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How the Amount of a Bail Bond is Decided

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

One of the first questions that comes to mind when someone is arrested and needs an emergency bail bond is, “How much will my bail be?”

If you or a loved one must go before a judge, it’s important to know how a court determines bail costs.

Judges will consider a number of circumstances and details that relate to both the individual and the charges they face when deciding bail. Because bail can be so expensive, we recommend that everyone who looks for bail bonds near them to be aware of this to make the best financial decision.

McAllen bail bonds service provider, A-Quick Bail Bonds, near Hidalgo County Jail, has extensive knowledge of bail bonds and can explain how bail amounts are determined.

The Bail Bonds Process: A Basic Introduction

Before we discuss how bail bond amounts are set, we need to briefly go over the bail bonds process. Thankfully, the basic guide to how bail bonds work is overall very simple.

Here’s a breakdown of how the bail bonds process works:

  1. You or your loved one are charged with a crime, placed in jail, and put before a Texas court as quickly as possible.

  2. By Texas law, anyone NOT accused of a capital crime is entitled to bail, so bail is set based on your circumstances.

  3. You or your loved one are then remanded back into police custody after a court date is set.

  4. After bail is posted, you or your loved one are set free until the trial date comes.

Now, let’s discuss the specific details a judge will consider when they determine the total cost of your bail.

The Factors That Affect Bail Amounts

Though the bail bond process itself isn’t very complicated, the same can’t be said about the factors that affect the total cost of bail.

Generally, the driving factor behind a court’s decision when they decide your bail amount is the charge you’re accused of. People who are charged with felonies will likely see much higher bail amounts as opposed to those charged with misdemeanors. In the case of capital charges, bail may be outright denied.

A “bond schedule” is a guide that advises general bail amounts for a given crime, and these bond schedules are what courts usually go off. However, the judge makes the final decision.

Factors that can increase the amount of bail include:

  • severity/details of the crime

  • criminal background or prior convictions

  • there are active restraining orders against the accused

  • defendant is on probation at the time of arrest

  • defendant is considered a communal threat or a “flight risk”

How To Lower the Total Bail Amount

Despite all the manners in which bail amounts can rise, there are also ways that a defendant can decrease the total amount!

A defendant (or their defense team) will request a “bond hearing” if they seek to reduce the total cost. The court is presented with reasoning by the defendant as to why their bond should be lowered.

Some of the arguments that may be presented are:

  • House Arrest/Curfew – If a defendant offers to go and stay on house arrest as well as severely limit unsupervised travel, bond may be reduced. Some will also request a curfew as a sign of goodwill as most crimes are committed at night.

  • Electronic Monitoring Devices – These devices fall into a few categories such as “ankle monitors” or “breathalyzers.” The former verifies your geo-location to the court and the latter guarantees that motor vehicles can’t be operated if you’ve had alcohol. If you ask for one or both, your bond may be lowered.

  • Voluntary Alcohol/Drug Tests – If you agree to submit to random drug or alcohol tests, the court will see that you want to move on from the mistake you’ve made, especially if the crime involves drugs and/or alcohol.

For defendants who were unable to see a judge for a long period of time before their bond was set, it may be lowered and counted as “time served.”

A-Quick Bail Bonds – Hidalgo County’s Best Bail Bonds Service

Now that you understand how a court determines bail bond amounts, we hope you’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to us if emergency bail bonds are needed. The skilled and licensed Hidalgo County bail bondsmen at A-Quick Bail Bonds are available 24/7 to help you or your loved one.

Though there are many factors at play when a court determines a defendant’s bail, you can rest easy knowing that A-Quick Bail Bonds near the Hidalgo County Jail can answer all of your bail-related inquiries including cost – reach out today!



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