Female judge in black robe

Is Bail Ever Denied?

When someone is arrested for a crime normally they are transported to jail and then booked for the crime for which they are accused.

Shortly thereafter, a judge will set bail for the arrestee. Once the amount of bail is determined, the family or friends of the incarcerated individual commonly choose to contact a licensed bail bond company to begin the process of posting bond for the defendant so that he or she can continue to fulfill their work and family obligations while awaiting trial in their case. While this is usually the manner in which bail and bond procedures occur, judges can sometimes deny bail, requiring the defendant to remain in jail until the case is resolved. The reasons for which a person can be denied bail differ from case to case and include the type of penal code violation the defendant is facing, the judge’s opinion regarding the defendant’s probability of returning to court for trial, and the defendant’s possible threat to society upon release.

Judge’s Considerations

The first thing a judge will take into consideration when setting bail is the nature of the crime and the assumptive bail amount assigned to the charge. While most penal code violations have a dollar amount set for each specific crime, some crimes are not allowed bail unless special circumstances are present. For example, for the charge of murder under Penal Code Violation 187, bail is normally denied. However, if a judge decides that the circumstances in that particular case warrant bail being set, he may do so, but at an enhanced rate of one million dollars. The majority of the time though, for such serious crimes as murder or escape from prison, it is likely that the defendant will be denied bail and will remain in custody while their case is resolved in the trial court.

When deciding whether or not to set bail for an arrestee, the judge also takes into account the probability that the defendant will return to court to stand trial for the charges against him or her once they are released on bond. While the bail system is widely successful in guaranteeing that a defendant will appear in court after they bond out, some individuals are still considered a flight risk. There is usually a small percentage of arrestees who decide to flee the state or country rather than face the charges against them. The judge examines the variables regarding each individual, and if it is determined that there is a high probability that the defendant will leave the state or country, bail will be denied. A defendant who is facing multiple serious charges, who has considerable financial means available, and little or no contacts within the community may be more likely to be denied bail. Other circumstances can alert the judge to a potential flight risk. For instance, if a defendant makes a statement to authorities that he or she plans to leave the area and disregard court ordered appearances, a judge will be less likely to set bail for that individual.

Another issue that the judge will take into consideration when setting bail is the defendant’s threat to society once they are released on bond. Taking into consideration the severity of the crime for which the accused is charged, the judge can deny bail if he or she believes that the defendant will be a danger to other citizens. This could include the defendant’s friends, family members, coworkers, or more importantly, the victim of the alleged crime committed. If a defendant is currently charged with a violent crime, and he or she has a history of violence, the judge may be hesitant to set bail.

Bail Bond Company

As evidenced above, there are many factors that a judge takes into consideration when setting bail. Specific crimes, flight risk, and potential threats to society can determine the amount of bail, if any, that will be set. Although it sometimes happens that bail is completely denied, the majority of crimes committed do not warrant such a denial, as the assurance of bond posted by a bail bond company on behalf of a defendant is so widely successful.

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