Bail: How It Is Set And How You Can Pay Less

Posted on: 28 June 2023

If you or a loved one has been jailed, your prime directive is to get out of that jail. Doing so can be accomplished by bail but there is more than one way to handle bail. Read on to find out more.

How Is Bail Set?

Regardless of whether you pay the full bail to the court or use a bail bonding agent, the amount paid is usually decided in the same way. Bail is typically set by a judge during a court proceeding to allow a defendant to be released from custody pending trial. The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant's appearance in court while protecting the community from potential harm. The specific factors considered when setting bail can vary depending on the laws of the state and the nature of the case. Some common factors include:

  • The severity of the offense: The seriousness of the alleged crime can influence the bail amount. More severe offenses may warrant higher bail amounts to ensure the defendant's presence in court.
  • Flight risk: The judge assesses the likelihood of the defendant failing to appear in court. Factors such as prior criminal history, ties to the community, employment, and family support are considered. Higher flight risk may result in higher bail amounts.
  • Public safety: If the judge believes that the defendant poses a risk to public safety or is a danger to others, the bail amount may be set higher or denied altogether.
  • Financial resources: The judge may take into account the defendant's financial ability to pay bail. However, the primary focus is on ensuring the defendant's appearance in court rather than imposing a financial burden.

What About Bail Bonds?

A bail bond is an alternative method to secure release from custody when the full bail amount cannot be paid by the defendant or their family. Bail bond agencies, for a fee, offer to pay the full bail amount on behalf of the defendant, with the understanding that the defendant will appear in court as required. The fee charged by the bail bond agency is typically a percentage of the total bail amount.

The main reason a bail bond may be more affordable is that the fee is a percentage of the bail amount rather than the full amount itself. This can make it more accessible for defendants or their families who may not have the financial means to pay the full bail upfront. However, it's important to note that the fee paid to the bail bond agency is generally non-refundable, even if the defendant appears in court as required.

To read more on 24-hour bail bonds, contact a professional near you.