If you or a loved one have been arrested, bail becomes very important to you. Bail may allow you to get out of jail, allowing you to continue to work, care for your family, and work on your defense, until your trial. However, bail is not the same amount for everyone. Different counties and states have a different process when it comes to bail. Here are a few of the various ways that bail may be set for you after you are arrested.
Based on a Bail Schedule
Many counties are going to a bail schedule system when it comes to setting bail for those who are arrested. A bail schedule lists the most common crimes that are committed in an area, such as petty theft and domestic violence, and then sets a bail amount based on that specific crime. Many bail schedules have also involved having higher bail amounts for those who have prior convictions. For example, bail may be $2,500 for a first-time offender but may be $5,000 if you have a prior conviction.
Talking to a Magistrate
In counties where there is no bail schedule, a magistrate typically sets your bail amount. Once you are booked into the jail, a magistrate may talk to you or review your case and your past criminal history. Based on the details surrounding the crime you have been arrested for, your past criminal history, and whether the magistrate feels you are a flight risk or a risk to public safety, they will set a bail amount.
Before a Judge At a Bail Hearing
The final way that bail may be set for you is a bail hearing. A bail hearing may be set for a few reasons. First, if bail is initially denied based on the bail schedule or magistrate's recommendations, a bail hearing may be set to try to get you bail. Second, if bail is too high and you want it to be decreased, a bail reduction hearing can be set. During a bail hearing, arguments are made by both parties as to why bail should or should not be set and/or bail should or should not be reduced. A judge will then be able to take into account those arguments, as well as the type of crime that you committed, your past criminal history, whether you are a flight risk, and/or whether you are a risk to the community and set bail, deny bail or reduce your bail.
At Free at Last Bail Bonds, we understand the importance and urgency of reuniting families. If you or a loved one needs our services, we are here for you 24 hours a day at 404-577-2245. Call us now and let us go to work posting a bail bond on behalf of your loved one.