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What the Judge Considers When Deciding Bail

When it comes to bail, there are a number of factors the judge takes into consideration when setting the bail. The reason the judge sets the bail is to ensure that you, the defendant, show up on your court dates. The money is released to you or your bail broker afterwards. If you are waiting for your bail to be posted, it’s best to have an idea beforehand on how the system works. So, what does a judge look at when deciding your bail? Read on and find out what to expect out of the court system.

Severity of the Charge

The kind of crime committed by the accused will help determine the bail amount. Depending on the intensity of the charge, the judge can increase the amount to a figure the accused can’t afford. In the case of a felony charge such as murder, the judge is likely to deny bail to the accused.

Criminal Record

When a bail is set for an individual, someone with a criminal record will have a higher bail than those with a clean record. Also, if the accused has other ongoing cases or even parole, bail may be denied all together.

Flight Risk

If the accused is someone who has skipped a court appearance before, then the judge is likely to deny bail. Not only that, but if the defendant is seen as someone who is likely to flee the country to avoid the court proceedings, it is more likely that bail will be denied. In addition, if the accused is not a US citizen, they will not be granted bail. Even further, the individual will be deported to their country indefinitely.

Witness and Public Relations Interference

If the judge were to believe there is enough evidence that the individual accused will interfere with a witness, bail will likely be denied. For instance, if the person accused were to receive witness information, then there could be a high chance of the accused contacting the witness, which can reduce the case’s strength. The reason behind this is if the accused were to try to persuade the plaintiff to settle, then the whole case could come tumbling down.

In the case that you were to receive a bail option, it is crucial to choose the right bail bond company. That’s where we come in; here at Troy’s Bail Bonds, we have years of experience and are here to help you get out of a bind.

5 Reasons Why a Judge Might Deny Bail

A person charged with a criminal offence can often post bail or obtain a bail bond to get out of jail. However, some people are denied when they try to appeal for it. When this happens, the person remains in jail and must wait there until the next hearing, where they can try to appeal again. It is up to the judge whether they allow a person to post bail, but why might a judge deny it? This blog will go over five reasons why a judge would forbid someone from obtaining bail.

The Person is a Repeat Offender

Judges have little sympathy for repeat offenders who are on parole or probation for a prior offence; this is because they have violated the agreement and abused their freedom by committing yet another crime. Repeat violations tell the judge that the person has not learned their lesson and doesn’t understand what it means to be held accountable for their actions. It breaks trust because it makes the judge think that they will go back out into society to cause more harm and commit more offences.

The Person is a Flight Risk

A person will be denied bail if they are deemed a “flight risk.” This means that the person has a history of missing court dates, skipping bail, or running away to avoid prosecution. If it’s too risky, a judge will likely deny bail in order to keep them in jail and prevent them from fleeing and avoiding punishment. If a judge grants bail, they give their trust. If one cannot be trusted to stay in the area and show up to trial, they will not be granted bail.

The Person is a Non-US Citizen

Non-US citizens are not granted bail. If a person is thought to be in the U.S. illegally without the proper documentation, they will be denied bail and retained with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). If the crime was severe, the person may be deported back to their home country.

The Person is a Threat to the Public

A person will not be granted bail if they are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. A judge’s goal is to protect the general populace, so repeat offenders, terrorists, mass shooters, and murderers are denied bail to keep them away from others and prevent further crimes from occurring. If a person shows signs of instability, violence, or aggression towards others, a judge will want to keep them in prison. Bail is never given to someone who could put the lives and safety of others in jeopardy.

The Crime Was Severe

Criminals have a higher chance of getting bail if the crime they committed was less serious. Crimes like manslaughter, rape, armed robbery, and murder are considered severe, and are likely to result in life in prison or the death penalty, unless that person is otherwise proven innocent. In these cases, the judge will usually post an enormously high bail amount if the defendant isn’t likely going to be released, or deny bail altogether if there is strong evidence against the defendant.

Conclusion

For some, bail is not an option and they are forced to complete their full prison sentence. For others, bail is a viable method to get out of jail sooner than later. If you are eligible for bail, call Troy’s Bail Bonds for a free consultation! We have affordable, 24-hour bail bonds whenever you need it. We’re here to help you or a loved one get out of jail quick!

9 Highest Bail Bonds in US History

Bail bonds depend on jurisdiction. For instance, seven states and Washington, D.C. do not have bail bonds agents.

Bail bonds depend on jurisdiction. For instance, seven states and Washington, D.C. do not have bail bonds agents.

Bail amounts depend on various factors. The severity of the crime(s) has the largest influence on cost with more serious crimes, like murder and drug possession, requiring more money than stalking or burglary. Other factors include age, criminal history, prior record of not appearing in court, and a flight risk. The more severe the charges and the more likely someone is to not show up, the higher the bail.

The following is a compilation of the 9 highest bail bonds in US history. Getting on this list was no easy task though. Former NASDAQ chairman Bernie Madoff and Canadian businessman Bernard Ebbers each had $10 million bails but did not make the list. So without further ado, let’s begin.

 

9) Suge Knight – $25 million

Who: Co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records.

Crime: Voluntary manslaughter of Terry Carter in a fatal 2015 hit-and-run.

