A bail bond is an agreement between a criminal defendant and the court that allows a defendant to be released from jail if they agree to pay the bail amount return for their court appearance. The amount of bail can be low or high, and in some cases, bail can be denied depending on certain factors. Here are the factors that affect bail in Texas and where you can get help if you or your loved one has been arrested.
For some courts, bail is based on a schedule. If you have been accused of a certain crime, the schedule will dictate that you must pay a certain amount of bail to be released. However, the bail amount can vary depending on the rules in your area and the judge’s discretion.
In some cases, judges have the discretion to increase or reduce bail or even waive the amount altogether. If a judge decides to waive the bail, you will be released on your own recognizance. Also known as personal recognizance, this option means that you will be released on bail with the trust that you will come to your trial. On the other hand, judges may choose to increase the bail amount more than usual if they suspect that the accused is a flight risk or a danger to the community.
Seriousness of the Alleged Crime
It makes sense that the more serious the crime, the stricter the punishment is, but this also affects how high bail is set. For defendants hoping for a low amount, police typically arrest suspects with the most serious charge that the evidence could possibly support. This means that if your alleged crime appears serious, you should expect a higher bail amount.
Algorithms are used to determine all sorts of things in modern life. For example, as you browse the Internet, advertisers use algorithms to learn about your usage and decide which ads to show you. In other words, an algorithm is a formula that absorbs information and makes recommendations about what should happen next. Many court systems today use algorithms to determine the bail amount. The judge or a person working for the court system will input details about you. These details may include information about the crime you were accused of, as well as your past criminal record if you have one. The data may also include information about your connections to the community and the amount of cash you have. The program will process this information and generate a suggested amount for your bail.
Past Criminal Record
Defendants who have a substantial criminal record will have higher bail amounts. Repeat offenders may also be denied bail altogether to keep them in custody, even if their previous crimes were in another jurisdiction.
Perception of Threat to the Community
Whichever method the judge uses to determine your bail amount, they will also consider whether you are a risk to the community, and this will have a direct impact on the amount of bail set. Defendants who have been accused of a violent crime, especially multiple violent crimes, may be considered a higher threat to the community and the judge may decide to refuse to release you on bail or make the amount very high.
Some cases have outside influences that affect the bail amount. In April 2017, a federal judge in Houston, Texas became involved with the bail system in Harris County. He claimed that the County was setting bail unreasonably high and that it was affecting poor residents. Because of this objection, the county’s judges were ordered to change the way they determine bail. On May 15th that year, the courts in Harris County were required to interview people about their financial situation and release them within 24 hours even if they could not afford bail, if they were accused of a non-violent misdemeanour.
Potential Flight Risk
Setting bail requires a level of trust from the court. They must have some reason to believe that you will not try to escape the consequences if you are found guilty. Defendants who the court determines are more likely to flee the jurisdiction before the case is complete, will face higher bail settings or may be denied bail. Defendants who were apprehended while running from law enforcement will also be affected by this rule.
Ties to the Community
Most courts believe that defendants who have a connection and relationship with members of their community are known to be lesser risks to flee, endanger others, or commit more crimes. If you have strong ties to your relatives, workforce, or other social groups, the judge may be more lenient with the bail amount.
Let PCS Bail Bonds Help You
Some estimates have shown that up to 40% of people arrested in certain parts of Texas must stay in jail until their trial because they cannot afford to pay bail. If you have been arrested and are having trouble understanding the terms of your bail or need assistance in getting bail, a bail bondsman in Texas can help you.
PCS Bail Bonds can help you if you need to post bail or need advice about your situation. We provide 24-hour bail bonds for misdemeanors and felony charges including theft, drug possession, embezzlement, assault, and more. Our experienced agents can help you obtain a bond in a fraction of the time that it takes other agencies, so you or your loved one can quickly get out of jail and back to your normal lives. Our bond agents are always on call, so when you get ahold of us, we can be down to your jail within 30 minutes. We serve clients in several municipalities in Tarrant County and Fort Worth.
Contact us now by phone at 817-335-1655, at our e-mail, visit in-person, or fill out our bail bond request form. You can be confident that you’re working with experts who are dedicated to helping you.