How Does the Court Set the Bail Amount in Jacksonville?
Every American citizen is guaranteed to the right to bond of jail by the 8th amendment of the United States Constitution. Bail can be set in two different ways or it can be denied based on the judges discretion. Several things have a direct impact on the amount of bail a person must pay to get out of jail. In order for a bail bond to be posted, the defendant must agree to comply with the stipulations put forth by the court and promise to appear at all of their scheduled court hearings. By calling the Ryan Wells Bail Bonds agency at 904-853-6450, one of our agents will discuss your options with you and help you determine the best way to proceed.
After an arrest, the defendant will be assigned bail in one of two ways. One of the ways is pre-determined bond schedule. The other is through an arraignment hearing. If what the defendant has been charged with does not match any of the charges listed on the schedule, the defendant will have to be arraigned. During an arraignment, the defendant will appear in front of the judge and the judge will review the pending charges. A bail amount will be set according to the severity of the charges, the criminal history of the defendant and whether or not the defendant is a flight risk. Individuals who have many charges pending against them may have a larger than normal bail amount.
Pre-determined Bail Schedule
A pre-determined bail schedule is list of bail amounts that have been agreed upon by several local judges to be used for specific charges. The bail amounts get progressively higher as the charges become more severe or if a defendant has had several of the same charges in the past. A good example of this is a DUI/DWI charge. A first offense may be relatively low if there are no other traffic violations involved. If a person has three or four similar charges, the defendant may have to bypass the pre-determined bail bond schedule and go before a judge for arraignment.
What Affects the Amount of Bail?
There are several factors that will affect a defendant's bail amount. If there is no past history of criminal activity and it is the defendant's first offense, bail may be extremely low. In some cases, the defendant may be able to be released on a signature bond or released on their own recognizance, also known as ROR. If a defendant has several criminal offenses on their record, their bail bond will be higher than for a first offense. Each time a defendant repeats a crime, the bail will increase exponentially.
One of the strongest factors is flight risk. To be bonded out of jail, the defendant must agree to comply with all of the court's stipulations as well as attend all scheduled court hearings. If the judge believes for any reason, that the defendant may not appear in court, he may set bail at a higher amount to make it harder for the defendant to raise the amount needed to post bond.
The severity of a crime also plays a direct role in the setting of bail. A DUI case that involves property damage or bodily injury will require a much higher bond than one that only involves an impaired driver. The more the severe the crime, the higher the bail bond amount will be. In cases where a first degree murder charge is pending, a one million dollar bail bond is not uncommon.
Can Bail Be Denied?
In cases where a violent crime has been committed or a person has been killed or disabled, the judge may choose to deny bail altogether. The judge may also deny bail if the he believes that the defendant is at risk of harming himself or others due to a behavioral illness or other traumatic issue. Again, if the defendant is considered a flight risk, the judge may choose to deny bail as a way of ensuring that the defendant appears at his or her court hearings.
If you live in the Jacksonville, Florida area and have questions about a bail bond or how to get one, call the Ryan Wells Bail Bonds agency today at 904-853-6450. Our agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet all of your bail bonds needs. Our agents are highly trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of the bail bonds business. Call us today and let us help you get out of a bad situation.