While most of the articles we’ve written have been about how to secure bail money, there are some circumstances in which we simply can’t help you. For instance, you won’t be needing a bail bond agent — or any bond money whatsoever — if the judge denies bail in the first place.
Why would a judge do this? After all, the person wants to get out of jail, and you want to help them. Why would a judge possibly want to keep someone in jail? While a few of the reasons might seem obvious, there are some that you might not have thought about. Let’s take a look.
If They’re a Flight Risk
If the judge at the bail hearing thinks that the accused might not show up for the trial, they might consider them a flight risk. Here are two reasons why a judge might come to this conclusion:
They’ve Skipped Bail Before – If a person has been arrested before and been granted bail, only to skip bail and miss their court date, the judge might deny bail. After all, why should a judge believe that they’ll show up when they’ve missed their dates before? Being a flight risk once means they’re more likely to be one a second time.
The Crime’s Potential Prison Time – If the person who has been arrested has been accused of a serious crime, the judge might consider it so heinous that the person is not allowed out on bond. After all, a serious accusation could mean serious jail time. Someone facing life in jail is a much bigger flight risk than someone risking community service.
They’re Belligerent in the Courtroom
If a person who was arrested is particularly mean to a judge, they’re much less likely to be granted bail. Some people are so belligerent that they’ll actually tell the judge right to their face “you let me out, I ain’t coming back,” a statement that will certainly keep them in jail without the opportunity to use a bail bondsman. The arresting officer hearing such remarks can also convince a judge that the accused is a flight risk. More likely, though, the statement is closer to “%$&*# you, judge,” which is just as likely to get the bail denied.
The Severity of the Crime
Here’s the most obvious reason that a judge might deny bail. If a crime is very egregious, a judge can simply decide that the person who has been accused of the crime is too dangerous to be out in public. Crimes such as murder are so severe that the flight risk is increased. While it’s not something that happens very often, a judge might not be legally allowed to even offer bail to someone accused of federal crimes such as espionage or treason. In fact, murder itself can be a federal crime under certain circumstance.
Of course, you’ve heard about huge bails being set for the ultra-wealthy or the rich-and-famous. Even in the case of murder (and despite their ability to arrange private planes out of the country), judges are often more likely to grant bail to someone who has a lot of money or is a movie star. No, it’s not fair.
They Were Already on Probation or Parole
If a person is out on probation, they have already been through a trial and have been released on a trial period during which they must not get into any more legal trouble. Someone who has already been granted and posted bail is likewise free until their court date.
But if a person commits another crime while they are on probation or out on bail, they’re in big trouble. After all, a judge agreed to give them freedom when none had to be given, so it’s much less likely the judge will be so lenient if another crime is committed. During such circumstance, it’s unlikely that the judge will grant a bail if this trust is broken. Repeat offenders certainly have a much worse time of it than someone who is in court for the first time.
Danger to Others
If a judge believes that the accused is a danger to society, it is very likely that they will refuse to grant bail and that the person will remain in jail until their court date. Sexual and physical assaults will often cause a judge to deny bail, as could a crime involving multiple victims, illegal weapons, or explosive devices. Keeping that person in jail might be for the protection of the victims, witnesses, and the judge himself/herself.
Of course, it’s not just the crime itself that makes a judge decide if a person should be granted bail. A person who is arrested has often had a bit of time to cool down before their bond hearing, but if they’re still threatening the judge or anyone else once they reach the courtroom, outbursts can cause a judge to deny bail.
Danger to Themselves
Bail might be refused to the accused if it is deemed they are a danger to themselves. While most people who post bail will be out hours after the arrest, a person who is exhibiting self-destructive behavior might be kept in jail until a psychological evaluation can be performed.
Their Status As a Citizen
Citizenship, or lack thereof, can play a role in whether bail is offered by the judge. A person’s legal status will be checked; this will often determine the flight risk they pose. Someone who has lived in the United States all of their lives might be granted bail because they have few ties to their native country, while someone who is here working as a laborer for just a season is more likely to skip bail and head back to their home country. The legal process might then include holding them under the rules established by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Considering the crimes that get committed most often here in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon area, bail is usually granted by a judge. If the judge has granted bail and you need a bail bond agent, give J & J Bail Bonds a call or stop by.