Jeff Downer The question of how bail is determined comes up often. The short answer is the amount, type and conditions of bail are set by the court. Bail is initially set when the court issues a warrant or when the the defendant is processed into custody on an outright arrest by law enforcement.
The vast majority of arrests are of the outright variety and are set according to local court rules. During the booking process intake personnel will apply a bond schedule or calculate a bail per the criteria provided by the court. How bail is determined will vary from county to county and can be quite diverse.
If the defendant does not immediately post bail, the issue of bail can be readdressed during the defendant’s initial hearing or later on in a bail review proceeding. Such occasions allow for the consideration directly by the court of information and factors not available at the initial bail determination.
Throughout the bail determination process the key considerations center on charge severity, risks of fleeing and concern for public safety.