The bail amount doesn’t involve any sort of guesswork, assumptions, or standard rates. The judge carefully uses the bail algorithm and takes a wide range of factors into account—pertaining to the defendant and the crime.
Here’s what goes into it:
Nature of the crime
This is one of the most critical deciding factors. The bail amount for a minor traffic violation won’t be the same as that for a violent crime. The bail amount for felonies is naturally higher than the same for misdemeanors. For serious crimes, such as severe bodily harm and sexual assaults are purposefully set very high, and the chances of paying this are meager. This is especially important, keeping the general public safety in mind. The bail amount is expected to be higher if the defendant poses a threat to public safety. The judge tries their best to decrease the chances of the defendant’s release before the trial date.
The availability of evidence also plays an important role. If a defendant is scared that they’ll be charged for the crime, they’ll avoid returning. If the police or an investigator informs the judge that there is very little doubt about the defendant committing the crime, you can expect the bail amount to be higher.
Defendant’s criminal history
If the defendant has an extensive criminal record and appears to be a habitual offender, the bail amount will be naturally higher. The judge always analyzes the defendant’s past criminal history to decide the likelihood of committing the same crime again while they’re out on bail. If the defendant was previously summoned by the court and didn’t show up, the judge might assume that you won’t return for the hearings this time, either. As a result, they’ll set a higher bail amount to keep you in custody.
If the defendant happens to be invested in the community, they stand greater chances of qualifying for a lenient bail amount. If you have a stable and steady work history and the community has benefited from your work in the past, the judge will definitely consider it. At the same time, the judge also takes your ability to pay into account. If you earn a sizable monthly paycheck, your bail amount will significantly increase.