How Do You Figure Out Bail?

If you've been arrested, it may not occur to you much how your bail is determined, but the bail issue is definitely one you should be interested in. Without bail, you'll have to stay in jail until your case is heard and that might take months and months given the crowded justice system. To learn about the two main ways that both the potential to get bail and the amount is determined, read on.

Why is bail offered to anyone?

Bail means one thing to the person behind bars: a chance to be freed from jail and work on a defense to the charges. Jail was created as a temporary means of keeping the accused secure until they could have their day in court. Unfortunately, the jails have become crowded and the wait for court so prolonged that something has to give. Bail is not just freedom but also an agreement to behave once you are released.

How is bail determined?

As you might imagine, it's vital that those released on bail return to stand trial, so the character and criminal record of the accused are the key factors in being offered bail. The prosecutor's office will ask for a certain amount of bail in most cases unless you have been accused of a serious crime like murder or rape. If you've previously been arrested, you might still get bail as long as you complied with any previous bail arrangements.

Another factor considered is community involvement. This doesn't necessarily mean that you sit on the city council but that you have some more or less permanent ties to the local community. This can be shown by being married, having a lot of family connections, a job, a local business and more.

Using an algorithm

As you can tell there is no exact method for determining bail in this manner and that is why the algorithm method was created. An algorithm is created using history of arrests and the chances that those arrested will show up for their court dates. Demographics, the crimes the defendant is of accused of and other factors are used to decide how likely a given person is to comply with bail restrictions.

This form of determining bail carries a lot of controversy since the algorithm is based on statistics that could very well be skewed by race and other issues. Since those of a certain race are more likely to be arrested in greater numbers, does that necessarily mean that the statistics are a valid way to determine bail?

To help you get bail, speak to your local criminal law services at once.