Things a Judge considers when deciding how to set bond

When someone goes before a judge after being arrested, several factors go into account to determine whether or not bond will be set.  Depending on the circumstances involved, a judge may decide that it is not appropriate to allow a person to be released on their own recognizance.  Lets look at the factors that are considered during this process.

The Severity of the Crime

The first thing that a judge will consider when deciding whether or not to set bond is the nature of the crime someone is being charged with.  If someone is involved in a relatively minor crime, depending on the other factors below, a judge may likely set bond.  If the crime is serious like armed robbery, rape or murder, then a judge may decide to deny bond at all.  This is not the only factor involved in the process, however.

Past Criminal Record

The next thing that a judge considers is whether the person being arraigned has a criminal record or not.  If the person has no major criminal convictions or a history of escalating offenses, then most like a judge will set bond, again depending on other factors.  However, if they have a history of violent crime or a history of repeat or multiple offenses, then a judge may decide to not offer bail to that person.  More factors are also involved in this decision.

Safety of Others

The third consideration in this decision is whether or not the judge feels that letting the accused out on bail is safe.  The judge must weigh all of the information available to them to decide if the person may be a danger to society if released.  If a crime is non-violent and there is no other records of violent or dangerous crimes or behaviors then a judge may grant bail.  If there is such a history a judge may deny bail outright.  One final factor is involved in this process, however.

Flight Risk

The final consideration that a judge looks at is whether or not the person is likely to try and escape from justice.  This is called being a flight risk.  If the person has the means to flee the state or even the country to avoid trial or jail time in a major crime, then a judge may deny bail on these grounds. This is the last factor that can go into account in this process

As we have seen, there are several major factors that go into account in deciding if bond is set. 

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