If your loved one has been arrested for a crime, it can be nerve-wracking trying to figure out what to do next. Bailing your loved one out of jail is possible, but there are a lot of factors to keep in mind.
Typically, after a person has been arrested, the judge will determine the bail amount. This is the amount of money you must pay to get your loved one out of jail until their trial date is set. Bail can range from $500.00 to $1.0 million, depending on the circumstances of the case.
What things does the judge consider when deciding the bail amount and how you can get a bail bond in Texas if your loved one has been arrested? Keep reading below for a list of factors a judge must consider when setting a bail amount.
Posted Bail Schedules
Posted bail schedules refers to a list of standard bail amounts for various crimes. When judges set a bail amount, they typically refer to the posted bail schedules to determine what a fair bail bond would be for the specific crime in question. Although the amount can differ by jurisdiction and/or the type of crime, bail must always be set at a reasonable amount.
According to the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, bail must be fair, fitting of the crime, and not punitive. Excessive bail amounts that are cruel or imposed to inflict unusual punishment on the defendant are prohibited.
The Seriousness of the Alleged Crime
Typically, bail bonds for felonies (such as murder, burglary, and arson) cost five to ten times more than a bail bond for misdemeanors (such as petty theft, trespassing, and reckless diving).
As a general rule of thumb, the more serious or dangerous the crime is, the higher the bail bond will be in Texas. A judge can increase the bail amount depending on the severity of the charge.
Sometimes, if the defendant is accused of a profoundly serious crime, such as murder, the judge may deny bail. This means that no bail amount is set, and the defendant does not have the option of posting bail.
The bail amount may also depend on whether there are other fines involved with the crime, as well as how much jail time the defendant is expected to serve if convicted of the crime.
One of the things a judge considers when deciding a bail amount is the defendant’s criminal history. Has the defendant been arrested before? Have they been convicted of any crimes in the past? And if so, what was the nature of their past crimes?
Usually, a defendant that has a significant criminal record or a history of being arrested will face higher bail bond amounts. Why? Because the defendant is seen as a repeat offender, and the likelihood of them committing another crime is high.
If a defendant has an outstanding warrant for their arrest in another county or jurisdiction, a judge may deny bail altogether in order to keep the defendant in custody. The same might apply if the defendant is currently on parole and has violated the terms of their parole.
What if it’s the first time your loved one has been arrested? Chances are that the bail bond might be lower than if the defendant had a previous criminal record.
The Risk to Public Safety
When setting bail, the court always considers the nature of the crime and the potential danger the defendant poses to the community and/or themselves.
If a judge has reason to believe that the defendant could become a risk to the pubic if they are released on bail, the judge could either set the bail at a much higher amount than the norm or deny bail altogether.
Some possible things the judge must think about when deciding on a bail amount include whether the defendant has threatened a witness, whether there is a possibility that they could interfere with a witness, or whether they might commit another crime if released on a bail bond in Texas.
Usually, the judge will look at whether the defendant has a history of violent behavior or whether they are a repeat offender. If this is the case, the defendant will typically be considered a risk to public safety and a higher bail amount will be set.
Lastly, if a defendant is a flight risk, it usually means that they are more likely to run or jump bail if they are released on a bail bond.
When deciding a bail amount, this is one of the things a judge will consider. Courts will generally require higher bail amounts for defendants who have a history of missing their court dates. In some cases, the judge might deny bail if the defendant is too much of a flight risk.
Judges will often look at the defendant’s standing within their community. If they have strong ties to relatives nearby, own property, or are involved with community organizations, it’s unlikely that they will abruptly leave town or endanger others within their neighborhood. As such, the court might be a little more lenient with the bail amount they set.
Get a Bail Bond in Texas
As you can see, there are many things that judges must consider when deciding a bail amount. The list above can help you get a better idea of what to expect if you or your loved one has been arrested.
Being arrested is a scary process. If you are looking for the right team to help get you or your loved one out of jail, we can help.
PCS Bail Bonds provides 24-hour bail bonds in Texas for all kinds of charges including theft, drug possession, embezzlement, assault, and more. We serve clients in Fort Worth, Texas, and other municipalities in Tarrant County and can help you obtain a bail bond in a fraction of the time it takes other agencies. We process our clients’ requests quickly and efficiently because we understand this process can be frustrating and risky.