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What to Expect at a Bail Hearing

Once a person ends up in police custody and gets charged with an alleged offense, they will have the chance to get out of jail by securing a bond or posting bail. A judge is the one who determines the amount of bail based on factors like the severity of the offense, the chance that the defendant will commit additional crimes after being released, and the likelihood of the defendant fleeing the jurisdiction before trial. The judge may deny bail or set it at any amount that isn’t objectively unreasonable. The eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits “excessive” bail” but doesn’t state that the courts are required to allow bail at all.

Bond Vs. Bail

The words “bond” and “bail” are used almost interchangeably when discussing jail release; even though they are nearly related, they are not the same. A bond gets posted on a defendant’s behalf, usually by a bail bonds company, to secure their release. Bail is the amount the defendant must pay to get out of jail. A defendant with pending warrants is typically not eligible for bail.

Bail isn’t a punishment; it’s a way of securing a defendant’s agreement to abide by certain conditions and return to court. Bail is kind of like collateral left with the court to ensure that, after the defendant gets released from jail, they return to court to finish the remaining parts of the criminal case. If the defendant infringes on any conditions of the release, they might forfeit the amount they paid.

Bail Hearing

After an individual’s arrest, the judge or court officer will set the bail amount and conditions for the defendant’s release from jail. Factors that need to be considered, which could weigh against bail, include flight risk and risk to the community of future criminal activity. Factors that may be favorable to granting bail include a lack of previous criminal history and ties to the community.

Personal Bond: Defendant gets released upon signing a bond, which will state that they will be liable for criminal and sometimes civil penalties if they don’t appear back in court.

Denial of Bail: The defendant is seen as too much of a risk to the public.

Bail Set With Terms of Release: The defendant can go free by posting bail in the amount the court set, either by paying it all upfront or obtaining a surety bond with a bail bonds company.

Release on Own Recognizance: The defendant gets released from jail in exchange for signing an agreement promising they will return to court and follow all the conditions.

Bail Bond Business

Bail is often set in amounts far beyond most people’s financial capabilities. Bail companies in most states, for-profit business, which charge a non-refundable fee, usually 10-15 percent of the bail amount, for the defendant to post bail.

The bail bond company will sign a contract, known as a surety bond, in which it agrees of being liable for the entire bail amount if the defendant doesn’t follow the conditions and show up to court or forfeits the bail. Because the bail bond company is potentially on the hook for a large amount of money, they may require the defendant to check in regularly or even consent to be monitored daily. The bail bond company may send out a bounty hunter if the defendant doesn’t attend court.

Whether you live in New York or Utah, you can find a Utah County Bail Bond agent or New York Bail Bond agent. 


Bail can be very high amounts of money, oftentimes more than what people own in assets. This is why it’s nice that we are surrounded by good bail bonds companies that will do whatever they can to help us, as long as we abide by the rules (laws).

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