Who Decides How Much Bail a Person Must Pay?

Who Decides How Much Bail a Person Must Pay?

UPDATED 11/18/20

bail bonds what are they

What is Bail?

Bail is an amount of collateral that must be paid in order for a defendant to be released from jail prior to their court case. Defendants paying bail are agreeing to a set of conditions they must abide by and promising they will return for their appointed court date. The money may be returned to them at some point but if they violate the conditions it will forfeit.

Who decides how much bail a person must pay?

bail custody

Once arrested and charged, a person may be released from jail if a judge allows the posting of bail. So who decides how much bail a person must pay? First, how is bail determined? Most importantly, how does getting bailed out of jail work? The amount of bail that must be paid is determined by three things:

  • Severity of the alleged offense
  • Likelihood of committing additional crimes
  • Chances of fleeing

Judges will examine these and other factors to set bail at any amount that is not objectively unreasonable. However, if they feel the accused is too dangerous, a flight risk, or has other concerns, bail can be denied altogether. This is allowed by the eighth amendment right which prohibits states from giving excessive bail but does not require states to allow bail in the first place.

bail bonds and how they work

How can you pay bail?

Bail can be paid in various ways including cash bail bond, personal bond for bail, the use of collateral such as a vehicle, or through a bail bond service. Often, bail is set for very large amounts normal people may not have, in this case, many people turn to bail bondsman or bail bond companies. These companies charge a fee, about 10%-20% of the bail amount to post bail for a defendant, referred to as a bond. Often times companies will monitor anyone they pay for in order to ensure they don’t lose that money and may even have them sign bail bond terms and conditions. If the defendant violates the agreement or fails to show up for court, bail is forfeit and they may be pursued by a bail recovery agent, bail bond agent, or bounty hunter. If you’ve been wondering how does getting bailed out of jail work, realize that you may be technically free after paying bail, but you must abide by some restrictions. Failure to meet those restrictions could place you in worse trouble than you were in to being with.

bail bond

It’s ultimately up to a judge to decide how much bail a person has to pay. How do they do this? They use three factors to decide: the severity of the alleged offense, the person’s likelihood to commit another crime, and whether or not the person is a flight risk. There are many ways to pay for bail, if it is granted during a bail custody hearing. The most common is with a bail bond. A bail bond is a refundable deposit that allows the person arrested to get out of jail until their court date. If the defendant is arrested while out on bail, sometimes referred to as bail and jail, it is almost a sure thing they won’t get out on bail for a second time. However, if the defendant doesn’t flee, get arrested again, and shows up for their court date, the bail bond is refunded. However, the bail bond interest rate paid to the bondsman is still the defendant’s immediate responsibility, which is typically 10 percent of the entire bail amount.

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