Bail amount is almost always made by a judge. The judge typically follows standard practices when deciding bail amount. For the most part, this takes place at the defendant’s first court appearance after an arrest, which may be either a bail hearing or an arraignment. Though there are common bail amounts set for certain crimes, judges do have the power to deny or grant bail altogether.
What to Know Before Bail Amount is Set
Below is a quick list of things you need to know before appearing at a bail hearing:
- Something to consider is that defendants do not, necessarily, need a lawyer for the bail hearing
- A defendant can either post their own cash bail at this hearing or have a bail bond agency arrange for a bond
- Relatives or friends are also allowed to post bail on behalf of the defendant either through a bail bond agency or in cash
Judges Are Influenced by The Following Factors for Setting Bail Amounts
- The leeway that judges have when it comes to establishing bail amounts is typically not drastic. There are set norms for judges that they follow, but a judge still gets to decide what the bail amount will be within a set range. As such, the judge weighs a variety of factors when determining the amount a bail should be.
The seriousness of the crime is always top of mind for the judge.
- Criminal history is also a strong indicator of the chances someone has of staying out of trouble after being bailed out of jail
- A strong and current employment record in the area indicates a good life that the defendant wouldn’t easily walk away from
- The defendant is more likely to return for their hearing if they have close family or community ties in the area
Did You Know That Sometimes Bail Isn’t Set By a Judge?
In some areas, there’s far more crime than judges can keep up with. Sometimes a judge won’t even be a part of determining your bail amount. Algorithms can now take the place of a judge’s ‘judgement’ on your bail amount. These algorithms take into account the aforementioned factors that indicate whether or not a person will return for their day in court. These factors pass through the algorithm and a score or a recommendation is made about the defendant.
You Can Actually Post Bail Before a Bail Hearing
Posting bail before a bail hearing is a catch-22 situation. The jail itself will often offer fixed rate bails that you can pay in cash or by way of a bond from a bail bond agency. You can get out of jail faster if you don’t wait for a bail hearing. The judge could, after all, set a lower bail amount than the fixed amount at the jail or even waive bail entirely. The flipside of this is that the judge can also legally deny you bail if they think you are a flight risk.
The criminal justice system is complex to navigate, but not impossible. Having an experienced bail bondsman on your side can help. AAAA Bail Bonds are here for you. Call 936-539-4444 to learn more.