Judges adhere to standard practices when setting bail amounts. However, they have the power to raise or lower the standard bail amounts, waive bail altogether, and grant release of a defendant. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that the bail amount should not be excessive. Despite this provision, bail amounts and terms vary greatly. The judge considers different factors when setting the bail amount, so it’s valuable to understand what influences this decision.
Bail by Algorithm
Many courts now set bail by an algorithm. Crucial information about the defendant is entered into a computer program, which then gives a risk score. It helps the judge determine if a defendant might commit another crime if they are released or if they may potentially skip their court date.
Severity of the Crime
In violent or dangerous crimes, the bail amount tends to be high. Generally, felony offensives require five to ten times more bail amount than misdemeanors. Some offenses are bailable and some are not. Enhancements such as firearms and other weapons during an alleged crime add to the severity of the charges and increase the risk of a high bail amount.
Past Criminal Record
A defendant with a past criminal history will find it harder to get favorable bail terms. The judge views such defendants as security threats to the community. If such a defendant has ever failed to appear in court, they are a flight risk and the bail amount rises. Judges try to avert a repeat of such behavior through stringent bail terms.
History in the Community
The judge will look at a defendant’s personal or business finances, family ties, mental state, and employment history. These details inform the judge about a defendant’s links to their community. Such information determines the likelihood of a defendant skipping bail.
A-Affordable Bail Bonds is here to help you secure bail throughout Washington State. We are a bail bond company with over two decades of experience serving the community. Our team works around the clock to help ensure our clients receive affordable bail bonds services. Request bail across all 39 counties today.