While no one plans to be arrested, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, it can be beneficial to have a basic understanding of how your bail will be set. When it comes to setting bail amounts, judges have some discretion in determining the amount of money that will be required for someone who has been arrested to get out of jail.
Here are three factors that judges commonly use to help them determine bail amounts on the cases they preside over.
1. Bail Schedules
In order to ensure that there is some consistency in the amount of bail that those arrested for similar crimes pay, most states have set bail schedules that judges must adhere to. These schedules provide a range in which bail amounts should typically fall.
A judge will usually consult the bail schedule for the crime you have been arrested for, then use his or her discretion to determine whether or not your bail should be set on the high or the low range of the bail schedule.
2. Flight Risk
When you post bail to gain your freedom from jail, you are essentially making a promise that you will attend any future scheduled court appearances. Judges must carefully evaluate how much of a flight risk you pose when setting bail amounts.
If you have relatively few family or community ties, access to financial resources, and you are facing a lengthy sentence, a judge might believe that you are likely to flee before your criminal charges have been resolved. Your bail amount will likely be higher than someone who has been arrested for the same crime but doesn't pose much of a flight risk.
3. Likelihood of Conviction
Although all persons who are arrested in the United States are considered innocent until proven guilty, the judge overseeing your case will probably take the likelihood of your conviction into consideration when setting your bail.
If there is a preponderance of evidence against you, a judge could feel that setting a higher bail amount will reduce the chances of you fleeing before your trial date because you feel that you cannot win your case.
When you understand the many factors that a judge takes into consideration as he or she sets bail amounts, you will be able to better understand the valuation placed on your own bail. Be sure to contact a local bail bondsman for assistance if you need help navigating the bail process. You can follow this website link to find more information about bail bonds services in your area.