Informer: Law lists 10 factors to consider in setting bond

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

What are the guidelines for setting bonds for people in jail?

Article 334 of the state’s Code of Criminal Procedure says judges must set bond amounts that ensure defendants will appear in court, and it lists 10 factors they should take into account in determining bail amounts.

The factors, as listed in the law:

The seriousness of the offense charged, including but not limited to whether the offense is a crime of violence or involves a controlled dangerous substance.

The weight of the evidence against the defendant.

The previous criminal record of the defendant.

The ability of the defendant to give bail.

The nature and seriousness of the danger to any other person or the community that would be posed by the defendant’s release.

The defendant’s voluntary participation in a pretrial drug testing program.

The absence or presence of any controlled dangerous substance in the defendant’s blood at the time of arrest.

Whether the defendant is currently out on bond on a previous felony arrest for which he is awaiting institution of prosecution, arraignment, trial, or sentencing.

Any other circumstances affecting the probability of defendant’s appearance.

The type or form of bail.

The Code of Criminal Procedure says courts may set up schedules that list bail amounts for each felony offense.

If they don’t, “the amount of bail in felony cases shall be specifically fixed in each case,” reads Article 341.

Online: www.legis.la.gov.

Daylight time to end on Sunday, Nov. 3

When does daylight saving time end this year?

Daylight saving time, which began at 2 a.m. March 10, will end at 2 a.m. Nov. 3.

It used to begin on the first Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October, but a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended the period, effective in 2007.

Daylight saving time now begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

In addition to lengthening the daylight time period, the 2005 law directed the Energy Department to conduct a study of how

extended daylight time affected energy consumption.

The study, whose results were released

in October 2008, examined hourly power consumption for 67 electric

utilities nationwide.

It found that the longer daylight period cut energy consumption by

half a percent each day, or 0.3 percent for the year, and

saved 1.3 trillion watt-hours.

“During Extended Daylight Saving Time,

electricity savings generally occurred over a three- to five-hour period

in the evening

with small increases in usage during the early-morning hours. On a

daily percentage basis, electricity savings were slightly

greater during the March (spring) extension of Extended Daylight

Saving Time than the November (fall) extension,” reads the

study, which examined consumption for 2007.

“On a regional basis, some southern

portions of the United States exhibited slightly smaller impacts of

Extended Daylight

Saving Time on energy savings compared to the northern regions, a

result possibly due to a small, offsetting increase in household

air conditioning usage.”

Online: www.usno.navy.mil/USNO; http://energy.gov.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com