A common misconception is that the bail bondsmen set the bail amount. This is why many customers try to plead with their bail bond agents to reduce the bail amount set for their release.
After an arrest, the defendant is arraigned in court before a judge who decides on their bail application. When it comes to bail amounts and conditions, the judges are in charge. Ahead of the arraignment, the bail amount can also be determined using the bail schedule.
Freedom / Libertad Bail Bonds bail bondsman in San Angelo reveals that the bail schedule is a document containing the different offenses a person can commit and the corresponding bail amount. Once a suspect has been arrested, the judge determines the bail amount at the first court appearance. Note that the amount set by the judge may be a little higher than what is contained in the bail schedule.
Judges often consider a lot of factors when determining bail amount. Usually, they consider the severity of the charges against the accused person and whether the defendant is a threat to the community. If the defendant is established to be a threat to themselves or the community, bail may be denied. However, the judge may equally set a higher amount to ensure that the defendant does not jump bail.
Jumping bail is a term that is used to describe defendants who evade justice by running away. Note that any defendant that has been granted bail will face a lot of consequences if they skip bail or fail to appear in court on their due dates. If the defendant had paid the full bail amount to the court, they forfeit it, and a fresh arrest is made. If the person had used a bail bonds company, the bail bondsman has the authority to send bounty hunters after the defendant.
So, what are the factors that influence the bail amount set?
The Severity of the Crime - Judges often consider the severity of the charges against the accused when deciding on their bail application. When the charges are severe and heinous, the judge can deny the defendant’s bail application. However, the judge may also set a high amount to reflect how dangerous the charges against the defendant are.
Past Criminal Records – Defendants with a past criminal record or a record of conviction may be considered a threat to the community. The judge may set a high amount to reflect the past criminal record. However, a first-time offender facing misdemeanor charges may get a lower bail amount to reflect their lack of prior criminal convictions.
Employment Status – Judges also consider the employment status of the defendant. Defendants who are gainfully employed are more likely to remain in the community and appear in court on their set dates. This may qualify them for the minimum possible amount for the charges alleged.
Relatives and Community Ties – Defendants who have been active community members for years or those who have families and friends are less likely to jump bail. This may be a valid ground that influences the bail amount set.
Reasons Why Bail can be Denied
Have you ever wondered why some people were able to make bail, and some were not? Below are some of the reasons why judges may deny a defendant’s bail application.
Severe Criminal Charges – A defendant faced with severe criminal charges, for example, multiple felonies, may be regarded as a threat to themselves and the community. The judge may deny such a defendant’s bail application to ensure that they do not harm themselves or anyone ahead of their court dates.
Flight Risk – Some people have a high chance of running after they have been granted bail. If the defendant has jumped bail in the past or is considered a high flight risk, bail may be denied. This is a means of keeping them in the community until their case has been finalized.
Repeat Offenses – Some defendants are presented in court for repeating offenses that establish a trend. The judge may decide that the defendant is incapable of living within the confines of the law guiding a normal community. This may be a valid ground to deny the defendant’s bail application. Once denied, the defendant will be held in custody until such a time that the final verdict is read.
Public Threat – Defendants who have committed serious offenses are regarded as a threat to the public. For example, judges are not likely to grant bail to a suspected serial killer. If the judge determines that the criminal charges against the defendant are hefty, they may be denied bail.