nebbia hearings

Nebbia Orders

Following an arrest in Pennsylvania, the accused individual will have an arraignment in front of a Magisterial District Judge or in Municipal Court if charged in Philadelphia. The purpose of this arraignment is to advise the person of the charges against them as well as their rights. In addition, bail will be set using various factors such as the seriousness of the current charges, any prior arrests, ties to the community, employment, etc. The Court is not permitted to set bail at an unreasonable amount. Often, people are allowed to post ten percent of their bail amount in order to be released. For example, if bail is set at $100,000 (but eligible for 10%), the family would only have to pay $10,000 to have the person released on bail. Typically, anyone can pay the bail amount in order for the Defendant to be released. There is no need to disclose who paid or the source of the money. In certain circumstances, however, the court will put a restriction on bail called a Nebbia Order. If this happens, anyone posting bail must prove the source of the funds. This proof must be shown to the court’s satisfaction so the Nebbia Order can be lifted and the defendant can be released.

When Are Nebbia Orders Used In Pennsylvania

Nebbia orders are not common in Pennsylvania criminal cases. They are reserved for very serious criminal cases and occur most frequently in criminal cases involving large sums of money. For example, drug trafficking, white collar crimes, gang and or organized crime cases in which the accused has a long criminal history. In these cases, it can be assumed that a lot of money has been made illegally, and that they have set aside funds for purposes such as bail and other legal expenses. The court wants to make sure that they are not receiving funds that have been earned from criminal activity. A Nebbia Order is their method of protection.

Lifting Nebbia Orders In Pennsylvania

A Nebbia Order can stand in the way of a person’s freedom if not handled properly. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to get these Nebia Order lifted. This typically involves filing a written motion on your behalf requesting that the Nebbia Order be lifted and outlining the legal source of the money that is being used to pay the bail. Once the motion has been filed, the Court will set a date for a hearing. You will be required to prove that the funds used for your bail were not derived from criminal activity. The money can be a loan, or paid by another party known as a surety, but you must present evidence to show the court that the money is from a legal source.

Examples of proof of the source of bail money for a Nebbia Order can include the following:

  • Testimony under oath that the funds came from lawful employment or a loan
  • Bank Statements
  • Financial Records
  • Tax Returns

The Defendant has the burden of proof to show that the money used for bail was not obtained through criminal activity. If you fail to satisfy the court the Nebbia Order will remain in place and you will remain in custody until your trial. If a Nebbia order has been issued in your case, it is likely that the charges against you are extremely serious. Having an experienced criminal attorney to help guide you through the process and fight for your rights is a necessity. A skilled Pennsylvania defense attorney can assist you with every aspect of your case and will fight to protect your rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. This includes issues that arise before your trial takes place, like bail and Nebbia orders.