Factors Used By Judges To Determine Bail

Factors Used By Judges To Determine BailTo a large extent, the granting of bail is governed by the facts and circumstances of each particular case.  Since the object of the detention or imprisonment is to secure his/her appearance and submission to the jurisdiction and judgment of the court, the primary inquiry is whether a bond or recognizance will effect that end.

In setting, reducing, or denying bail, the judge or magistrate shall take into consideration the factors such as:

  • the protection of the public,
  • the seriousness of the offense charged,
  • the previous criminal record of the defendant, and
  • the probability of his/her appearing at trial or hearing of the case.

However, the public safety shall be the primary consideration.  There are guidelines to assist trial courts in making reasoned determinations regarding post-conviction bail applications by felons.  In exercising discretion, trial courts may consider:

  • the likelihood of the defendant’s flight;
  • the potential danger to society posed by the defendant’s release; and
  • the frivolousness or lack of diligence in defendant’s prosecution of his/her appeal.