Aniah’s Law

Aniah’s Law is a vital piece of legislation in Alabama that came into existence in response to a tragic event. The law is named after Aniah Blanchard, a young woman who was killed in 2019. This shocking crime led to a reevaluation of Alabama’s bail system, culminating in Aniah’s Law. The law is loosely patterned after the United States Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. 3141, 3142. Contact our Birmingham Alabama Aniah’s Law Defense Attorney today at (205) 823-7233

Who was Aniah Blanchard?

Aniah Blanchard, a student at Southern Union State Community College, was reported missing on October 24, 2019. After a month-long search, her remains were discovered in a wooded area in Macon County. The prime suspect in Aniah’s murder who would eventually be charged with the murder, Ibraheem Yazeed, was out on bail for a separate kidnapping and attempted murder charge at the time of Aniah’s disappearance. This case brought Alabama’s bail system under scrutiny, leading to the creation of Aniah’s Law.

What Does Aniah’s Law Do?

The purpose of Aniah’s Law is to provide judges with more authority to deny bail to individuals charged with some of the most serious crimes. The law is designed to protect the public from individuals who pose a significant risk to society. It seeks to balance the rights of the accused with the safety of the community. Above all, Aniah’s Law aims to prevent future tragedies similar to Aniah Blanchard’s case. The Law requires that a pre-trial detention hearing be held when a defendant is charged with:

If a defendant is charged with Capital Murder under Code of Alabama (1975) § 13A-5-40, the law automatically denies bail to the defendant.

How is an Aniah’s Law Hearing Conducted?

The Rules of Evidence are relaxed in an Aniah’s Law hearing. The judge reviews the charges, the defendant’s past criminal history, and any evidence indicating that the defendant may be a flight risk or a danger to the community. This evidence can include testimony on the character of the accused by a family member, close friend, or a former school teacher or supervisor. If the judge determines that the defendant poses a significant risk, bail can be denied under the provisions of Aniah’s Law. These hearings are crucial in determining whether a defendant will remain in custody until their trial. It is important to understand your rights as a defendant at this hearing. You have the right to:

  • An attorney
  • Testify in your own defense, if you so choose.
  • Present witnesses
  • Cross-examine witnesses
  • Present evidence of your innocence or your likelihood to commit the offense again.

What Should You Do Now?

If you or a loved one has been arrested and is facing an Aniah’s Law hearing, it is imperative to have sound legal representation. The Stoves Law Firm, P.C., with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, can provide you with the legal guidance and robust defense you need during this challenging time. Our attorneys understand the complexities of Aniah’s Law and can help navigate the proceedings of these hearings. Contact our Birmingham Alabama Aniah’s Law Defense Attorney today at (205) 823-7233 or fill out our confidential contact form to discuss your case today. .

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