Most people assume that posting bail after arrest on criminal charges is the right of the defendant that automatically vests on him or her, but it is not so. Whether a person can seek release from jail or police custody by posting bail depends on various factors that belie the apparent simplicity of the process. The concept that appears simple, like paying money to get out of jail, is not so simple, and there are many more aspects to consider ensuring that the accused person can walk out of jail.
How soon one can post bail depends on the nature of the charges and its severity. To facilitate the arrest person’s speedy release facing some standard criminal charges, the court follows a bail schedule for posting bail, which helps avoid the bail hearing process.
To know more about bail schedules and the bail hearing process, keep reading.
What are bail schedules?
Bail schedules are lists of bail amount pertaining to individual crime in any jurisdiction. For example, for crimes like burglary, the bail amount set within a jurisdiction might be $5000, while for disorderly conduct, it can be $1000. The bail amounts appropriate for each crime are determined based on the state laws, which can also permit police to release a person without requiring bail. The law also stipulates whether defendants can post bail after booking, or it might need them to wait for a bail hearing.
When judges set the bail amount, the law permits them to increase or decrease bail amounts as deemed appropriate by the court. Bail schedules are not applicable for Federal courts, and it is up to the discretion of the court to set the bail amount. In California, for crimes like spousal rape, spousal battery, and making terrorist threats, a bail hearing is necessary for all cases.
Generally, a defendant obtains release on posting the bail amount by cash or furnishing Castle Bail Bonds.
What are bail hearings?
The court holds a hearing to fix the bail amount for specific cases if it feels that the defendant can be released, or else it can even deny bail. During the hearing, the court considers several factors like flight risk or the chances of the person fleeing after release on bail. Persons facing severe charges that entail long term imprisonment or possible death sentence have a higher risk of fleeing than those facing less serious charges.
Community connections and family obligations are other factors that weigh upon a person and deter him or her from fleeing. A local businessman with strong community connections will tend to stay rooted and has fewer chances of avoiding court appearance or jumping bail. A person who shoulders family obligations would try to protect the family well-being, and they can expect the court to impose a lower bail amount.
The bail amount will be higher for people with a criminal history, especially those who have jumped bail earlier. It is the same for people with high income and more assets for whom only an extremely high bail amount can act as a deterrent.