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Bail Reduction in Philadelphia: $350k to $45k

While courts remain mostly closed, Attorney Thomas Kenny still succeeded in securing a massive bail reduction today for a client facing gun charges in Philadelphia.

Our client, who was already facing charges in several unrelated matters, was recently arrested on the suspicion of firing a gun at an unoccupied car, as well as trespassing and other related charges.

Bail was initially set at $300,000.00 for the gun charges, with an additional $50,000.00 for the trespassing charges. Without a bail reduction, our client would be forced to wait for the justice system – already frighteningly delayed by the coronavirus pandemic – behind bars.

The way that cash bail usually works in Philadelphia is that a “surety” must post 10% of the total amount of bail owed to get their loved one out of jail. If the defendant then fails to appear for their court dates as scheduled, bail may be revoked and the surety then owes the full amount to the court. Cash bail is a broken system that discriminates against the poorest defendants, but it is a reality in Philadelphia and one that attorneys must navigate every day for their clients.

In this case, a surety would have had to post a total of $35,000.00 to get our client out of jail. Needless to say, the client’s family did not just have that kind of money lying around, and so they chose to hire the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kenny, Burns & McGill to argue for a bail reduction.

Attorney Thomas Kenny jumped right into the cases, obtained copies of the preliminary police reports, and went up to the local jail to visit his client and discuss the facts of the case. Our office then obtained permission for multiple character witnesses to attend court, in-person, on our client’s behalf.

Every piece of the puzzle already in place by the time he arrived, Mr. Kenny was able to lay out his arguments for the judge piece by piece.

He explained what a burden the existing bail presented to his client’s family, as well as the dangers of allowing his client to remain incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Kenny described his client’s many positive traits, his work history, and his eagerness to address the charges against him and fulfill his various legal obligations to the court.

Mr. Kenny also dissected the facts of the case and showed the judge that the prosecutor’s case was not nearly as strong as they might have initially thought. For instance, Mr. Kenny noted that the gun allegedly involved in the incident was legally purchased and owned.

Not only that, the prosecutor for the Commonwealth and the Philadelphia Police Department could not identify a single witness to link our client to the alleged shooting.

Mr. Kenny pointed out that simply owning a legal firearm and living in the same neighborhood where gunshots were heard are just not enough evidence to justify holding someone in jail while he waits for a court date which may be rescheduled indefinitely due to the pandemic.

A bail reduction, Mr. Kenny concluded, would be the only proper and equitable solution. The judge agreed with Mr. Kenny’s comprehensive reasoning and immediately lowered the total bail from $350,000.00 to $45,000.00 – a decrease of nearly 90%.

Our client’s family can now afford to post bail and bring their loved one home, safe and sound. Justice was served today and we were glad to be a part of it.


Are you or someone you know facing criminal charges in or around Philadelphia? The legal team at Kenny, Burns & McGill wakes up every morning ready to advocate for their clients. Call or text today to learn how we can help you: (215) 423-5500.

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  • Philadelphia Office
    1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
    Suite 520
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
    Phone: 215-423-5500
    Fax: 215-231-9847
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