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What makes a judge set a high bond

There is no denying that all bonds are expensive and they are done so on purpose but one may wonder what makes a judge decide to set bond at $10,000 for some and several million for others? Well, there are a few factors that a judge takes into consideration when deciding on this. Here is a quick overview of what those are.

Lots of resources

If a defendant has a ton of money or property and they are possibly looking at a sentence where they could potentially spend years in jail then they have a higher probability to flee and beyond this, they have the resources to do so. This is why judges take into account how much money a defendant makes or has because it increases the flight risk. In order to offset this risk, they set the bond to millions because if they flee and are caught they will lose it all.

Lives in a different state

Another red flag a judge will think about its location. If a defendant commits a crime while on vacation or just out of town then they are going to want to be home and not hanging around waiting for a trial or having to arrange travel plans to return. Because of this a person who is from another state from where they commit a crime will essentially never be released through personal recognizance and a judge is more likely to require a higher bond price to make sure that they return to court despite the inconvenience of travel arrangements.

Severity of crime

Just as with someone with a lot of resources, if the possible sentence is severe and the defendant is potentially looking at years if not decades in jail then there is a lot of incentive to try and flee. When a judge sets an enormous bond they know that the temptation would be there to try and avoid the sentence but by making a huge bond it makes it a gamble that if they are caught then they will also be financially responsible for a massive amount of money as well as what possible jail sentence they were already looking at.

To sum up, these types of bonds are relatively rare and the judge is not going to put the burden of a million-dollar bond on a person with limited resources and facing a relatively minor crime but there are situations where the types of bonds make sense and better hold a defendant accountable.

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