Most people today are granted bail following an arrest, unless there are serious concerns about their safety or that of the community if they are set free. However, the amount of money required to get bail can vary greatly from person to person.
So how is bail decided, and is there anything that can be done to decrease the amount of bail you’re required to pay?
How is a Bail Amount Decided?
The right to post bail, and how much the bail amount will be set at, are decided by a judge. They will consider set guidelines and your personal circumstances to decide on the bail figure.
Each state has guidelines as to how much each crime is ‘worth’. More serious crimes carry a higher bail amount, while less serious crimes have a lower amount. An example of this is perjury, which may have bail amount recommended at $25,000, while bail for kidnapping may carry a $100,000 recommendation.
Judges also consider your personal circumstances, and how likely you are to attend your court hearing. Some examples include your family ties, the amount of time you’ve lived in your community, your risk to the public, the risk the public poses to your safety, and your financial standing.
Can You Influence Your Bail Amount?
Your attorney can put forward a case as to why you should be given a lower bail amount. However, once the judge has decided on a bail amount, it is no longer negotiable. If you do not have the funds available to post your own bail, then you can ask your attorney or a family member to contact a bail bondsman.
A bail bondsman will be able to discuss financing options, so you can get home quicker without the need to find a large sum of cash. They will guide you through this process to make it as easy and stress free as possible.