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How Judges Determine Bail

Before a  person can negotiate a release from jail, a judge has to set an amount for bail. When doing this a judge will look at several factors from past offenses to the severity of the crime. Here is a brief look at what a judge considers when deciding how much to set bail at.

Past Offenses

If this is a person’s first run-in with the law, then the chances for leniency are much greater. When a defendant has a squeaky clean record, there is no frame of reference for the crime being a recurring pattern and easier for a judge to assume this to hopefully be a one-time ordeal and the defendant will have no issue showing up to court. However, if the defendant has an extensive criminal background then the judge will be far more hesitant to assume that one, not only will the defendant reliably show up to court but also stay out of trouble while out on bail.

Flight Risk

If a person has a lot of resources and a lot of reasons to flee then a judge will take that into consideration and most likely raise the bail cost significantly or maybe not offer bail at all. The point of bail is to kind of act as collateral to give people the opportunity wait for their trial without having to stay in jail but it is always still a risk that a person might flee thus just like any other type of insurance, thr higher the risk, the higher the cost.

Current charge

Probably the most important and heavily weighted aspect of what a judge considers in terms of bail is how severe the crime the defendant is being charged of is. In some cases the charge may  be so severe that it woud be considered an unbailable offense such as murder or terrorism. In most other cases however bail is set accordingly to how impactful the crime was. A bail for a theft where no one was physically harmed will be relatively low but the cost will be much higher for something like armed robbery.

Overall, it’s impossible to say for sure how much bail will be set for any specific crimes just becayse even beyond there points is the fact that every judge is different but hopefully it gives a bit more clarity into common themes that are examined.

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