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Increased bail is abuse of discretion, panel rules

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A trial court abused its discretion when it raised a defendant’s bail in a meth possession case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

In Charles Cole v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1308-CR-680, Marion Superior Judge Jose Salinas initially set Charles Cole’s bond at $2,500 surety on the Class D felony charge, and the state did not object. Cole’s public defender, though, asked the court to reduce the bond to $1,500, to which the state did object.

Salinas responded to the request by giving Cole a copy of his criminal record and questioning him about his more than a dozen felony and misdemeanor convictions between 1987 and 2010, after which bond was raised to $10,000 surety.

Cole since has pleaded guilty to the charge, but the court in a footnote wrote that it granted his request to proceed with the appeal as a matter of great public interest. Judge Elaine Brown noted in the unanimous opinion reversing the increased bond that Cole argued no new evidence supported the increase and that the unusually high bail was twice as high as the maximum provided by Marion County’s local rules.

“The State does not point to any other statutory authority which would support the trial court’s order increasing Cole’s bail. The requirements for increasing bail under Ind. Code § 35-33-8-5 were not satisfied, and the trial court abused its discretion in increasing Cole’s bail,” Brown wrote for the panel that also included Judges Edward Najam and Paul Mathias.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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