What Judges Look At When Setting Bail
If you’ve sat through a few bail hearings, you are probably confused. Many people feel that the judges simply make up numbers when they set bail for different prisoners, but that’s not the case at all. The truth is that there are some very specific things judges look at when they are trying to decide if they want to grant bail and if so, how much bail they’ll require.
How Serious Are the Charges
The first thing the judge considers is the severity of the charges. For minor things, they probably won’t set a high bail. For severe crimes like felony assault, arson, and homicide, they will set a high bail. The circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, whether was it done in the heat of the moment or was it planned, will also be considered. Defendants who have been charged with a crime that has a defined victim, such as domestic abuse cases, will likely have a higher bail since the judge wants to protect the victim
The Defendant’s History
The defendant’s history plays a huge role in how high their bail is. Defendants who have no criminal record will get a lower bail than those who have a history of criminal behavior. The same is true for defendants who have no history of failing to appear in court as those who do.
How Strong is the Case Against the Defendant
Even though a bail hearing is done to determine bail, and not to determine guilt, the judge will want to hear how strong a case the prosecution has against the victim. If there is a great deal of evidence showing that the defendant will likely be convicted, the judge will set a higher bail. The fact that the prosecution has to present so much evidence during the bail hearing can work to the defendant’s benefit since it tells their lawyer what kind of case the prosecution will present if the case goes to trial.
Will You Leave Town
The last thing the judge considers is whether you appear to be a flight risk. If they think that you’ll post bail and flee town rather than appear in court, they will set a high bail. If you appear to be a flight risk, they will also likely require that you wear GPS monitoring if you do make bail. Bulldog Bail Bonds in Selma understands the challenges presented by high bail requests and we want to help. In addition to keeping our fee a very low 10%, we offer clients who meet specific requirements a 20% discount. We also have zero-interest payment plans available.
We offer free bail bond consultations that are available 24/7. All you have to do is call 1-559-688-0229 or click the Chat With Us now link.
Should You be a Co-Signer for a Loved One’s Bail?
In the middle of the night, you get a call from the local jail. From the other end of the line, the familiar voice of a loved one explains that they’ve been arrested and that they need you to help them out with bail.
Eventually, you learn that not only does your loved one know that they need bail money, they know exactly how much bail is needed to get them released, they know that they don’t have enough money to cover it and that they’ve already been in contact with a bail bonds agency. It turns out that the bail bonds agency is happy to take your loved one on as a client, but only if they have a co-signer.
While you understand why your loved one wants to be bailed out and you want to help them before you can commit you need to know exactly what being a co-signer for a bail bond means.
You learn that your loved one has been arrested and held in police custody while awaiting trial. Of course, you don’t want to see them behind bars for an extended period; you want to help them during this difficult time. Therefore, you decide to co-sign for a bail bond, allowing your loved one to be released from jail.
After you sign the paperwork, one of the bail bonds company’s agents will post bail with the court, and your loved one will be free from police custody. However, your role as a co-signer does not stop there. You will have various responsibilities to ensure that your loved one does what they need to do while their case is pending. It is important to understand your obligations as a co-signer to know what to expect throughout the process.
The first thing to consider as the co-signer for a loved one’s bail is that the bail bonds agency will need to have you sign a bond agreement. We have noticed that some people are nervous about doing this because they worry that by signing the bond agreement, they will somehow be implicated in their loved one’s alleged crimes. That’s not the case at all. The bond agreement is simply a contract between you and us. It has nothing to do with your loved one’s alleged criminal activities.
In some cases, the co-signer put up all or part of the fee their loved one needs. The fee is always 10% of whatever your loved one’s set bail is. If you’re loved one is going to use a private lawyer, is a member of the armed forces, or is an AARP member, they’re eligible for a 20% discount.
It’s possible that your loved one can handle the fee themselves, but for whatever reason requires a co-signer to provide collateral. This usually happens because the client has an extremely high bail and we simply need something to show that if they fail to appear in court, the full amount of the bail bond will be covered. Another reason for requiring a co-signer and collateral is that there is something in your loved one’s past that makes us worry they might be a flight risk.
Before you agree to co-sign for a loved one’s bail bond, there are a few things you should consider.
✦ Are you confident that your loved one will honor the terms of both their bail and the bail bond
✦ Are you comfortable with the idea of serving as a co-signer
✦ Will being a co-signer damage your relationship with your loved one
✦ Can you honestly afford to be a co-signer for the bail bond
Bulldog Bail Bonds in Selma is located in California and has helped thousands of California residents make bail and get released from jail shortly after they’ve been arrested. We’re the first bail bonds agency people recommend.