Bail Amounts and How they are Determined

In almost all situations where you are taken into police custody, you will be given a chance to make bail and be released until the day of your court appearance. How much bail you will have to pay to be let free is determined by different factors regarding your case. When you are told what your bail amount is can be at different times too. A quick glance at the initial bail process follows.

When will you be Told How Much your Bail Is?

If you have been detained due to something simple or common, there could be a standing bail amount for the crime. Failing to pay a traffic ticket or other type of fine results in a bail equal to the fine amount, any warrant fees and any other administration fees. If you are being held for a more serious crime you will need to go before the judge to find out how much the bail is going to be.

How the Amount is Determined

In most cases, there is a set starting point for most criminal charges. Both your attorney and the prosecutor will talk to the judge regarding bail, the amount and if it should be lowered or raised. Things that can cause the amount to increase would be if you were considered to be a danger to yourself or someone else, if the court thought you would leave the area and hide. If you have significant ties to the community like a business or a lot of family, it may get your bail amount lowered. If you have a history of showing up for court appearances it does look good, but having a record that required court appearances does not.

Usually the amount will be set without any need for debate. If the crime was extremely violent they may deny you bail altogether. If you have no previous skips, have family and a business in the area and the crime was not something they feel you are going to do again, you may be released without the need to post bail. You can be released to your own recognizance or into someone else’s custody.

At any point, your bail can be revoked, meaning the police will show up at your door and take you back into custody until the court hearing. It is important that you realize that bail is only for the time between when you are arrested and when you are determined to be guilty. Once you are found guilty and sentenced, you do not get out of jail by simply posting bail. Bail is used as a guarantee that you will show up for court when you are supposed to. If you do not show up, your bail money is forfeited to the county. If you do show up, you will have the amount of your bail, minus any fines and fees, returned to you. If someone else posted your bail, they usually expect you to show up for court and reimburse them for any monies not returned after the hearing.

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