Bail bonds allow criminal defendants to be released from jail after they’re charged with a crime—it’s a promise to appear in court in exchange for freedom, backed by some sort of collateral. Depending on where you were charged with a crime, bail can look quite different from state to state, and even from county to county. Your bail can also be adjusted based on the severity of the crime and other considerations. Understanding the various bail bond factors in Texas, including here in Angleton, can help you understand what to expect if you or a loved one is charged with a crime.
Here’s a closer look at how judges determine bail in Texas:
- Bail schedules and algorithms: Many courts in Texas and across the nation have bail “schedules,” which are basically a list of crimes and the amount of bail for each. Judges still have discretion in determining the bail amount, depending on the various elements of the case. Other courts may use an algorithm to determine how to set bail. The algorithm factors in a number of different elements, including the crime and your community ties, in order to calculate an appropriate amount of bail for the situation. Algorithms are just a streamlined (and, ideally, objective) way to determine bail in much the same way a judge would work with a bail schedule.
- Seriousness of the crime: Naturally, the bail for first-degree murder is going to look significantly different than what you might get for stealing a garden gnome. Bail is usually set based on the severity of the most serious crime you were charged with.
- Criminal record: If you’re a first-time offender, judges are much more likely to be lenient with your bail amount as opposed to someone with a varied conviction history. However, that’s not a hard and fast rule, and some judges prefer to make examples out of first-timers for various reasons. If you have a criminal history, you may be denied bail entirely, based on your perceived danger to the community.
- Ties to the community: Bail is granted based on whether the court thinks that you can be trusted to show up to your court proceedings. Someone who has made a life in that community is generally considered more likely to turn up than a person who committed a crime while passing through the area.
- Judicial discretion: Finally, judges have a certain amount of discretion with bail, including waiving it altogether if they don’t think you’re a flight risk. They can also raise the bail if they determine that you’re more of a risk than the average defendant.
Learn more about bail bond factors in Texas
Being arrested can wreak havoc on your life, your job and your family—but Brazoria County Bail Bonds is here to help. With over 20 years of experience offering bail bonds, we can help you post bail and answer any questions you have about bail bonds and how they work with the criminal justice system. Get in touch with us today to learn more.