7 Factors that Influence Your Bail Amount
Criminal Defense Attorney Fighting for Lower Bail Amounts for Repeat Offenders in New Mexico
A judge will set your bail, and the bail amount set is what you must pay if you want to be released from custody and go home while waiting for your trial. The bail is set during your first court appearance, usually at arraignment.
However, the judge has some discretion in setting bail amounts, and there are factors that can influence a judge’s decision on not only the amount, but if you are granted bail in the first place. In some cases, a judge will just set the standard bail allowed by the statute, or he or she may increase or lower the amount.
What Factors Influence My Bail Amount?
1. The Bail Schedule
Bail is typically given on the bail schedule. This is a standardized amount that is created by the courts and the specified bail amount for the offense will depend on the authority where your case is being held. To pay less than the scheduled amount in that fee, you must go before a judge and argue why you deserve a lower amount.
2. The Seriousness of Your Alleged Crime
In general, the more serious the offense, the higher the bail amount will be. In some cases, if the offense is extreme, you may be denied bail and kept in jail until your court date.
3. Past Criminal Convictions and Warrants
While your past criminal convictions may not play a role in your trial, they will certainly play a role in your bail hearing. The prosecution will discuss your history and if you have numerous criminal arrests and charges, you will most likely have a higher bail amount than a first-time offender. Also, if you have an outstanding warrant, you may be retained without the option of bail until that warrant is addressed.
4. The Community Ties
Your criminal defense attorney may be able to argue your community ties and how they make you a candidate for bail, or even a lower bail amount. Those who are invested into their community are less likely to be a flight risk or commit another crime while out on bail.
5. The Risk of Ignoring Court Appearances
If the courts feel that you will not show for your scheduled court appearances, or if you have a history of not showing to them, you are more likely going to see a higher bail amount or bail denied altogether.
6. The Risk for Public Safety
When setting bail amounts, the courts will look at the seriousness of the charges and the likelihood that you will injure someone while out on bail.
7. Potential Flight Risks
If there is a potential risk for you leaving the country, surrendering a passport may encourage a judge to set a fair or reasonable bail amount. However, if you were apprehended while running from law enforcement, then you are more likely to have your bail denied or raised to a much higher amount.
How to Avoid Outrageous Bail Amounts – Speak with an Attorney
Do you fear that you may face a higher bail amount due to your past? There are defenses and your criminal defense lawyer can argue on your behalf to lower your bail amount to something more reasonable. To see if you have options, schedule a free case evaluation with New Mexico Criminal Law Offices by calling 505-375-4661 or contacting us online.