After an arrest, there will be many important things that follow that should be handled with great care as they can have significant impacts on your rights. One of those important things will be the bail hearing. At the bail hearing, a judge will decide whether you should be released on bail and, if so, how much bail will be required. Several key factors will be considered in the judge’s determination and we will go into those factors here.
What Will Be Considered During Your Bail Hearing?
What a judge is really considering at a bail hearing is whether a person is reliable and whether that person poses a threat to the community. The judge wants to make sure that you can be trusted to return to court, even if you face the possibility of conviction and subsequent jail time along with other consequences. Furthermore, the judge wants to make sure that you will not engage in criminal activity upon release or pose a threat to the community, or contacting witnesses in your case, while out on bail.
Should you be found to be a flight risk or a threat to the safety of a community, it is likely that you will be held without bail. To determine whether you should be released on bail and, if you are, how much bail, a judge will consider:
- The strength of the prosecution’s case: If the prosecution only has weak or insubstantial evidence against you, it may look unlikely that a conviction will be secured. This can be helpful to argue at a bail hearing.
- Criminal history, if any: A pattern or history of criminal activity can be damaging to your chances at securing bail for your release.
- Your history in meeting bail, probation, or parole obligations: If you have a history of complying with such obligations, it can go towards substantiating the fact that you are trustworthy and, thus, should be eligible for parole.
- Financial resources: If you have noteworthy financial resources, this can work against you as you may be seen as a flight risk.
- Employment history: Your reliability can be demonstrated with evidence of a consistent work history. Having steady employment can also help show that you have strong ties to the community and, thus are invested in sticking around.
- Physical and mental condition: Depending on the physical or mental condition, it may be viewed as something that would prevent you from fleeing. In certain cases, however, a mental condition may be seen as threatening your own safety or those in the community. If you need special treatment for a physical or mental condition, however, you may be eligible for bail so that you can continue to receive that treatment.
- Ties to the community: When you are invested in the community, you are likely to be seen as a stronger candidate for bail. Showing that you have family, friends, and have built a life in a location can help strengthen your case for bail.
- History of using false identities, if any: This will, clearly, not work in your favor at a bail hearing. It can be evidence of you being unreliable as well as a flight risk.
- History of any drug or alcohol abuse: This, again, is not likely to work in your favor at a bail hearing.
- The seriousness of the offense: With more serious offenses, the judge may find it more likely that you pose a potential risk to the community or that, because you face more severe penalties if convicted, that you are a flight risk and will avoid going back to court.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
At Navarrete & Schwartz, we start fighting for you right from the beginning. If you have been arrested, call us right away. We are proud to serve the residents of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.