If the police arrest you and charge you with a crime, you may be eligible for bail. Posting bail entails paying the court an amount determined by the judge to secure your release pending the trial and conviction! According to Cornell Law School, bail posted by the defendant acts as a guarantee that he will show up in court for trial. A quick look at how the bail amount is set:
How Is the Bail Amount Decided?
The severity of the crime: The crime’s nature and severity are among the top factors in determining the bail amount. As one may appreciate crimes like armed robbery, murder, etc., carry a higher bail amount than shoplifting. Prior criminal record of the accused: If the accused has a history of committing crimes and failing to appear in court or the court has convicted him previously, the judge will invariably set bail of a higher amount.
Flight risk of the accused: The judge will usually set a higher bail amount if the prosecution makes a strong case that he is a flight risk and will not appear in court for the trial if the bail is a low amount, observes a senior bail bondsman at Apex Bail Bonds of Greensboro, NC near Greensboro. Follow the map
Ties to the community: The accused can prove to the judge that he has strong ties to the community and is not a flight risk; the judge may be willing to set a low bail amount. In some cases, if the accused is a highly-respected member of the community and the charge against him is not serious, the judge may even release him on his own recognizance. Such a release means he does not have to post any bail but must appear in court as required.
In many jurisdictions, a bail schedule lists the charges and the bail amount applicable. The accused need not wait for a formal bail hearing but can instead post the bail amount specified in the schedule and walk out of jail.
The accused must appear for a bail hearing if the jurisdiction does not have a bail schedule or the schedule does not cover the charge. The judge will hear the arguments of the prosecution and the defense lawyers and set an appropriate bail amount.
If the defendant feels that the bail amount is too high, he can seek a reduction. If the defense lawyer makes a strong argument for bail reduction because it is too high or the defendant’s financial circumstances make it unaffordable, the judge may reduce the amount.
As is evident, the bail amount depends on several factors. If the accused does not have enough cash, he can purchase a bail bond from an authorized agency. He will need to pay 10% of the bail amount as fees. If he does not abide by the terms of the bail, the court will forfeit the bail amount, and the agency has the right to re-arrest him and recover the money from him.