When police arrest a person, it can be difficult to know what will happen next, especially if it is the person’s first run-in with the law. Someone may think that being arrested will mean that he or she will have to stay in jail or already face certain consequences, which can be true in some cases. However, if police take you into custody, it is likely for the judge to set a bail amount.
Bail essentially acts as a trade between you and the court. If the judge sets a bail amount and you pay it, you give the court money as your promise that you will return to court at a later time, and in exchange, the court releases you from jail.
How much is the bail?
Because each criminal case is different, each amount of bail set is different. The judge may review various factors before determining what a particular bail amount should be. Some factors that commonly go into consideration include the following:
- Your criminal history
- The nature of the crime
- The circumstances involved in the crime
- Your conduct now and in the past
- The sources of your income
- The evidence against you
- Whether you pose a danger to the community
Of course, even if a judge goes over these details, it does not mean that a set amount already exists that lines up with these factors. The judge can use his or her discretion when it comes to setting bail and may even consider the amount that another judge set in a similar case. It is also important to note that a judge may not allow a person to post bail, especially if the person is a threat to the community or if he or she is a flight risk.
Understanding more about bail
Even if a judge does set bail in your case and you pay it or have someone else pay it, it does not mean you are off the hook. Though you do not have to remain in jail until your next court appearance, you still have an obligation to show up. If you do not, you could face even more serious consequences.
Having questions about bail is understandable. Fortunately, you can reach out to a Florida attorney to help you better understand bail and understand your available criminal defense options for handling your case overall.