Typically, a lot of myths and uncertainty surround how a judge goes about setting a bail amount. We see images on television or hear stories and make assumptions about what we believe is fair and unfair. The truth is, judges must follow the statutes of the state and consider several other factors on a case-by-case basis depending on each individual defendant.
First of all, there are limitations to a judge’s power when deciding on how much bail he or she is allowed to issue a defendant. The bail amount should be in proportion to the severity of the crime, which means a judge cannot give a person “life” for stealing a car if that was the only crime they committed. Other than being fair, there is a list of factors that should be considered when setting bail.
1.Criminal History: Has this defendant committed crimes in the past, and if so, what were the nature of those crimes? If the defendant is a repeat offender for the same crime, or worse, if the crimes are escalating, a judge has a right to set a more firm bail amount because it is clear the defendant is not respecting the law.
2.Is the Defendant Dangerous: This one can be tricky because technically, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. That said, a judge can look at the nature of the crime and the history of the defendant to make a determination on whether or not the defendant will pose a danger to themselves or to the public if released.
3.Risk of Skipping Court: If you’ve ever watched the dozens of crime shows on TV, you often hear prosecutors argue at a bail hearing that a defendant is a possible “flight risk.” This is a way of showing that a defendant has the means and the motivation to leave town, as well as a lack of a connection to the community, so the likelihood of them appearing in court on their own is low. In this instance, a judge can all out revoke bail and insist the defendant remain in prison for the duration of their trial.
If a defendant is granted bail, it is likely they will need the assistance of a bail bond agent in order to post bail. In most cases, bail is usually more than the defendant or his or her family can afford up-front. A bail bond agent will be able to put up the full bail amount and charge a percentage to the family or person taking out the bail in order to have the defendant released.
Whoever is working with the bail bond agent should know where their loved one is being held, the bail amount, charges, and as much additional information as possible. Agents are allowed to make initial contact with defendants or the family seeking bail, so getting the correct information is important.
PCS Bail Bonds has been in this industry for over 25 years and has a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of the judicial system. We recognize what bail amounts are fair and we work with residents of the Fort Worth community to quickly facilitate the bail of their family or friend. Getting in touch with us is simple: just visit our web site or contact us if you have any uncertainty or need any information on the bail process. At PCS Bail Bonds, we’re here to help!