If you’ve ever seen one of those day-time cop dramas, then you know how bail works. When someone is arraigned before the court, the judge can set an amount they need to pay in order to be allowed out of jail. When the individual shows up for their court date, their bail is returned to them. It’s an insurance policy meant to be sure that once someone is released that they’ll come back. Bail is not guaranteed, though, and while it isn’t denied as often in the real world as it is on those TV dramas, it does still happen.
WHY WOULD THE COURT DENY SOMEONE BAIL?
According to How Stuff Works, there are four major types of bail someone could be offered, depending on their situation.
– Own Recognizance: Often called OR, this is only available for individuals with clean records who have been arrested for very minor offenses. In a legal sense, it’s little more than a handshake, agreeing that you will show up on your court date.
– Cash Bond: This is what people commonly think of when they think of bail. The court sets an amount of money that must be posted, and someone (the individual who was arrested, a friend, a family member, etc.) pays that to the court. The money is then returned, minus fees, when the individual shows up to court.
– Surety Bond: When someone cannot afford bail, they may engage the services of a bail bond company. The individual pays a fee, and then the company puts up the bond to the court. The fee is non-refundable, and in Nevada a bail bond company must charge 15 percent of the total bond.
– Property Bond: If an individual doesn’t have cash, they may offer up property as a bond in some circumstances. The property’s value and ownership must be verified, and it typically has to be worth more than the actual cash bond value in order to secure one’s release from jail.
However, while all of these are options, it’s also important to remember that the court may decide not to offer someone the option of bail at all; it isn’t typically required by law, and there are some circumstances that may ensure an individual does not have bail as an option for their offenses. Some reasons an individual might be denied any form of bail include:
– Severity of Crime: The amount of bail goes up depending on how heinous a crime is. Individuals charged with a particularly severe crime may not be offered bail at all.
– Previous Record: While someone doesn’t need a clean record to receive an option for bail, if they have previously tried to run when released, or if they have escaped from prison, then they will be considered a serious flight risk. This is one of the more common reasons to deny someone bail.
– Threat To Society: If someone is deemed a threat to society, then they are not likely to be offered the option of bail at all. Typically these individuals are people the authorities suspect will commit more crimes if they are released, so bail is denied as a preventative measure.
BAIL IS NOT A RIGHT
When someone has been arrested, they have a lot of rights. Unfortunately, there is no right to bail. So if the court determines that bail will not be offered to a particular individual, the only course of action is to try to litigate that decision. Offering more money won’t help, and a bail bond company would be powerless; it’s not a negotiation. The court sets the terms, and you follow them.
For more information on the bail process, as well as what you can do if you or a loved one have been arrested, all you have to do is contact us today!