The answer is often.

The judge will usually – but not always – look at your criminal history in deciding whether or not to set bail and for how much. They will look at the number of your prior convictions, their seriousness, and how long ago they were. For instance, if you are now 50 years old and had a conviction as an 18 year old, it will probably not have a big impact. If you have not had bench warrants for missing other court dates, your chances of getting bail will be greatly improved. TIP: a judge gave us this great tip. Warrants can sometimes be explained. Maybe your warrants were issued in error or are invalid. Maybe you just made a mistake or panicked, and regret missing your court appearance. If these can be satisfactorily explained, the judge may not hold them against you.

If you do get bail, you may still be held if you have other holds. A hold is a detainer placed on you by another governmental agency which requires you be held pending clearance of the hold. Example: If you had unpaid traffic tickets you could be held in jail until they were paid or you served them out with jail time.

If you need federal bail bonds, that can be a little harder.  Federal judges often make bail higher and in many cases will require that you prove the bail money did not come from illegal means.

Some things that can work in your favor in getting a judge to set a bail:

-Owning a home or business in the community where you are being jailed – shows a financial interest in resolving this and putting it behind you.

cells -Being a U.S. citizen – shows you are less likely to leave the country. WARNING: If you are not a U.S. Citizen, in most cases the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) will place a hold on you. This hold will keep you in jail, whether or not you are able to make a bond. The way in which your criminal case is handled will directly affect your resident status.

-Being currently employed in a steady job – shows responsibility.

-If you voluntarily surrendered to the police – shows you are willing to face the charges.

-Hiring a private attorney – shows you are willing to put your money into fighting the charges.

-Being a long time resident of the community – show you have ties and probably do not want to leave.

-Having your family appear with you at your court arraignment – shows you have people involved in your life that will encourage and support you to make all court appearances.

-Having a good recommendation from the Criminal Justice Agency, also known in some jurisdictions as CJA, or Pre-trial Services. In many if not most jurisdictions they will interview you before your bail hearing and make a recommendation to the judge.

-Having an experienced older judge. Younger, newer judges tend to be tougher on defendants regarding bail.

-Having a newer or less experienced prosecuting attorney. Often the prosecution will send an assistant to the bail hearings. A seasoned prosecutor will be more likely to push for a harsher bail.

-Having an experienced attorney representing you that understands the bail hearing process. If you don’t have one, you may consider emailing a few bail bondsmen and see if they have recommendations.

What if bail is set but you don’t have the collateral for it?

So now a judge has set your bail but you can’t get no collateral bail bonds, you are having trouble finding a bail bondsman that will work with you. A new option that some bondsmen are trying is using GPS ankle bracelets. This is a great option compared to jail. The new bracelets are waterproof, small, light, and non-descript. By making it easier for the bondsman to track you, it reduces his risk of you skipping bail or not making a court appearance. Email a few bondsmen and ask around for a bondsman that uses GPS monitoring for clients.

Nothing stated herein should be construed or interpreted to grant rights or remedies not otherwise granted under federal or state law. This information is provided as a public service and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice or representation by a lawyer or bail bondsman. We recommend you email a bail bondsman for more information about your situation.

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