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Things judges consider when deciding bail

You may apply for a release from custody pending the hearing of your case. Spending time in jail can be a traumatic experience, especially for those under arrest for the first time. Some of the things judges consider when deciding bail include:

  1. Public risk
  2. Criminal history
  3. Criminal offense
  4. Flight risk

The safety risk of the Public

Before a judge releases you from custody, they must consider the safety of the public. Murder, rape and other crimes that threaten public safety will attract a higher bail.

Your criminal history and record

For first-time offenders or those with minor crimes record, it will be easier to secure release. They also get a low bail amount. If you have previous convictions of major crimes, or you have a record of many small crimes, this may influence the judges’ decision to deny bail. Even if they grant bail, they will set an unreasonably high amount because of the fear that you may fail to appear in court for the hearing.

Criminal offense

When you apply for bail, the judge usually scrutinizes the case to make a decision based on the type of crime. Major offenses attract a higher amount. Violent crimes attract higher bail amount and in some cases, the judge can deny bail for such crimes.

Flight risk

The purpose of the bail is to ensure that you attend all court hearings as per the court schedules. But some defendants run away after the release to avoid conviction. The judge will analyze your case and if you have the previous history on bails, they will check those records too. You will get bail if you have no bail violation history. For those who have violated bail conditions before, it may be hard to secure a bail. The judge may also set a higher bail limit for such offenders.

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