You got caught shoplifting at a local Walmart and was arrested. A simple crime, right? You expect that your bail will be rather low or you’ll be released on your own recognizance. So when the bail set at an extremely high number, you’re shocked. How did that happen? Why was it set so high? Just exactly how is bail amount determined in Pennsylvania anyway?
This is a good question, one that we get asked a lot. No one expects a large amount of bail, even for a minor offense. But there are many factors that go into the judge’s decision to set bail. For example, if you have a criminal record, then chances are your bail will be set at a higher amount than a person who is accused of a first-time offense. Judges also weigh whether the defendant is a flight risk; if he/she has a job; and any ties the defendant has to the community and relatives.
In recent years, many jurisdictions around the United States have been using a formula when deciding on a bail amount. Some of the factors taken into account when using this formula include:
By using this algorithm, judges are able to make a clear decision on how much bail to issue. The bail-algorithm system is becoming more and more popular as jails become even more overcrowded. For example, in 2016 San Francisco began implementing the bail algorithm system to mixed reviews. It has been criticized for not taking into account a defendant’s employment status and substance abuse history. But time will tell whether this system is more successful than the current system.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Northeastern Pennsylvania, you’re going to need a bail bond to get them free. Contact a bail bondsman at Andrew Pizzo Bail Bonds and get your loved one free today.