Posting bail gives you the opportunity to get out of jail and fight your criminal charges from the outside, as a free person. Of course, this will only be possible if you can come up with the required bail amount. Some criminal charges have predetermined bail amounts in a bail schedule, but for some cases you have to come before the judge to get your bail amount determined. Here are some of the factors that the judge will consider when setting your bail amount:
The Seriousness of the Crime
Serious crimes attract high bail amounts. The rationale is that the more serious your crime is, the more likely you are to jump bail because you will be more motivated to escape your legal punishment. Judges aren't supposed to use bail amounts as a way of keeping criminal suspects in jail, but they sometimes do it. Therefore, if you have committed a serious crime and the judge wants to keep you in jail, they may set an exceedingly high bail amount that they know you can't raise.
Past Criminal Records
Even if your current charges are relatively moderate, the judge may require you to post an unusually high bail if you have a long criminal history. One reason for this is that the past crimes may aggravate your current charges, which makes the same factors that make serious crime attract high bail will apply to you. Also, if you have a history of crime, the judge will assume that you have no problem with committing further crimes, such as jumping bail. Both reasons will attract high bail amounts.
Your Ties to the Community
The strength of your ties to the community determines how likely (or not) you are to flee. Therefore, your bail amount will be low if you have strong ties to the community, and the reverse is also true. Examples of ties to the community include a permanent job, a family in the community, ties with a religious organization, and an established business, among others.
Your Risk to Public Safety
Another thing the court will consider is whether you are a risk to public safety or not. Your bail amount will likely be high if you have committed a violent crime and the judge believes that you are likely to engage in a similar crime. This means your bail amount will be modest if you don't pose a risk to public safety.
As you can see, you may need the help of a lawyer to keep your bail amount reasonable. For example, the lawyer can help convince the judge that you are neither a flight risk nor a danger to the public. Contact a business like The Law Offices Of Jesse P Duran for more help.
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