After you or a loved one gets arrested, you can post bail and secure your release. Bail ensures that you remain free as you await trial. Bail amounts can vary, depending on various circumstances. If you can't afford to pay the set bail, a licensed bail bonds service can offer you an affordable way to get out of jail until your scheduled court appearance.
Check out several factors that impact your bail amount.
Criminal History and Gravity of the Alleged Crime
If you have a lengthy criminal record, the judge may consider you a high-risk individual and set a high bail amount. However, past criminal history doesn't always attract a high amount for bail. The judge first considers the nature of past offenses and whether the court found you guilty or not.
If the courts didn't find you guilty for past offenses but still have a record for missing court appearances, you're likely to attract a high bail amount. On the other hand, first-time offenders often get their bail amounts set lower. However, the gravity of the crime also counts. Serious felonies attract higher bail amounts than misdemeanors.
For instance, if a person is in for a felony such as murder, rape, arson, or kidnapping, they will find it more difficult to post bail than someone else who's arrested due to misdemeanor offenses like shoplifting or trespassing. Also, remember that a judge can legally deny you bail if you are on parole or have outstanding warrants.
The likelihood that you might skip trial can earn you a high bail amount or no bail at all. If your past court attendance history is poor, your chances of posting bail are slim. But if your records show that you attended all court hearings without fail, the judge can be lenient and grant you a low bail amount.
Also, note that skipping court appearances has its share of repercussions—you get no cash bond refund, and you may have to forfeit your property bond. Worse still, a bail bond agency may contract bounty hunters to locate you.
Furthermore, the judge considers you a flight risk if you have weak community ties (no family or community investments). Also, if you have means to flee, such as a passport, wealth, or dependents abroad, the judge can ask for your essential travel documents to ensure that you show up in court.
Additionally, defendants who are likely to serve a lengthy jail term if found guilty of a crime or faced with solid evidence are also considered a flight risk. The judge either denies them bail or sets a high bail amount.
When you post bail, you get an opportunity to be free until proven guilty. If you're unable to raise the entire bail amount yourself, talk to a bondsman agent so you can explore the financing options available.