If you get arrested, there is a criminal process you will have to follow. Depending on the crime that has been committed or by the discretion of the judge, the accused may be granted bail. Bail is an amount of money set by a judge that works like a deposit or guarantee that the accused will return to court when it is already time for hearings. If the accused fails to show, he or she will be required to pay the full bail amount. How the bail amount is set is influenced by a number of factors and can vary from case to case.
Below are five factors that can determine the bail amount.
1. Criminal History
The judge will consider your criminal history including the nature of the charges that were presented before the court. If a person has committed crimes in the past, it is a huge factor that will influence the bail amount. If the crime is a serious and violent one, it will most likely be set higher to prevent a repeat offense. That being said, if it is a minor offense and if the accused is a first-time offender, a lower bail amount can be expected.
2. Flight Risk
If the accused has a high chance of being given a bad sentence, they would be tagged as a flight risk as they will most likely skip the trial. For example, if you have a passport and you have weak ties to the community you are in, you will most likely be given a higher bail amount to avoid fleeing the area. Colorado law allows a judge the right to refuse the accused to leave the state while the case is still pending. Moreover, bail bonds in Colorado can include this stipulation too.
3. Risk to the community
If the accused is known to have a history of violent behavior, they are considered a risk to others and will most likely be given a higher bail amount. Public safety is a major factor in setting bail. If the judge believes you may harm others in your community, setting a higher bail amount will make it difficult for you to post bail to lessen your risk to others.
4. Severity of the crime or offense
Here’s the general rule that determines the bail amount – the minor the crime, the lesser the bail. On the other hand, the worse the crime, the higher the bail. If there are large fines involved with the crime, it can also affect the amount set for bail.
5. Bail reduction
Bail is purposely set high to make it difficult for the accused to post bail. However, courts are prohibited to impose an excessive bail amount according to the Eight Amendment of the U.S Constitution. Although, there is no exact definition of what amount is exactly considered as excessive. With this, your lawyer can request for bail reduction if they think the amount set for bail is too excessive. While the court is under no obligation to lower the amount, it is a possibility.
Bail bond laws and services vary depending on your state. When in Colorado, get help from a reputable bail bond agency and make the bail bond service work to your advantage!