Facing a drug charge can be frightening. If it is the first arrest for someone, going through the court system can seem like a confusing process.
One of the top priorities for many of those facing charges is to get out of jail, and this happens if the judge decides to set bail and the defendant is able to pay the amount. The judge determines bail based on a variety of factors and does not grant it in every case.
The determination of bail is usually not a hearing of its own. According to the United States Department of Justice, Offices of the United States Attorneys, the initial hearing consists of multiple topics, with bail being one of them. Also known as the arraignment, the initial hearing takes place soon after the arrest, and sometimes the day of.
During this hearing, the judge outlines the charges and reviews the defendants rights. The judge also assigns an attorney to the defendant if there is not already one involved in the case. The judge asks the defendant for a guilty or not guilty plea and then decides on bail.
Factors involved in determining bail
According to FindLaw, the judge may determine to release the defendant from custody without bail, set bail terms or deny bail, in which the defendant must remain in custody. The judge considers numerous factors when deciding bail:
- The seriousness of the crime
- The criminal history of the defendant and risk of committing another crime
- The safety of the community
- The defendant’s ties to the community
- The defendant’s risk of fleeing
Releasing the defendant without bail is rare, and typically only occurs in misdemeanor cases when the defendant has steady work and strong community ties.