Top Factors Affecting Your Bail Amount
An arrest can impact your life in more ways than one, even for relatively minor infractions. One of the biggest ways it can impact you is that you’re kept in jail until your court date—unless you can pay the bail amount. This can cause you to lose your job and impact your personal life. If you’re wondering what factors are looked at to calculate your jail bond amount, then keep reading.
Severity of the Crime
The severity of the crime that you’re being charged with is one major factor considered when your bond amount is calculated. Violent crimes, for example, frequently have a much higher bond amount than nonviolent crimes.
In addition to looking at the nature of your current charges, a judge will also consider any crimes you’ve been convicted of in the past. If you have a history of getting into trouble, or you have committed violent crimes in the past (even if your current charges aren’t violent in nature), your bond amount may be set higher.
A judge will also consider the likelihood or your ability to flee from the charges. When considering this factor, a judge will look at any court dates you may have missed in the past, whether or not you have a passport or are a citizen of another country, what ties you have in the community as a reason to stay, and your financial ability to flee to another country.
Risk to Self and Others
A judge will also consider whether or not you appear to be a risk to yourself or others or to society in general. Your criminal history and the nature of the current charges are often a part of this consideration. However, these aren’t the only things looked at when determining your level of risk. A judge will also consider your mental state, for example, and try to determine how likely you are to act violently towards those around you or to attempt to harm yourself.
If the judge determines that you’re a risk to anyone, the bail amount will likely be higher. The idea behind this is that you’re less likely to harm yourself or anyone else if you’re in jail; the bail acts as an insurance policy to keep potentially dangerous individuals off the streets.
The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution forbids any court from setting an “excessive” bail amount. While this is obviously a subjective term, the general consensus is that it refers to an amount that’s intentionally set so high that the person will never be able to pay it. If you believe your bail amount exceeds these constitutional limits, you should speak to your attorney about getting a bail reduction.
If you’re having trouble making bail and you need to get back to your daily life, contact us at BailSmart Bail Bonds. We offer affordable bail bonds in San Joaquin County, CA, to help you get out of jail and resume your normal life until your court date. Contact us to learn more about our bail bond services, rates, and more. We’ll help you get out of jail quickly. Give us a call today.