Outcome: Knight agreed to a plea agreement in which he would be sentenced to 28 years in state prison.

 

8) Michael Sorodsky – $33 million

Who: Bogus Brooklyn doctor specializing in holistic cancer treatments.

Crime: Raping a sedated patient and sexually molesting seven women during breast and gynecological exams.

Outcome: Sorodsky pled guilty to 20 charges and received six years in jail.

 

7) Tiffany Li – $66 million

Who: San Mateo County woman accused of murder.

Crime: Li was charged with murder and conspiring with two other defendants to kill her former boyfriend, Keith Green.

Outcome: TBD. Li’s trial has been delayed while she seeks treatment for stage three breast cancer.

 

6) Xue Lei (Shirley) Ji – $75 million

Who: Vice president of Goldenvale, Inc. and wife of Kening Ma.

Crime: One count of conspiracy, 33 counts of grand theft, six counts of money laundering, and 30 counts of possession of false certificates.

Outcome: Ji and her husband, Kening Ma, agreed to deals after importing motorcycles and ATVs with engines that failed to meet state emissions control laws and then selling them. Ji pled guilty to counts of grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft. She was sentenced to three years misdemeanor probation and to pay restitution to victims.

 

Bail must be reasonable. Thanks to the Eighth Amendment, Americans are protected from excessive bail amounts, as well as cruel and unusual punishments.

Bail must be reasonable. Thanks to the Eighth Amendment, Americans are protected from excessive bail amounts, as well as cruel and unusual punishments.

 

T4) Raj Rajaratnam – $100 million

Who: New York-based hedge fund manager

Crime: Insider trading

Outcome: Rajaratnam was found guilty on all 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined $150 million in civil and criminal penalties.

 

T4) Christopher Williams – $100 million

Who: Memphis-area carjacker

Crime: Williams was charged with second-degree murder, carjacking, aggravated robbery, and using a firearm to commit a felony.

Outcome: Williams was sentenced to life in prison. He currently has four other felony cases pending.

 

3) Kening Ma – $150 million

Who: President of Goldenvale, Inc. and husband of Shirley Ji.

Crime: One count of conspiracy, 33 counts of grand theft, six counts of money laundering, and 30 counts of possession of false certificates.

Outcome: Ma agreed to plead no contest to four counts of felony grand theft. He was ordered to three years felony probation to pay restitution to victims.

 

2) Michael Milken – $250 million

Who: American financier and philanthropist

Crime: 98 counts of racketeering and fraud.

Outcome: Milken pled guilty to six counts of securities and tax violations. He also agreed to pay $1.1 billion across three lawsuits and a lifetime ban from the securities industry. Milken would go on to serve 22 months in prison before being released in 1993.

 

1) Robert Durst – $3 billion

Who: American real estate heir

Crime: Accused of killing and dismembering his neighbor, Morris Black.

Outcome: A Texas appeals court lowered the bail to $450,000 and Durst was released the next day. He ultimately accepted a plea bargain and received five years in prison.

How to Get Out of Jail Using Jail Bonds

So you’ve been arrested and placed in jail. This can be an incredibly stressful experience especially when the context surrounding the circumstances is taken into consideration. So now you may be asking yourself – how exactly do you get out of prison?

Generally speaking, this is done through the use of a jail bond, otherwise known as a prison bond. Basically, you are posting a “bail” amount whether that is through cash or a piece of property with an inherent cash value.

This is used as collateral in return for a promise to show up in court on your scheduled date. By doing so, you will get your bail money back. If you don’t, the court may issue an arrest warrant to put you back in jail. But what exactly is this process of setting bail, and how do you get out of this predicament to begin with?

How Bail is Set

Once you have been arrested, chances are you will want to know your bail amount right away. This can be a difficult process if you are not able to see a judge immediately, especially over the weekend. This can mean winding up in jail for a few days while things are sorted out.

However, for the most part, you’ll be expected to pay a certain fixed amount for more common crimes which typically isn’t an exuberant amount. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that you cannot be held with an excessive bail amount.

This avoids the bail from being used as punishment or a bargaining chip for your freedom. As we mentioned above, this establishes that the bail is used to guarantee you will return to court when you’re ordered to do so. Depending on the crime committed, the bail amount must be reasonable enough to achieve that purpose. This may not always be the case, so you may be involved in a special hearing where you can request the bail amount be lowered due to your financial situation.

How to Post Bail

When you go to post bail, there are a few different ways to accomplish this. This includes: using a bondsman; posting cash for the full amount of the bond directly; using property (like a home or lot) with the court, or the judge can decide to let you go on O.R. (Own Recognizance).

That last option plays into the aforementioned special hearing where you may request a lowered bail amount. You may also have an opportunity to be released on O.R., which you should take. Typically, this only happens based on how integrated you are into the community. This includes having close family members who live there, residing there for a number of years, or having a small or nonexistent criminal history.

Conclusion

As we talked about, dealing with jail time can be incredibly taxing. When situations like this happen to you, it can be debilitating – especially if it means spending time away from your loved ones and your friends. When you’re facing jail time and need to post bond, you should strongly consider reaching out to a professional bondsman to guide you through the entire process.

Do you have any questions or thoughts regarding the jail bond process? Be sure to them in the comments section below!

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