When someone is accused of a crime and arrested, they are taken to jail. Once here, the accused files a bail application. During the bail hearing, the judge hears from the defendant as to why they should be granted bail. Before a judge can approve one’s bail application, there are certain factors that are considered. These factors enable the judge to determine whether to grant the accused bail and if so, how much should be set as the amount of the bail bond.
The first thing that a judge considers during the bail hearing is the severity of the crime. If the crime committed is violent, the judge will usually deny bail. If he approves, the bail amount is set very high. The bail amount is high so that the defendant can be discouraged from escaping trial. Remember if you pay the bail and then skip trial it means you have forfeited the amount and it now belongs to the court, never to be refunded to you. If the crime committed is not violent, the judge will usually set a lower bail amount. This is after they have ascertained that the defendant does not pose any threat to themselves or other people.
The second factor considered by judges when granting bail is the criminal history of the accused. If the defendant is a first time offender, there are high chances that the judge will set the bail at a lower amount. However, if the defendant is a repeat offender the amount set will be high. In many instances, an accused person with a colorful criminal history will not get approved for bail.
If the accused individual is a flight risk, the judge will either deny bail or set the bail amount very high. A flight risk individual is one who is more likely to flee from the authorities and skip trial. If the judge determines that they are dealing with a flight risk individual, they will either deny bail or set the amount high. On the other hand, a person who is determined as not being a flight risk will get a lower bail amount.
There are some instances when someone is arrested for a non-violent crime and is subsequently determined to not pose any threat to anyone. On top of this, if the accused is not considered a flight risk they can be released on their own recognizance. What this means is that the accused individual is released without any bail. What is required of them is their signature and promise to return to court for the trial. This might happen when the individual has been accused of a minor offence.
The bottom line is that it is left to the judge’s discretion to determine whether you qualify for bail and if so, how much you should pay. If you cannot afford to post bail, you might want to find a surety who could either be an individual (your loved one) or a company (bail bondsmen). In order to make sure the cash posted as bail is refunded, the defendant should not violate any of the terms of release.