The bail amount is a financial guarantee that the person released from custody will appear in court for their scheduled hearings. Depending on the amount and the defendant’s capacity, you can pay the entire bail amount in full or hire a bail bond company to post a bail bond on your behalf. So, how much do you need to bail someone out of jail?
Generally, the average bail amount for misdemeanors is around $5,000 and $15,000 for felonies. The exact amount you need to post bail depends on several factors such as the severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, flight risk, and others as discussed later in this post.
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In this blog, you’ll learn the factors that determine the bail schedule, the average bail amount for common charges, as well as other things you need to know. Let’s dive in!
Most Common Misdemeanors with Average Bail Bond Amounts
- Petty Theft: Typically a bail amount of around $500. If there’s a prior history of theft or other aggravating factors, the bail can be higher, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
- Simple Assault: The bail often starts at around $25,000 for assault with a deadly weapon (but not a firearm). Assault with a firearm increases to $50,000.
- Disorderly Conduct: The bail for disorderly conduct can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances, but it generally falls within the lower misdemeanor range, often around $500 to $1,000.
- Trespassing: Unless there are additional complicating factors, bail for trespassing is often around $500.
- Minor Drug Offenses: For simple possession of a small amount of an illegal substance, the bail might be set around $500 to $2,500, depending on the drug type and quantity.
- Shoplifting: Similar to petty theft, bail for shoplifting is typically about $500, but it can increase significantly with the value of the stolen items or prior convictions.
- Vandalism: Bail amounts for vandalism depend on the extent of the damage. They can range from $500 for minor damage to several thousand dollars for more significant destruction.
- Public Intoxication: This offense often has a relatively low bail, typically around $500.
- Reckless Driving: Bail for reckless driving can vary, but it often starts around $1,000 and can increase based on the specifics of the incident, such as endangerment to others or property damage.
Why You Need a Bail Bondsman To Post Bail
Sometimes, bail amounts can be quite high, more than what you can pay out of pocket. If you cannot afford cash bail, a bail bondsman provides financial assistance by paying the full bail amount on behalf of the defendant. This is known as a bail bond. A bail bond is a surety bond provided by a bail bondsman or bail agent on behalf of the defendant.
The bail bonds company charges a bail bond premium, usually 10% of the bond amount, to post the bond and secure the release of the defendant. This fee is non-refundable, even if the case is dropped after the defendant is released.
To help reduce the financial burden of the bond amounts, Connecticut Bail Bonds Group offers easy payment plans that allow you to schedule your bond payments at your own convenience. You can take advantage of our 3% bail bonds or discuss with our agents to find a suitable plan for you.
Apart from posting bail bonds, a bail bond agent also has a good understanding of the Connecticut State law and the bail process. So, they can help you with paperwork and ensure that you follow all the procedures correctly. And because they are familiar with the court system and have established relationships with court officials, they can navigate the system more quickly than you might be able to do on your own.
Bail agencies also have the duty to make sure that the defendant makes all court appearances on the scheduled dates. If the defendant skips any court date, the bondsman may employ a bounty hunter to locate and return the defendant to court.
How Does the Court Determine Bail Amount in Connecticut?
There are various factors that determine how much to bail someone out of jail in Connecticut. These factors help the court to analyze the risk of the defendant not appearing for their court dates. They also assess other important factors such as potential threats to public safety. The factors include:
- Seriousness of the Crime: The nature and severity of the alleged offense can significantly influence bail costs. For instance, a non-violent misdemeanor typically has a lower bail than a violent felony. While serious charges such as armed robbery or murder may attract high bail set in tens of thousands of dollars, less severe offenses such as a simple theft might get a bail of a few thousand dollars or even a few hundred dollars.
- Criminal History: The court considers the defendant’s past criminal record. An individual who has been charged of criminal offenses in the past will likely receive a higher bail than a first-time offender. For example, a person with no prior arrests may have a $5,000 bail for a certain misdemeanor, while someone with a record could face a $10,000 bail for the same charge.
- Flight Risk: You’re more likely to get a high bail if there’s a likelihood that you may flee before your court date. This is known as flight risk. People who have strong ties to the community through employment status or family responsibilities are often considered low flight risk. Hence, the court grants such people a lower bail amount.
- Public Safety: If the defendant is considered a threat to the public, the bail amount may be increased. This is particularly true in cases involving violent crimes, domestic violence, or sexual offenses. The court’s primary concern here for these bail schedules is to protect the community.
- Financial Resources: In some cases, if a defendant is particularly wealthy, the bail amount might be set higher to ensure it serves as a meaningful deterrent against fleeing. The idea is to set bail at an amount that is significant enough for the defendant to comply with the court’s requirements, but not extremely high so it won’t be unfair.
- Defendant’s Character: Personal characteristics such as age, mental condition, and reputation in the community can influence bail decisions. For example, a defendant with a stable family and community life might be seen as less of a flight risk.
Alternatives to Bail Bonds
Bail bonds are not the only way to secure freedom from jail quickly. There are several other alternatives you can follow. These alternatives can be more suitable or affordable, depending on the circumstances and the legal system in the jurisdiction. They include:
Own Recognizance (O.R.) Release
In this case, the court releases the defendant based on their promise to appear for every court hearing. People released on OR do not have to make any payments. This option is usually granted to individuals who are deemed low-risk, have strong ties to the community, and have a history of responsible behavior.
You or your representative can pay the full bail money directly to the court instead of going through a bail bondsman. Regardless of the outcome of the case, you’ll get a refund of the cash bond if you tick every court appearance. Note that this does not include administrative or court fees and other bail cost.
In some cases, defendants can secure their release by using real property, such as a home, as collateral. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the property may be seized or forfeited.
An unsecured bond is also known as a signature bond. It involves the defendant signing a bond that states they will owe a specific amount of money if they fail to appear in court. Unlike cash bail, the defendant does not pay any money upfront. They only become liable for the amount if they do not show up for their court dates.
Pretrial Services Programs
Some jurisdictions have pretrial service programs where defendants are released under specific conditions. These conditions might include regular check-ins with a pretrial services officer, drug testing, electronic monitoring, or attending therapy or educational programs.
This is often used for minor offenses where the arresting officer issues a citation instructing the individual to appear in court on a specific date, instead of taking them into custody.
Looking for an Affordable Bail Bond?
The judge sets bail amounts based on different factors as already discussed earlier in this post. If you’re looking to bail your loved ones out of jail without any financial burden, reach out to us at CT Bail Bonds Group. With our guaranteed lowest rates, you can be assured of, not only fast and reliable service, but also the utmost affordability. Give us a call today to get started.