Not all crimes lead to a bail hearing. Minor offenses may allow the officers at the jail to issue a standard bail amount and release an arrestee with little or no time in a jail cell. Jails usually have a bail schedule that the officers can refer to for minor offenses. Serious offenses, however, will require a bail hearing by a judge meaning they’ll almost certainly involve a lawyer and a bail bond as well. Several factors go into a judge’s bail determination and these factors can vary from place to place. These are a few of the standard determinants.
- The Seriousness of the Crime
All crimes have their own “cost” so to speak. Misdemeanors and petty crimes have lower bail amounts than felony crimes. Although bail is not a punitive action, it’s meant to guarantee to a court that the arrestee will return for future appearances and having a large financial stake in that can act as a motivator. If the arrestee fails to appear on his or her date, he or she must give up the money that was posted as bail.
- The Criminal Record of the Accused
If the accused has a long list of past arrests, the judge may increase the bail number, particularly if the judge suspects that he might commit more crimes before his scheduled court appearance. The Eighth Amendment bans judges from imposing unreasonable bail amounts in order to keep an arrestee in prison but if there is strong evidence that the arrestee is guilty due to his record, this rule can be bent. If an arrestee has a history of missing court appearances, the judge may set a high bail or can even deny bail altogether. If the arrestee has outstanding warrants, it’s highly likely bail will be denied by the judge.
- Flight Risk
When it comes to predicting someone’s bail, this is probably the best-known determinant. It’s also the one factor that takes things like income and family ties into account. Usually the longer the arrestee has lived in a certain area and the more people he knows there, the less likely he is to flee. If he has a job or is enrolled in school, the judge may deliver lighter bail demands. Finally, if the arrestee doesn’t have the money to travel, he can’t go anywhere. That will also drive the final bail amount down. The judge will examine the sources of the funds that will pay for the bail.
No matter how much your bail costs, we can help make it more affordable and make the whole bail out system easier to understand. Call today to get the bond process started!