How Judges Determine Bail

If you have been arrested and incarcerated a judge will ordinarily set a bail amount at a suspect’s first court appearance after your arrest. This appearance could either be a bail hearing or an arraignment.

Judges will typically adhere to standard practice with regards to a suspect’s alleged crime when determining bail. However, judges can raise, lower or waive the standard bail based on the circumstances of the individual case.

Additionally, you do not need an attorney present to arrange bail, although we do recommend it. Suspects can either post bail personally or contact a bail bond seller and arrange a bond. Friends and family can also post a suspect’s bail by visiting the jail or courthouse.

How do Judges Determine Bail?

arrested man with undetermined bailStandard bail is typically determined by the seriousness of the accused crime. Felonies call for much higher bail amounts than a misdemeanor crime. The other factors that determines bail is the defendant’s past criminal record, employment status and whether the defendant has close ties to relatives and the community.

In some cases, a judge will deny bail altogether. This can occur if another jurisdiction has placed a warrant on a defendant, the judge will likely keep a suspect in custody long enough for the other jurisdiction to pursue its charge. Additionally, bail may be denied if judge believes a suspect is likely to skip bail and flee.

Bail Schedules

In most states, defendants can post bail with police before their bail hearing or arraignment. Most jails have posted bail schedules, which give an outline of standard bails for common crimes like DUI. This allows an arrested defendant to obtain release immediately after booking by paying the predetermined bail amount. Bail schedules can change drastically depending on the state where the crime was committed.

Felonies are typically five to ten times more than the bail set for misdemeanors. The more dangerous the crime committed, the higher the dollar amount for bail.

It should be stated that jailhouse bail schedules are typically inflexible. The police will not accept bail other than the amount outlined in the official bail schedule.

To learn more about bail amounts in your particular jurisdiction give us a call today.