How bail amount is determined
- Amount of evidence against the defendant: If there is a significant amount of evidence that leads a judge to believe a guilty verdict will be rendered, a higher bail amount might be set to prevent the person from running.
- A prior criminal history: A record of arrests and conviction may prompt a judge to set a high bail amount, even if the current charges are unrelated to past offenses.
- Defendant perceived a risk to the community: If you are a repeat offender or have a history of violent behavior, the court may perceive you to be a risk to the community, even if no violence occurred with the current charges.
- Possible flight risk: Significant evidence or prior criminal history may lead the judge to believe you are a flight risk. A high bail amount is often set down to keep you from skipping town.
- The offense is severe: You don’t have to be accused of murder to be charged with a serious offense. Major crimes like sexual assaults may also lead to a steep price for bail. Actually, bail may not be provided for murder suspects.
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Who sets bail amount
Most of the time the judge in charge of the bail hearing will set the bail amount based on several factors including criminal history and the severity of the crime. In some instances, especially with misdemeanors or common crimes, a predetermined bail schedule may be in effect. Even then, the judge may have some say over the amount.
Can bail amount be reduced
When a judge sets bail, if you don’t think you can pay the amount, it’s possible to request the amount to be reduced. The initial amount is usually set at an arraignment or bail hearing, a court hearing held about 24 to 48 hours after arrest. At this time, a lawyer may file a motion for reduced bail. That motion will be considered at a second arraignment. Your lawyer can then submit further evidence or even call witnesses to testify on your behalf to ensure the court you are not a flight risk. Based on this information, the judge will determine if your bail should be reduced.
When bail amount is 0
There are several possibilities that may indicate a bail amount is $0 or no bond or zero bond is listed. It’s possible that due to the seriousness of the crime or risk of flight no bond amount is set. Sometimes no bond may be set if the case is high-profile. It may be that the judge just hasn’t had time to set the bond and may set one at a later time. Unless you are accused of murder or a capital offense in Pennsylvania, you have a right to bail.
Can I bail myself out of jail?
Yes, you can post your own bail. You must be able to pay the full amount at the time of your arrest to bail yourself out of jail. Usually you must make the payment in cash, although some areas may accept money orders for bail. Being able to pay your own bail is a rare thing. Most people require the help of a bail bondsman.
How much is bail for a felony?
Felony bail amounts will usually vary, often depending on the seriousness of the offense. A felony sexual assault, for instance, will often be higher than a felony battery or assault charge. Bail amounts will also vary by state. Bail for attempted murder, for instance, could be $500,000 or more, whereas a charge of hit and run in which there is no injury or death could only be $5,000. Again, this will depend on the judge, the state, and the circumstances.
How much is $500 bail bond?
If you are having to pay a $500 bail bond, that amount is usually 10% of the original bail. In this case, the bail was probably set at $5,000. The amount of bond you pay may vary depending on the bail bond agency you use. Normally, however, the 10% fee is a standard.
What is a commercial bond for jail?
A commercial bond is another name for bail bond. The commercial bond system is the bail bond system used in the United States. Under this system, you normally pay a bond agent a fee that’s a percentage of the bail to get released from jail.