4 Things That Affect The Price Of Your Bail

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Getting arrested is a traumatizing experience, especially if you don't know what to expect and the charges are serious. Usually, the first thing people want to know is how they can get bail — and how much it will cost.

A number of different factors influence the bail amount set by the court, and that determines how much it will cost to hire a bail bond agency to post the full amount for you (assuming you cannot post the full bond yourself). Here are the things the court may consider:

1. The Nature of Your Alleged Offense

The charges against you have a big impact when it comes time to determine the price of your bail. If you're charged with something relatively minor, like shoplifting a few items from the local Dollar Tree, you can expect a much lower bail than someone who is charged with a serious crime, like vehicular homicide. The courts always consider the potential risk to the public when setting bond amounts.

2. The Odds You Could Be a Flight Risk

The courts generally consider you more likely to stick around for your trial if you have strong ties to your community. If you have family in the area, stable employment, and a permanent address, you're less likely to be seen as a flight risk than someone who has ties to other countries, doesn't have a fixed address, has no family in the area, or is unemployed. Your bond will be higher if the court is concerned you might flee.

3. Your Financial Capabilities

It may not seem fair, but your financial situation also affects the amount of your bail. Because bail is meant to be a deterrent to flight from the law, the courts want to impose bail amounts that will make a defendant think twice about running, knowing that they'll forfeit their bail bond premium and any collateral that was used to secure their bond. Expect a higher bail if you're affluent.

4. Your Prior Criminal History

If you've never been in serious trouble with the law before, that's great for your bail hearing. The court may be more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt and give you a lower bail amount, too. If you do have a rap sheet, however, you can generally expect that your bail will be set higher than someone who doesn't, even if the prior convictions were for misdemeanors. 

Understanding what calculations tend to go into a court's decision when it sets bail can help you better anticipate the cost of hiring a bail bond agency to get you out of jail so that you can more fully participate in your own defense. 

For more information, contact a local company like Abaasy Bail Bonds.

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