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Written by: Austin Lux
| Read Time: 2 minutes

After an arrest, a judge decides whether or not to set bail for the arrestee.

Bail is essentially a way for courts to ensure that you show up for your subsequent court dates until your case is resolved.

If a judge is concerned that you may not come to court, or that you might commit another crime while on release, they will likely require you to post bail.

Posting bail is putting up money and possibly collateral that gets confiscated if you don’t show up to court.

You may also forfeit this money if you violate any of the terms of your pretrial release—for instance, by getting arrested again. And if you fail to appear for court, the judge will also issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

Factors Judges Consider When Determining Bail

When it comes to setting bail, judges have almost absolute discretion. This means that appellate courts will rarely reverse a judge’s decision to set bail.

Thus, the best way to ensure that you get a fair bail amount is to have an attorney represent you at your arraignment or any time that the court considers bail.

Courts will consider many factors when setting bail, including the following.

  • Do you own a home phone or a cell phone?
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • Are you responsible for paying rent or a mortgage?
  • Do you have a history of alcohol abuse?
  • Do you have a history of mental health issues?
  • How old were you at your first arrest?
  • Have you been to jail before?
  • Have you been to prison before?
  • Did you have any active warrants?
  • Do you have any other pending cases?
  • Are you currently on probation or parole?
  • Has a court ever revoked your bail in the past?

Of course, another major factor is the seriousness of the crime the government accuses you of committing.

Generally, the more serious the crime, the higher the bail. For example, the bail amount for a charge of drug possession will almost always be less than the bail for a violent crime.

In fact, the bail amount for drug possession may be zero, depending on your criminal history.

If you get released without having to put up any money, this is referred to as being released on your own recognizance. In this situation, the court issues an unsecured bond of a certain dollar amount.

You are then released on your own recognizance with no money down, but if you violate the terms of your pretrial release you must pay the amount of the unsecured bond. 

Courts can also place a lien on real property to secure your presence at trial. However, cash bail is more common.

In very serious cases, courts can also hold you without bail, meaning you will remain in custody until the conclusion of your case.

Are You Being Held on Bail?

If you or a loved one is being held in custody pending trial, the dedicated Colorado criminal defense lawyers at the Lux Law Firm may be able to help get you out of jail.

At the Lux Law Firm, we regularly craft compelling arguments to obtain a pretrial release for our clients, even under circumstances where it may be tough to secure such release.

Regardless of the nature of the allegations you face, your prior record, or the current bail amount, we can help.

To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Colorado criminal defense attorneys, call 719-259-1972 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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