If someone you love is arrested, you’d certainly find ways to help them avoid staying behind bars for as long as possible. Fortunately we have a bail system that can help to keep suspects temporarily free while the case is still being heard in court.
What is the Purpose of Bail?
As you may already know, bail is an amount of money a suspect or a member of their family gives to the court in order to secure temporary freedom while the case is still being heard in court. The bail serves as a guarantee that secures the defendant’s appearance in future court proceedings. It also gives the defendant sufficient time to mount his defense and allow him to live a normal life, e.g. report for work, bond with family, socialize, etc.
Who Sets Bail and How its Amount is Determined
A judge or magistrate sets the bail during a bail hearing. For common offenses, it can be set with the use of a bail schedule that is based on a set of rules for assessing the defendant’s life and criminal history. The result of the assessment becomes a basis for determining a bail amount.
Some jails however, use a simpler bail schedule that contains a list of common crimes and their corresponding bail amounts. A suspect may also be released based on his own cognizance and without the need to post any amount, but it would be up to the judge or magistrate to determine whether the person granted with such trust has the sincerity and commitment to appear before the court on all scheduled hearing dates. The judge usually grants this type of release if the suspect has a business, a steady job, good reputation in the community, or other personal traits that can convince the judge that he won’t flee.
For more complex crimes, the judge determines the bail amount based on these factors.
1. The Nature of the Crime
The bail for crimes that involve violence or threat to human lives is usually high. The general rule for this is worse crimes = higher bail amount.
2. Evidence against the Suspect
Evidence and its likelihood of leading the suspect to conviction is another critical factor judges use to determine the bail amount. A convincing amount of evidence coupled with a high possibility for conviction can compel a judge to set a bail amount high enough to discourage the suspect from fleeing. Bail is returned once the case is resolved, regardless of the outcome.
3. The Defendant’s Past and Present Conduct
When determining bail amount, the judge will also consider a suspect’s past convictions and whether he failed to appear in court on previous hearings. Defendants with previous conviction or poor court hearing attendance can expect higher bail amounts from the judge.
4. The Suspect’s Criminal History
The judge considers a suspect’s criminal history in determining bail amount. If the suspect has a history of committing violent crimes, they could be a threat to the community if they are allowed very low bail. Take note that a defendant’s bail can be forfeited in the court’s favor if they commit another crime while out on bail.
5. The Defendant’s Reputation in the Community
One of the factors a judge uses in determining the amount of bail is the defendant’s reputation in the community. This includes their ties with family, employment history and status, financial state and mental condition. A person who has close ties with the community is more likely to stay and be present on court dates. This can qualify them for a lower bail amount.
6. The Suspect’s Present Criminal Status
The judge could consider this as a major factor in determining the bail amount especially if the defendant is on parole or probation when they were arrested.
7. The Defendant’s Source of Finances
When a judge sets the bail amount for a criminal offense, they usually want to know the defendant’s sources of income to ensure that none of those stems from criminal activity. If for example, the defendant has an arrest record for selling drugs, there is a big likelihood that part of their finances emanates from an unlawful enterprise. This may compel the judge to adjust the amount of bail in order to ascertain the defendant’s presence on all court dates.
If the cause of the arrest is related to drugs, the judge may consider the street value of the commodity in question in determining the bail amount.
Why Would You Hire a Bail Bondsman?
If you or the defendant can’t raise the amount of money required to bail them out of jail, you still have a chance to give the defendant the opportunity to enjoy temporary freedom with the help of a bail bonds company like a bail bondsman in Greeley. It is an enterprise that can arrange for the defendant’s temporary release by guaranteeing the amount of bail through a bail bond. In return, they usually ask their clients to pay them around 10% of the bail amount on the same condition that the defendant commits to be present in all court hearings.
If a loved one gets arrested, give them a chance to establish a solid defense by staying out of jail. If you are in need of a fast release, seek the help of an affordable bail bonds provider in Greeley.
Our bail bondsman in Greeley is available 24 hours a day and ready to help should you need it. Call us at (303) 659-2245 if you or someone you know needs to get out of jail as quickly as possible.