It can be difficult for defendants and their friends and family to understand how bail is determined by the court. While there is some discretionary leeway for the judge, there is a specific set of criteria that is used to set the amount of bail in any given case.
Type of Charges
The first consideration by the judge in setting bail is if bail is even appropriate given the seriousness or threat to public safety based on the charges. For example, a person charged with murder will not be given the same bond consideration as someone who was shoplifting. Judges may use slightly different definitions of public safety, with other factors also weighing in on the decision.
Past Criminal Charges
Previous convictions for similar or other crimes can also play a factor. As a general statement, defendants who have posted bail and appeared in court in the past are seen as less of a risk compared to someone with no record of appearing for court dates after posting bail.
Ties to the Community
Individuals who own property, are employed, have a business, or who have family willing to post bond are seen as limited flight risks. Defendants with no family, no community ties, and a history of past missed court dates are considered a higher risk and will have a higher bond.
In addition, the judge considers the mental health and character of the individual, as well as their employment history. A pattern of living and working in the same community is always seen as a positive factor when a judge sets bail.
When you need help with bail, call Sanctuary Bail Bonds at 602-224-5247.