How Do Judges Set Bail? What You Need to Know

how is bail set

How Do Judges Set Bail? What You Need to Know

The Crime Index offenses in North Carolina dropped by 3.2% in 2017 compared to 2016. For juveniles, the Crime Index offenses declined by 6% in 2017 and for adults, it decreased by 6%.

How is bail set?

In the US, the accused is not guilty unless proven otherwise. The law protects Americans from awaiting trial while in the overcrowded court system. With bail,  a defendant arrested for a crime and is yet to be convicted is set free pending their trial date.

What you need to know is that not every suspect can post bail.

What Is Bail?

This refers to the release of the accused pending their appearance in court on an appointed date. Bail is also the amount a judge will request the accused to post with an assurance that he will show up in court.

When Is Bail Set?

If you have yet to deal with the North Carolina judicial system, the only experience you have with bail is from TV shows. What you need to know is that the process is different.

How is bail set? When a defendant is first arrested by police officers, he is taken to the station and processed. If the crime is less serious, the defendant can post bail immediately. But if the crime is serious, the accused must attend a bail hearing.

At the bail hearing, the judge sets the bail amount during the defendant’s first court appearance. For instance, the judge may set a bail amount of $500 for a petty offense where violence was not involved. During the hearing, the judge will adhere to the bail schedule.

How Is Bail Set and Determined?

In North Carolina, judges consider several factors before setting the bail amount. Read on to find out how bail is set and the factors considered by judges.

Jailhouse Bail Schedules

If arrested by the police for less serious crimes, you can post bail at the station and be set free. A vast majority of jails in North Carolina have bail schedules. They specify certain amounts for less serious crimes. If the arrested defendant posts bail, he is set free immediately.

What you need to know is that jailhouse bail schedules differ with the type of crime and location. If charged for a serious crime, the bail amount is higher. Also, you may be arraigned in court for your bail hearing.

At the jailhouse, the police will not accept bail amount less than what is on the bail schedule. If your location has a duty judge available, he can fix a bail amount via phone. This eliminates the need for a formal bail hearing.

Using Algorithm

Today, judges are relying on math in a bail hearing to set the bail amount. To make an informed decision, the judge relies on information about the accused. This information is entered into software which in turn presents the court with a score.

Some of the data entered include criminal history and age. Using the algorithm, the software will assess the risk of the accused. This happens before determining the correct score. Also, it can predict if the accused will commit another crime or not.

Bail Amounts for Different Crimes

When it comes to how is bail set, judges may consider the accused criminal background. They may also consider flight risk and type of crime committed. This is common in areas where the court does not rely on predictive analytics software.

Are you facing serious charges and want to make bond? We can help. Contact us today!

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