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How Courts Determine Bail Bond Amounts

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

When people think of emergency bail bonds, the following thought is usually, “ How expensive is bail?” So, how exactly do courts decide how much someone’s bail should be? There are many things that a judge will consider when they determine a defendant’s bail amount. If you or a loved one have recently been arrested, it can be helpful to understand the factors that affect the bail amount so you can make the best financial decision for your situation. Anzaldua Bail Bonds in Edinburg, Texas, across from the Hidalgo County Jail, is here to explain what goes into the process when someone's bail is set.

A Quick Guide to the Bail Bonds Process

It’s important to understand how the bail bond process works before we go into detail about how bail amounts are set. Don’t worry – the overall system for bail bonds is very straightforward. Here’s a quick guide to the bail bond process:

  1. You or your loved one are arrested, charged with a crime, and seen by a judge as soon as possible.

  2. The court will decide how much you must pay to make bail. In Texas, everyone NOT accused of a capital crime is entitled to bail.

  3. You are given a court date and remanded into custody until the bail payment can be made.

  4. Whether or not you use a bail bonds agency, once the bail payment has been made you or your loved one is released and expected to show up for the court date.

Now, let’s go over what a judge will consider when they determine the total cost of your bail. Factors That Influence the Cost of Bail While the bail bond process is fairly simple, the factors that can affect the cost of bail are more complicated. For the most part, the criminal charge that a defendant faces will drive the court’s approach when making their decision. For example, people charged with misdemeanors generally don’t have to pay as much to bail out of jail. Because capital charges are considered very serious, bail can even be denied in these cases. Courts will generally go off a “bond schedule,” which breaks down recommended amounts for a given crime. However, it is ultimately up to the judge to make these decisions. Certain circumstances can raise bail amount, such as:

  • prior criminal history or convictions

  • severity/details of the crime

  • being on probation at the time of the arrest

  • active restraining orders against the defendant exist

  • defendant is deemed a “flight risk” or general threat to others

Ways To Reduce the Total Amount of Bail While there are many factors that can increase the amount of someone’s bail, there are also ways to bring the total amount down! If a defendant or their defense team seeks to lower the bail total, they will request what is known as a “bond hearing.” At the bond hearing, the court will be presented with arguments by the defense or the defendant as to why their bond should be lowered. Some of these reasonings include:

  • House Arrest/Curfew – Clients that offer to remain on house arrest and highly limited unsupervised travel may see a bond reduction. Because most crimes are committed late at night, a curfew may be offered as well as a sign of goodwill.

  • Electronic Monitoring Devices – Often referred to as “ankle monitors,” these devices show a court that you are not breaking any conditions of your bond. Additionally, alcohol/drug vehicular locking systems (breathalyzers) will ensure no unapproved use of a car takes place. If you request these devices, your bail may be lowered.

  • Voluntary Alcohol/Drug Tests – If you’ve been accused of a crime that involved drugs or alcohol, submitting to random tests will show a court that you’re determined to learn from your mistake and be a better person, thereby calling for a lower bond.

Finally, if you spent a lot of time in jail before you saw a judge in the first place, this may be taken into consideration as “time served” and your bail may be reduced as a result. Anzaldua Bail Bonds Near Hidalgo County Jail – Ready to Step In As you can see, there are many factors that go into how a court determines bail amounts. If you’re unable to afford the bail, reach out to the professionals at Anzaldua Bail Bonds in Edinburg, Texas, near Hidalgo County Jail! While there are many details to consider when determining the exact cost of bail, you can rest assured that the professional bondsmen at Anzaldua Bail Bonds across from the Hidalgo County Jail can help give you answers – call today!

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