Bail is an amount of money set by a court that can be paid to that court in order to secure the temporary release of a person in custody awaiting trial.
A person who has been arrested will be held in custody until a bail amount is set by a judge. At this time, the bail can be paid by a third party and the arrestee will be released with the understanding that they are to appear for future court proceedings or the bail will be forfeited to the court.
If all court appearances are made and once the trial goes to sentencing or dismissal, the judge will return the collateral held by the court.
Bail is both an incentive to the defendant to appear in court for the proceedings and a way to offset any costs associated with their potential failure to appear in court.
Setting bail is generally a common practice for courts in the United States. However, just because you are being held in custody pending a trial doesn’t mean that a bail amount will be set for you.
Whether or not a judge decides to set bail is determined by several factors. If you are determined to be a significant risk to the community or if it’s determined that you are a significant flight risk, the judge may not set bail.
All decisions regarding bail are at the discretion of the judge presiding over the trial. The judge will determine if you a bail is set for you and what its cost will be. Usually, judges follow a list of recommended bail amounts for certain crimes.
As you can probably guess, smaller crimes will generally result in smaller bail amounts, while some severe crimes can have bail amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bail amount may also depend on your previous appearances in court and other factors the judge finds relevant to the situation.
“Excessive bail” amounts are prohibited by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, but neither this amendment nor any other guarantees that a person will be granted bail.
Bail Bonds America can post bail for you through the purchase of a bail bond. If you or a loved one needs bail posted immediately, contact us right away!