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What goes into the judge’s bail decision?

| Jun 22, 2020 | Criminal defense | 0 comments

Facing an arrest can be stressful and embarrassing. The time you spend between your arrest and your arraignment can feel never-ending.

When it comes time to talk to the judge about bail, the decision often feels arbitrary. It is strange to hear an attorney talk more about your family and demeanor when it seems like they should talk about the facts of your case.

Here’s what judges consider when determining whether you are eligible for bail during an arraignment.

The purpose of bail

An arraignment, or bail hearing, has little to do with how your case will turn out and more to do with your next appearance. There is a lot of preparation that goes into the various stages of a criminal case both for the prosecution and the defense.

During the arraignment, judges want to know that you will not waste the court’s time by skipping your next hearing. When you post bail, it is a financial commitment that you will show up. If a judge chooses not to set bail, it represents a concern that you will not come to your next court appearance.

Flight risk and danger to the community

There are two significant factors in determining whether a judge will award bail; your potential flight risk and a potential threat to the community’s safety.

It can be challenging to determine whether someone is going to try to run away from their charges. To decide whether someone is a flight risk, judges tend to look for evidence that you have ties to the community like family and work.

The evaluation for whether you are a danger to the community can be challenging, but factors such as your first arrest or length of time between offenses can be influential.

How an attorney can help

Getting arrested, going to arraignment and everything in between can be challenging to understand and address on your own. Your future is at stake, which is why it is important to work with an experienced defense attorney immediately after an arrest. An attorney can protect your rights, fight for your freedom and defend your future.