Bail bonds are important because they help leverage civil liberties for those who don’t have a lot of money. They also prevent you from spending long periods of time in jail, allowing you to continue work and provide for your family. Statistics say that those who don’t post bail end up with three times longer jail sentences. For this reason, you need to know certain factors that could impact your chances of being allowed to post bail for your temporary freedom.
There are times when the court has the right to deny bail. Some of the most common include being a flight risk, having many penal code violations, and previously trying to escape jail or prison. The courts will take some time reviewing your case and history of crimes, before deciding on a bail amount or if bail is even given as an option. Generally, the more severe your crime is, the higher the amount your bail will be set at. If you’re deemed to be a risk to society in any way, bail will be denied.
Severity of Crime
Another important factor judges take into account when setting bail is the severity of crime. Bail for smaller crimes and misdemeanors may cost as little as $25. These generally are traffic violations and public drunkenness. Bail starts getting more expensive for felony crimes or for offenses where violence was involved, such as a robbery or battery.
Many crimes already have a preset bail amount, which the judge assesses and compares with your crime. They’ll also take into account your financial resources. People who make more money, for example, may be asked to pay a higher bail amount.
Because bail amounts vary and your freedom is on the line, it’s important to have an attorney with you during this process. They’ll be able to negotiate with the courts and judges, providing evidence as to why your bail amount should not be set so high.
Potential Red Flags
There are also red flags courts look for, indicating that defendants are probable candidates for not showing up to court after posting bail. These include excessive amounts of hostility, previous records of not showing up to court, and credible sources informing the judge that the defendant won’t show. That’s why you need to remain calm during these proceedings, stay out of any trouble, and show up to your court date on time.
The best thing you can do after being sent to jail is to avoid any incidents, be honest with the judge, and contact the right bail bonds company if you can’t afford to post cash bail.
Bail in America, pretrial.org
Pretrial Release of Felony Defendants in State Courts, bjs.gov