If a loved one has been arrested, you might wonder how bail is set. The bail is partially based on set rules, but there are other factors that also affect how much bail will be set to. An attorney may also be able to negotiate a lower bail.
Each court has a bail schedule that determines what bail should be set to based on the severity of the crime. The more extreme the crime, the higher that the bail will usually be set. Often, the judge will attempt to set the bail to an amount that the defendant cannot afford or may not even allow bail in cases such as homicide.
Defendants who are considered a threat to the public often have bail set higher. For example, if the defendant has been making threats, the judge may set the bail higher than usual.
Some have argued that bail is not set fairly and that judges have shown bias in the past. One solution has been to set bail through an algorithm. Characteristics such as the defendant's age, criminal history, and the crime that the defendant is accused of are factored into the algorithm.
Prior Criminal History
If the defendant has an outstanding warrant in another jurisdiction, they may not be given bail because the judge may wish to keep the defendant in custody so that they may be served the warrant in another jurisdiction. If the defendant has a past criminal record, this may lead to the bail being set higher.
Past Skipped Court Appearances
If the defendant has skipped court appearances in the past, this may be used as an excuse to set the bail higher. Defendants who are not US citizens will often be unable to receive bail.
Some defendants will interfere with the witness in a manner that might affect the case. The defendant will need to know who the witness is and the courts may then be concerned that the defendant might contact the witness. This can lead to the bail being set higher.
When the bail has been set so high that you cannot possibly post it, one option is to turn to a bondsman. They will require that you pay 10% of the bail but will cover the rest of it. This will save your loved one from spending a considerable amount of time in jail. For more information, contact a bail bonds service.
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