When a loved one is arrested, the aftermath is often confusing and unnerving. One of the first questions many people have is whether they will be able to post bail and get their loved one home. Decisions about bail are made during bail hearings, but you don’t have to wait for the hearing to occur before you contact a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro about posting bail. By retaining an agent as soon as your loved one is arrested, you’ll help ensure that the process of obtaining the bond and getting your loved one released runs as smoothly as possible. The issue of how much bail will be looms large for many families and friends. The court relies on many different factors to make that decision. These are some of the most important things they consider.
Nature of the Offense
Before setting bail, the court will consider the nature of the offense for which your loved one was arrested. In some cases, there are set bail amounts for certain offenses that are automatically assigned. In other instances, the court can consider the seriousness of the offense when deciding how high bail should be. Generally, violent crimes carry the highest bail amounts.
People who have no criminal history are more likely to receive lower bail amounts than people who have criminal records. The court will also consider what charges are on the criminal record. Having a history of nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses is less likely to result in a higher bail than having a history of violent crimes and felonies. For people with lengthy criminal records, the court may decide not to allow bail at all.
Ability to Pay
Courts often consider the ability of defendants to pay the bail that is being assigned to them. Bail is not supposed to be punitive, so it generally shouldn’t be so high that the person cannot reasonably pay it given his or her financial circumstances. If you think your loved one’s bail is punitively high, an attorney may be able to help you get it reduced, so you can secure an affordable bail bond.