Unless you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve been exposed to the bail bonds process firsthand, chances are you’ve gotten most of your experience with the subject through television programming. Crime dramas, cop shows and reality TV have given all of us a sneak peak at arrests and bonds, but is what we’re seeing on TV the real deal? How exactly does bail work and who determines how much money is required to make bail? It’s these questions that frequently intimidate people who find themselves in a real life bond scenario.
In reality, bail is set by a judge. When a person is charged with a crime, they go before a judge to have their charges read to them and once the situation is outlined by legal representatives, the judge will set a bail amount based on the crimes. Generally, once the facts of the case are reviewed, a judge will set bail that’s in accordance with the severity of the crimes at hand—smaller bail will accompany minor charges, like theft or criminal mischief, while more intense crimes, such as arson or robbery, will warrant higher bond amounts. In some rare cases, bond can even be denied by a judge if the crime is of a high profile or extreme in nature, like murder.
Bail is also set depending on your history. If there’s a situation where bail is being set for someone with a sordid past of crimes, the bail might be higher than normal simply because the person is considered to be a “high risk” individual. People known for jumping bail also receive inflated bail because they’re prone to high-risk behavior… like not showing up for their scheduled court appearance. If a person has skipped bail one too many times, it’s another situation where bail may even be denied.
Many times, attorneys and legal defendants will argue the bond amount before it is officially declared. This can be used as a bargaining chip for many prosecutors or as a move of good faith by a defense, depending on the situation at hand. Generally, the final amount doesn’t fluctuate very much, but choosing to pay a higher or lower bond can have ramifications that resurface in the courtroom.
Once a court date has been set and a person is given their bail amount, there’s generally no time before a family member or friend posts the bond. Having a responsible party visit a bail bondsman in Angleton immediately after bail is set leads to quicker release times, as the process is started as quickly as possible.
There’s a common misconception that bail bondsman in Angleton set bail, simply because they issue bonds. This is incorrect for many reasons, especially since bail bondsmen only lend money to someone seeking to make bond and have nothing to do with the final allocation of money used in the bonding process—they’re simply the middlemen.
If you’re ever in the position to post bond for yourself or someone else, it might be a bit different than you’ve seen on the latest crime drama TV show. Be prepared for a slight learning experience and be sure to visit a professional bail bondsmen in Angleton to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.