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5 Common Factors Judges Will Consider When Setting Bail

pile of money with handcuffs for a bail bond

Bail can be confusing to try to figure out, whether you’re trying to get the funds for bail, post bail, or just figure out what it’s going to be. To bail someone out of jail, you’ll need to be prepared for home much it’s going to cost. The higher the cost, the more likely it is that you’ll need to make arrangements for getting the money together. So, being prepared for the price will ensure you’re able to post bail as soon as possible. 

How is bail determined?

Knowing what practices are in place and what judges will consider when setting bail amounts will help you prepare for posting the bail of a loved one. There are a variety of factors judges will consider when setting bail, including:

1. The bail algorithm

The bail algorithm is used to mathematically determine what the bail should be for a given defendant. It will consider things like charges, age, criminal history, and previous court appearances to “assess the risk that the defendant will commit another crime or fail to appear in court.” The algorithm will then recommend a bail amount that will be reviewed by a judge. 

2. Police practices

Bail schedules allow defendants to post bail before their holding time is up or before they need to appear in court for their bail hearing. Depending on the charge received, there will be a set bail amount that needs to be paid to be released. So, when police charge suspects for the most serious criminal offense possible, they’ll be stuck paying a higher bail amount. 

For instance, being charged with “possession of marijuana with intent to sell,” is a felony and therefore a more serious offense than simply being arrested for possession of marijuana (typically just a misdemeanor). So, in this instance, the suspect will have to pay a higher bail amount to be released. 

3. Criminal history

Your criminal record is generally a key player in the bail amount a judge will set. A clean criminal record will more than likely get a lower bail amount than someone who has an “active and lengthy” one. In turn, someone who does have a criminal history won’t necessarily have an over-inflated bail amount. The judge will still consider things like the severity of previous crimes, the verdicts (guilty or not guilty), and court appearances. 

Someone who has an outstanding warrant or who’s out on parole can be denied bail altogether (7 Factors to Consider When Determining Bail). 

4. “Nature of the alleged offense”

Like bail schedules, the severity of the offense will naturally elicit a varying bail amount. More serious offenses will generally be higher for bail than those who were arrested for minor offenses and misdemeanors. If a crime is severe enough, suspects could even be denied bail. 

5. Personal factors

There are a variety of other things a judge will consider when attempting to accurately and fairly set bail for a defendant. This includes things like:

  • Status – those with a stable job, family, etc. are considered more likely to appear in court
  • Communal roots  – those who have deeper ties within their community are considered more likely to appear in court
  • Previous court appearances  – those who have previously missed court appearances will likely have a higher bail amount
  • Public safety – those who seem to pose a direct threat to the public will have a higher bail or be denied bail altogether

The bottom line

Depending on factors like the ones listed above, bail can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000, and even more. Understanding how bail is set and what causes it to become more inflated will help you prepare for how you or your loved one will be able to post it. 

To learn more about bail and how A-Affordable Bail Bonds can help you, contact us today!


Call A-Affordable today: 877-724-6520
219 S 4th St,
Brainerd, MN 56401