How Bail Bond Amounts Are Determined

If you get in trouble for a finger printable charge, the officer will need to take you to jail for a formal booking. You might be given a bond amount after processing. However, some charges require a formal bond hearing. The hearings occur in person or via CCTV. Judges can use a number of factors when deciding whether or not to grant an individual a bond. They can use the same criteria to set a bond amount or show leniency and allow for a recognizance bond. 

A recognizance bond is a bond that judges may grant which allows defendants to be released with the understanding that the defendants must go to court for their formal arraignments. No money or collateral is involved with recognizance bonds. They are based solely on a defendant's words and signed court documents. If they are a no-show for their arraignments, bonds can be revoked and bench warrants issued. The following points are a few factors judges consider when setting bond amounts.

Bail Schedule

Some counties have bail schedules which are preset bonds that individuals can pay after they get booked into jail. These charges are usually minor and do not require defendants to wait to go before a judge. The jail will know if arrested individuals qualify to be released for a crime listed on bail schedules. 

Employment Status

The employment status might be taken into consideration by a judge because it shows that a defendant has characteristics of being accountable. Employed individuals will likely show up to their arraignment to avoid another arrest. A judge may also look favorably upon employment and set a lower bond so that an individual does not lose their job due to not being able to post bond.

The severity of the Alleged Crime

Felonious crimes involving violence or narcotics will likely be higher than misdemeanors. Some charges such as murder may not qualify for a bond or it might be exponentially high. Sometimes a judge might initially set a bond at a high amount. Individuals could get a second bond hearing, which results in a bond reduction.

Repeat Offense

Some defendants have prior convictions and pending charges that are the same or closely related to their new charges. Judges will likely impose a higher bond for these individuals than they would for first offenders.

Individuals who cannot afford to pay their bonds or do not have any property to use for collateral can opt to use the services of a 24-hour bail bondsman. Even if you have resources, a bondsman could be beneficial because you can protect your assets and not have them under the county's control. Some bondsmen offer value-added services such as sending court reminders and getting the defendant out of jail with an upfront down payment and a pre-planned payment schedule for the balance of the bond.

For more information on how a 24-hour bail bondsman could help, contact a professional near you.