What Judges Look At When Setting Bail
If you’ve sat through a few bail hearings, you are probably confused. Many people feel that the judges simply make up numbers when they set bail for different prisoners, but that’s not the case at all. The truth is that there are some very specific things judges look at when they are trying to decide if they want to grant bail and if so, how much bail they’ll require.
How Serious Are the Charges
The first thing the judge considers is the severity of the charges. For minor things, they probably won’t set a high bail. For severe crimes like felony assault, arson, and homicide, they will set a high bail. The circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, whether was it done in the heat of the moment or was it planned, will also be considered.
Defendants who have been charged with a crime that has a defined victim, such as domestic abuse cases, will likely have a higher bail since the judge wants to protect the victim
The Defendant’s History
The defendant’s history plays a huge role in how high their bail is. Defendants who have no criminal record will get a lower bail than those who have a history of criminal behavior. The same is true for defendants who have no history of failing to appear in court as those who do.
How Strong is the Case Against the Defendant
Even though a bail hearing is done to determine bail, and not to determine guilt, the judge will want to hear how strong a case the prosecution has against the victim. If there is a great deal of evidence showing that the defendant will likely be convicted, the judge will set a higher bail.
The fact that the prosecution has to present so much evidence during the bail hearing can work to the defendant’s benefit since it tells their lawyer what kind of case the prosecution will present if the case goes to trial.
Will You Leave Town
The last thing the judge considers is whether you appear to be a flight risk. If they think that you’ll post bail and flee town rather than appear in court, they will set a high bail. If you appear to be a flight risk, they will also likely require that you wear GPS monitoring if you do make bail.
understands the challenges presented by high bail requests and we want to help. In addition to keeping our fee a very low 10%, we offer clients who meet specific requirements a 20% discount. We also have zero-interest payment plans available.