When people who have been accused of committing a crime are arrested and taken to jail, they will go in front of a judge to determine whether or not they are eligible for bail bonds to allow them to be released. It is an insurance to the court, that defendants will return for their trial. Many factors help the judge to order what monetary amount he will attach to bail bonds. The following paragraphs will discuss how the amounts are determined.
One factor the judge considers when ordering the amount is the severity of the crime. The defendants are accused of committing a violent crime, he may decide not to grant bail, or set the amount of it very high. Setting the amount very high helps ensure the court that these defendants will return to court, to stand trial for the charges. If the crime is non-violent, and the judge feels the defendants are not a threat to themselves or society, they might set the amounts lower. The severity of the charged crime is an extremely important factor when setting the amounts.
Next, the judge normally considers the defendants’ prior criminal histories when setting bail bonds amounts for charged defendants. If defendants have no past criminal history, he is more likely to set lower amounts. If the defendants indeed have a past criminal history, the bail bonds amounts are likely to be set higher, if he grants bail at all.
Finally, the judge will commonly determine whether or not he thinks the defendants will be a flight risk before setting the amounts. Being a flight risk means that he has reason to believe the defendants will flee authorities, and fail to appear for scheduled court hearings pertaining to their case. If he views defendants as a flight risk, he may set very high amounts, to help ensure the defendants will show up in court again. If the defendants fail to appear in court after meeting requirements, there may be required to forfeit the money they put up for their bail bonds, to get them out of jail. But on the other hand, if the judge does not view the defendants as a flight risk, he may be more willing to set the amounts lower for the accused.
When a person has not been accused of a violent crime, and they are not viewed as a flight risk, they can be released on their own recognizance. This simply means they will be released from jail without any bail being required, on just their signature, and promise they will return for trial.
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