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How Does a Judge Decide if a Person Is a Flight Risk When Setting Bail?

 Posted on October 28, 2022 in Bail Bonds

Plano Bail Bondsman

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they will need to address multiple legal issues. While it will be important to determine how to defend against criminal charges, in many cases, a person's first concern will be to get released from jail or police custody. To do so, they will usually need to pay a certain amount of bail. The purpose of bail is to ensure that the accused returns for their court date. A judge will set bail based on a number of factors. One of these factors is a flight risk, or the likelihood that the person will skip town before their court date. But how does a judge determine if someone is a flight risk, and how will this affect their decisions regarding bail? 

Flight Risk Issues in Criminal Cases

By paying bail, a person who has been charged with a criminal offense can be released, allowing them to return to their lives and prepare a defense against the charges they are facing. For many people, this can be essential, since it will ensure that they can avoid the loss of a job and other financial difficulties that could affect their ability to support themselves and their families. It will also allow them to minimize the disruptions to their lives that have been brought on by their criminal case.

Unfortunately, a judge may not always see things the same way. They may be concerned that the person will simply leave the area to avoid facing the consequences of a criminal conviction. When determining whether a person may be a flight risk, a judge may consider issues such as:

  • Does the person have a steady job? If they work full-time for an employer, or if they work for multiple employers, and they have a history of following steady schedules, this is likely to show that they will remain in the area and continue working and earning an income. However, if a person is unemployed, works irregular schedules, or has not been able to maintain steady employment for a significant period of time, they may be more likely to flee. 

  • Does the person have family or other connections in the area? A judge will consider whether a person has strong ties to others in their community, including family or friends who they spend time with regularly. The judge may also look at whether the person is involved in organizations such as churches or the schools their children attend, since this may show that they are more likely to remain involved in their community rather than flee the area.

  • Does the person have a permanent residence? If a person owns a home, has a lease on an apartment or house, or has lived in the same residence for multiple years, this may show that they have formed long-term connections to the community and will remain there during their case. On the other hand, a person who has not lived in the area long or who moves regularly will be more likely to be considered a flight risk.

A person may present evidence or witness testimony to show that they are not a flight risk, and this may influence the judge's decisions regarding bail. If the judge believes the person may flee rather than returning to court when required, a higher amount of bail may be set, or bail may be denied altogether. However, if the person is considered a low flight risk, bail may be lower, or a person may even be released on their own recognizance without having to post bail. 

Contact a Plano Bail Bondsman

There are multiple factors that a judge may consider when setting bail, and while a defendant may do whatever is possible to show that they will meet the court's requirements, the judge may or may not take these factors into account. In many cases, bail is set at high amounts that a person may struggle to pay. Fortunately, Doc's Bail Bonds is here to help. Regardless of the amount of bail that was set, we can work with you to find affordable options for paying bail. We will do everything we can to make sure you will be released from jail as quickly as possible. To get help from our Denton County bail agents, call us at 214-747-4110.

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