Is your loved one in the unfortunate position of waiting for a bail decision? Here are two things a judge will consider when deciding bail, so you can better understand what your loved one will face at their bail bond hearing.
Things a judge will consider when deciding bail
A judge determines the amount of money, along with any additional restrictions, that your defendant will need to pay for pre-trial release. In determining bail, the judge typically focuses on two primary areas. Let’s take a look at the two things that you can count on being a part of the bail bond decision.
The dollar amount and conditions of bail depend on things such as the defendant’s (1) previous criminal history, (2) relationship with the community, (3) financial circumstances, and of course (4)the seriousness of the charges. So, if this is the first time that your loved one has faced criminal prosecution, for example, the bail might be lower than if they have a lengthy criminal record.
Before the bail hearing, a Pretrial Services Officer generally speaks to the defendant and their family and relays the information to the judge through a report. Always make sure to talk with your defense attorney before consenting to the interview with the Pretrial Services Officer. Remember it is potentially illegal to stretch the truth to a Pretrial Services Officer about the defendant’s background.
#2: Flight Risk
One of the most significant things that the judge considers when determining bail is whether the defendant is likely to run from the law as soon as they get out on a pre-trial release. Defendants with a history of skipping out on bail will find it hard to obtain a pre-trial release. In any case, the court is likely to impose stringent restrictions for bond on a defendant deemed a flight risk.
Role of the criminal defense attorney in the bail decision
The criminal defense attorney plays a crucial role in helping your loved one obtain a bail bond opportunity. Pennsylvania law requires the judge to consider many things, such as family ties to the community and if the defendant owns a home in the neighborhood when deciding on a bail amount. An experienced attorney knows how to persuade the judge that your loved one will show up to court on time and is worthy of going home for the duration of the court case.
Work with a bail bonds company
Once you find out that your loved one can come home on a bond, it’s a smart idea to contact a local bail bonds company if you’ll need help in financing the bond amount. Blackman Bail Bonds, for example, does business out of helping clients to post bond so that they can go home as quickly as possible. Bail guarantors typically charge a fee, called a bail bond premium, of approximately five percent for their work in guaranteeing the total bond.
Lastly, the two major things a judge will consider when deciding bail for your loved one are your family member’s background and flight risk potential. With the assistance of an expert attorney, there’s a decent chance that the defendant will have an opportunity to post bond. Contact us at Blackman Bail Bonds to make sure that your loved one can leave the jail as fast as possible once the judge sets the bond amount.