When someone has been charged with a crime, they are usually arrested, booked, and wait in jail until they go before a judge to have their bail set. The main priority for those who have been arrested is to get out of jail where they can prepare their defense in a safer and less stressful environment. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know how bail is determined. Then, defendants can rely on bail bonds Allentown PA to get them out of jail quickly.
Bail Is Set by a Judge
Judges usually set the bail amount at the defendant’s first court appearance, which usually takes place shortly after the arrest. Most people will go before a judge within a day. Most judges will adhere to some sort of standard practice; however, they do have some discretion to raise or lower the bail amount based on additional factors. For petty crimes, judges may grant release to someone on his or her own recognizance.
Factors that Influence The Size of Bail
While the biggest factor in determining how much bail is going to be is the seriousness of the alleged crime, there are other factors that will play a role as well. For example, the judge is always going to look at the defendant’s prior criminal record. If it is long or includes serious crimes, then bail will be raised. If the defendant has close ties to the community, the judge may decide to lower bail. Many judges today use an algorithm that assesses whether or not a defendant is a risk for avoiding his or her next court appearance. This is also done in an effort to standardize the bail process.
Law Enforcement Practices Impact Bail
Sadly, many individuals who want to get out of jail quickly are arrested on the most serious charge that the police can justify. For example, an arrest for drug possession might be upgraded to possession with intent to distribute. This is done to give the prosecution more negotiating power in a potential plea deal; however, this can also raise the amount of bail, making it hard for someone to get out of jail. This is why it is important for defendants to work with an attorney early in the process.
Get Out of Jail
Once bail is set, defendants can post bond and get released. A bail bondsman knows how to get the paperwork processed quickly so that someone can be released.