3 Factors That Influence Bail Amount

Posted on: 26 January 2015

If your family member or loved one has been jailed for a crime, you are probably looking into bail bonds from sites like http://allstarbailbondslv.com to help them out. You are probably aware that you can use bail to help release a family member, however, how the bail amount is determined may be an issue that you are not familiar with. Bail is not a standard flat price, and can greatly fluctuate based on different factors. On top of that, bail is determined in a few different ways, and will differ from state-to-state, judge-to-judge, or even city-to-city.

Factors That Influence Bail Amount

There are a few common factors that can influence the bail amount set by a judge at an arraignment hearing. The most obvious consideration is the nature and severity of the crime. However, bail amounts are discretionary, and different circumstances can affect the amount the judge ultimately decides on. One such factor is potential flight risk. If the defendant does not have a steady job, local family, or other strong ties to the area, the judge might deem them more likely to skip town after release on bail.

If the defendant is deemed a flight risk, they will probably be issued a high bail amount, or they might be denied of bail altogether. Another consideration is whether or not it is a first offense. Repeat offenders are likely to be hit with higher bail amounts or, again, denied bail completely. Lastly, if the offender is determined to be a potential threat to themselves or others if released, they may be asked to pay a higher bail amount or be denied bail. This could mean a history of mental illness, unstable behavior, or previous violent crimes.

Bail Schedules Affect Bail

For most first-time offenders who aren't seen as a flight risk or potential harm, the amount they have to pay will simply adhere to a bail schedule adopted by the courts. The amounts set forth on the schedules vary by location, even from county to county, but in general they all increase with the seriousness of the crime. With a uniform bail schedule in effect, the offender doesn't need to wait for an arraignment in front of a judge. They can simply pay the bail associated with their alleged crime, according the schedule, and be released. The schedule is not negotiable within the jail. If the offender would like to request a lower bail amount, they would have to appear in front of a judge.

Police Actions That Can Affect Bail

Whether you are arraigned in court or pay bail according to a uniform schedule, the amount you pay will be in some capacity determined by the crime you are alleged to have committed. Because of this, the police can have a great deal of influence on the bail amount. For example, the police may decide to treat your alleged misdemeanor crime as a felony. Even if the charge is reduced during the court proceedings, the initial charge is going to be what determines your bail amount. This is particularly true in the case of a uniform bail schedule, where the amounts are non-negotiable. The police may also choose to arrest you on multiple charges, in which case you may be required to post the separate bail amount for each charge.

When you are getting ready to pay bail, it is important to keep all of these factors in mind so that you have a more clear idea of how much bail you are going to have to shell out, which can help you be prepared to find the right kind of bail bond agent, as well as help you avoid sticker shock.