment. The lawyers interview defendants to discover mitigating factors that can support arguments for reducing or eliminating bail based on risk assessment.

Primary investigator George Naufal of the PPRI says that if the study is successful in showing the cause-and-effect relationship of defense counsel and defendants’ releases, it could permanently revolutionize how bail determinations are made.

The PPRI has previously researched the impact of using risk assessment tools to determine eligibility for pretrial release. Rather than tying an amount of cash bail to a particular offense, risk assessment considers factors that indicate the likelihood of a defendant reoffending if released while awaiting trial.

The PPRI’s prior research showed that three times more low-risk defendants are detained in a financial release system than in one that makes release decisions based on a defendant’s risk. By contrast, 10 times more defendants are released into the community when risk-based release is employed. The PPRI estimated that court and detention costs were 31 percent lower when risk assessment tools were used, since more low-risk defendants were released.

When the right to freedom depends on a defendant’s bank account and not the risk they pose, it’s much more likely that that potential reoffenders will be released. The PPRI found that the number of new crimes committed by defendants who posted bail was 22 percent higher than those on non-financial release.

Allowing release while awaiting trial also can have a substantial positive impact on the lives of the defendants. Those who are detained for long periods will often lose their jobs and the separation and financial issues caused by detention can be detrimental to families.

The legal team at the Law Offices of Kevin Collins in San Antonio provides effective representation in securing our clients’ pretrial release on bail or recognizance. Call 210-598-8629 or contact us online to receive immediate assistance from an experienced defense attorney.

COVID-19 Notice
We are here to help and support you through these generally challenging times with your specific legal issues. You will be able to reach me or my staff through our main telephone numbers, and of course by email: [email protected]. Phone conferences for existing and potential clients are available, as is the video conference feature through the Zoom app. Zoom may present some privacy challenges so phone conferences are preferred. Please take care of your health by following the measures recommended by the CDC, and by state and local authorities.
Firm Recognition
  • Super Lawyers
    Best Law Firms 2021
  • Three Best Rated
  • ThreeBest Rated
Client Reviews
  • google

    Bexar County is a very challenging and difficult judicial system to work with. The prosecutors struggle with staffing shortages and the judges are overloaded with cases. This makes it very difficult to do anything with a case in a timely manner. Mr. ...

    Read more

    Andy Mullen

  • google

    I truly appreciate that Mr. Collins was straight forward and kept me informed every step of the way. He was willing to go the extra mile to help build a strong case, but kept me level headed throughout the process. He was open with the fact that the ...

    Read more

    Brie Wrinkle

  • google

    Words cannot truly describe how amazing this attorney is . Great sense of professionalism and work ethic to say the least . Not only that he understands the law inside and out, and will put you first . Would highly advise to choose him as your attorn...

    Read more

    Gustavo Gomez

  • google

    Kevin Collins represented me in a D.V. case. Dismissal. His preparation and intellect are remarkable. He's a league above his peers and competion. Follow his instructions and heed his advice. Not many people are built for this type of work. Kevin Col...

    Read more

    Warren B.

  • google

    Kevin Collins is by far the best man for the job. Almost immediately as I talk to him on the phon I felt calm and reassuring. He started the process and handled it, very efficient and got the job done. He also responds to my calls very quickly and ke...

    Read more

    Aretha Jones

See all reviews
Case Results
State of Texas v. J.T. Furnishing Alcohol to a minor dismissed after start of trial despite death caused by accident
View All
Contact us

Quick Contact Form