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Many people, especially people who have not been arrested or imprisoned before, can feel overwhelmed with the complexity of the legal process. They also might not fully understand how bail amounts are determined and what options they have for paying their bail and getting out of jail until the trial for a crime begins.
Here are some factors that can affect the amount of bail you are required to pay in order to get out of jail.
1. The severity of your crime.
Most judges use simple algorithms to help determine what your bail amount will be. The formula naturally sets higher bail amounts for more serious crimes. For example, for a simple assault charge (not aggravated and without battery), you might have a lower bail amount. For armed robbery, grand larceny, murder, or rape, you would have a higher bail amount.
The reason why higher crimes have higher attached bail amounts is because the seriousness of the crime makes it even more important that you appear in court. Bail is meant to ensure that people make all court appearances as schedules.
For very serious crimes, a judge might set the bail at an impossibly high amount, making it very difficult for any person to fund the money. These high bail amounts make it so dangerous criminals must remain in custody until the trial date.
2. Your past criminal history.
Many people who are arrested are first-time offenders. This works in your favor when it comes to bail amounts, especially if your crime is minor. Bail amounts can often be higher for people who have committed serious crimes in the past or for people who committed a crime again while out on bail.
You also may be denied bail if you have an outstanding warrant for arrest for a completely different crime. This can happen if you committed the crime in another city or county. The judge will want to keep you in custody so that you can be arraigned for all accused criminal activity.
For minor crimes or non-violent crimes, you might not have to pay bail at all. This is called being released on your own recognizance, meaning that you have a decent track record of citizenship and the judge can trust you to appear without the threat of losing your bail money.
3. The circumstances of your arrest.
Sometimes your arrest can play a part in your bail amount. For example, if you were arrested for a hit and run, you tried to resist arrest, or you were arrested for a crime while "on the run" because of other crimes you may have committed in the past, a judge will be less likely to approve bail, or they will set bail very high.
These circumstances show that you may be a flight risk because you have a record of trying to get away from law enforcement officers. Even if you are innocent of a crime, the behavior of running away or resisting police is enough to throw suspicion on your dependability for court appearances.
4. Your ties to the community.
Your involvement in your community can also affect your bail amount. People who have jobs, family, volunteer work, and memberships in community institutions will be granted more trust from the court. It's less likely that someone will abandon a support system and a career in order to escape trial and other court proceedings.
You can click here for more info about obtaining bail, and you should also consider speaking with a lawyer about your options for getting bail, whether you have been arrested or need to help someone post bail.Share