You might have heard of bail payment but you wonder how the amount is set. The general rule is that bail is set by the court. However, there are different ways of setting this bail. At the end of the day, however, the amount will most likely be the same. Some of the things that you need to understand about bail setting include:
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There are various determining factors that will be considered before your bail is set. They include:
- The nature of the offence
- The criminal history of the defendant
- The defendant’s ties to the society
If the accused has committed a severe offence classified as a felony, the amount of bail charged might even be five times more than what is charged for misdemeanors. The latter often has a lower amount of bail. In addition to this, if the defendant has a criminal past, especially if they have committed the same offence before, it is likely that the court will set the bail at a higher amount. Finally, if the defendant has few or no ties to the community, bail may be granted because the probability that the defendant will flee is very high.
Bail can be set before arraignment. This is possible because some police stations have bail offices which have the different rates for certain crimes. The criminal offences are broadly categorized into misdemeanors and felonies. Additionally, some police stations have a judge on duty that is available via phone. These judges can set the bail amount from a remote location before the arraignment, likely on the day of arrest.
The problem with having bail set before an arraignment is that some police officers might exaggerate the charge. If, for example, you are caught with a marijuana cigarette, you might be booked for possession with intent to distribute. This moves the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. This then sets bail amount much higher. There are chances that the charge will be reduced once you get to court but in order to avoid staying in jail you end up parting with a lot of money in the short run. Keep in mind that not everyone has certain amounts of money lying around waiting to bail others out.
The judge can also set the bail amount during your arraignment. This is done in compliance with the law. For an arraignment, you do not need a lawyer present. However, you would need one at a bail hearing since these are two different things. The benefit of having the judge set the bail is that you avoid exaggerated charges which set bail at a higher amount. However, you would also have to stay in jail a little longer which might sometimes mean spending the night there.
If you find yourself in a tough situation where you have been arrested, you need to know which of the above options are available to choose from. If you can use the police station bail office rates which are set in accordance to the law, you would be able to get out of jail faster.