How is Bail Determined?
Few things can affect a person the way having jail time on their record can. Whenever a person is arrested on criminal charges, it’s not uncommon for a judge to set a bail amount. Bail is a sum that is set so that the person charged could avoid having to serve jail time before a formal trial if possible. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a judge to set an unrealistically high bail amount. This results in many defendants being unable to post bail.
Determining Bail in New Jersey
“Bail” acts as a sum a defendant has to pay to avoid jail time. It is a valuable tool in avoiding jail and preparing a roper defense case with an experienced defense attorney. A judge will often set bail in cases where serious criminal charges are present. Common cases are:
· Domestic Violence
· DUI / DWI Violations
· Disorderly Conduct
· Sex Crimes
· Juvenile Defense Cases
· Traffic Violations
Though there is a general guideline in the state of New Jersey that maps out the maximum and minimum bail amounts for certain crimes, judges don’t always follow these guidelines, nor are they required to. For instance, a judge can determine the likelihood of a defendant fleeing the area or state before appearing in court should they make bail. A judge can also take into account the defendant’s mental state and how likely they are to be convicted of the crime they are accused of. Other factors taken into consideration are based on the New Jersey criminal code, such as:
· Severity of the crime committed
· Defendant’s criminal record including prior arrests and convictions
· Defendant’s Employment status and length of employment
· Defendant’s ties to their community
· Defendant’s financial situation
Why an Attorney is Necessary
It can be very difficult for a defendant to know when a bail is set unreasonably high and in cases of a first offense, it can difficult for a defendant to make their case for a lower bail amount. An experienced and aggressive attorney can fight for you, assisting in getting your bail reduced, arguing on your behalf that you do not pose a flight risk.
If your loved one has been arrested and is being held in custody in Atlantic City or anywhere in South Jersey, time is of the essence. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can secure their release from jail.