Your family’s call telling you about their arrest is rather stressful. It could be your son, brother or daughter. The first thing that pops to mind is to keep them out of jail. The thought of their spending a day in jail is condemning. You want to get them out as soon as possible. But, this is usually easier said than done. Sometimes the circumstances or reason for the arrest may make things confusing. It can lead to your receiving a high bail amount.
Who determines the bail amount?
While this can be disheartening, don’t worry. You can do something about it if you understand the bail process. You should know things like how it’s set, and how you can reduce it. More important, you should know is that it is the judge and not the arresting officer who sets the bail. You never know what the judge will decide upon. There are some situations where the judge may quote amount.
Factors Determining the Bail Amount
Sometimes it may be a moderate amount and sometimes they may even deny bail. Denial is, but, a rarity, because the judge usually grants bail. The amount fluctuates, and depends on a few factors:
1. Chances of Disappearing
The judge will impose a higher bail amount if he/she feels that the arrestee may disappear. Or if the judge feels the suspect is a flight risk and will disappear on the court dates. There are a few reasons for the judge to think this way. It could be because of the charges imposed. It could be because your loved one was an arrestee before and has a reputation for not attending court. The bail amount will also be higher if your loved one doesn’t have a serious job or any community ties. Your loved one is also considered a flight risk if they live someplace else or if they are non-citizens. This is because it’s then easier for them to run away and avoid the case.
2. Any Criminal History
Once bitten, twice shy they say. It could be that your family member was an arrestee before or is on parole. The judge will find this out, and won’t take the risk of imposing a low bail amount in these cases. There is a risk of the suspect committing another crime. They may even flee the country if released through a low bail. The judge can decide to impose a bigger bond if the suspect behaves weirdly or violates parole terms.
3. A Risk to the Community
The reason for the arrest or your loved one’s behavior may convince the judge that they are a risk to the community. The judge may feel that they may end up harming someone or themselves if released on low bail. The remedy here would be a bigger bond. This is possible if there are witnesses involved. This will prompt the judge to feel that the arrestee may harm them. Imposing a high bail prevents this. The suspect may not be able to arrange for such a high bond. There is good news for you if the judge imposes a high bail amount. The US constitution’s 8th amendment has a clause protecting the suspect from high bail amounts. So it’s better to get an attorney if the judge imposes a high bail amount. The attorney can help by arranging for a hearing to try and reduce bail. This is where both the judge and arrestee discuss some things. They negotiate on matters like the risks involved, the charges imposed and the bail amount. The attorney usually will be able to reduce the bail during these procedures. It doesn’t matter how much the judge finally imposes as bail amount. You should call Josh Herman – A bail bond agency the moment you get your loved one’s phone call. We will teach you about the bail bond process, and help them avoid jail.