Once you have been arrested, charged with a crime and booked into jail, a bail hearing will be set. Bail is an amount of money that is paid to the court to allow your release from jail while ensuring that you will appear for future court dates. If you do not appear for the court dates, the bail amount will be forfeit.
Bail is decided on two key factors:
- The Crime
- The Individual’s Flight Risk
1. The Crime
There are set ranges of bail for specific types of crimes. Misdemeanors normally receive lower bail amounts than felonies. In some cases, capital crimes have no bail. The court will decide bail within the parameters set for each type of crime that has been committed. The more severe the crime, the greater the bail amount is likely to be.
The court will also take into consideration criminal history as well as repeat offences. If a person has been charged with the same crime for the second or third time, their bail is likely to be higher than for first time offenders. A person who has a criminal history or who has committed other crimes in the past will also probably receive a higher bail amount. Bail may be denied to repeat offenders.
2. The Individual’s Risk of Flight
If an individual is considered to be a flight risk, bail may be set at the maximum amount allowed for a certain crime or denied entirely. A person who has the means to flee or has shown any signs that they may not appear in court is considered a high flight risk and bail conditions will be more severe.
An individual who is deemed to be a danger to society or themselves may also be denied bail or receive a higher bail amount. This is normally decided on how likely it is that the person will commit the same or similar crime while out on bail. The higher the risk, the greater the bail amount will be. Same goes for the bond. High risk bail bonds aren’t taken lightly and you will be charged a premium.
It is recommended to seek legal representation in a bail hearing if, for any reason, flight risk or danger to society may prevent bail from being set. A good lawyer may also be able to lower bail amounts to make them more affordable.
If the bail amount is not affordable, bail agents or bondsmen can be approached to post bail for a fee to ensure release from jail until a court hearing or trial. Read more news on bail bonds on our homepage for a deeper understanding.