What Are the Conditions of Bail?

The bail process, against popular belief, is not a way for the court to make some extra cash; it’s a system that allows the court to release harmless people so they can continue their lives while awaiting trial. Bail money is really collateral that the court holds to assure themselves that the defendant will show for their court hearings.

The bail process is a complex one, allowing for the judge to tailor his decision and his demands to the specific defendant’s situation. The judge takes the conditions of the case into account before he sets a bail amount, and even after, with the stipulations that he attaches to the bail.



There are several bail conditions that might cause a judge to deny bail. If the defendant is considered a risk to harm themselves or anyone else, or the judge thinks there is a reasonable chance the person might try to flee the area, bail will not be granted.  

From there, the judge looks at a variety of factors when deciding the bail amount. These factors include, obviously, the severity of the charges, and whether or not the defendant has a history of criminal activity. But, also drug history, appearance, employment status, and even the defendant’s location of residence. While this last factor might sound surprising, a judge will certainly deem someone who lives in a different state or town more of a risk to run than someone who has deep roots in the town where they have been arrested.

When the judge has decided on the bail amount, he or she might choose to attach certain stipulations or requirements that they feel are pertinent to the case and the well-being of the defendant.

Examples of these conditions of bail might include travel restrictions, drug or alcohol testing or counseling, complying with a curfew, securing employment or even community service.



Of course, the whole point of the bail system, and the primary condition of bail, is that the defendant show up at their court hearing. If there is any breach of bail conditions, as long it can be proved that the defendant did so knowingly, the judge will revoke the bail and place a warrant out for the defendant’s arrest.

If bail is revoked then the court keeps the money that was paid to post the bail.

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Posted by Javi Calderon, on April 10, 2012 at 7:23 PM