Can a Judge Raise Bail?

Being arrested is one of the most stressful events any person can go through. After an arrest it is usually guaranteed that a person will spend at least a small amount of time incarcerated, even if they’re able to post bail soon after their arrest. Unfortunately for many, even after a person is released on bond, their initial bail amount can still be increased. This means that a person can literally be free awaiting their trial and then be incarcerated again if a judge decides to raise their bail amount. This can happen in several instances, but there are ways to ensure a person can still maintain their freedom while awaiting trial.

When a Judge May Raise Bail

There are several instances when a judge may choose to raise a person’s bail amount after they have been released. A person may be arrested for a misdemeanor and receive a bail amount based on that charge, but after the facts of the case are reviewed a judge could choose to amend the charges. In many cases a prior record could warrant a higher bail amount or even change a misdemeanor into a felony. In these cases, the bail amount will usually always be raised.

A person may also face a higher bail amount, or even a hold, if a judge realizes that the accused is on probation or parole for another crime. Once a person gets their first appearance in front of a judge, the judge may choose to raise their bail or even revoke it altogether if they are still serving probation or parole time for a previous crime. Even in these instances, it is still possible for a person to retain their freedom.

How to Stay Free

A person who has their bail amount increased has several options to stay out of jail. That person’s attorney can go before a judge and request that the additional bail be lowered. A judge will consider all of the facts that the attorney puts before him, so it is imperative that the lawyer be fully prepared to show the judge that their client isn’t a flight risk and that the case has substantial defense.

Many people released on bail are able to gain their freedom by using the services of a bail bondsman. These bail agents can also go before a judge and help a person retain their freedom if their bail amount is raised. The agent can explain to the judge that the accused is a trustworthy person, already bonded and that they will make all of their scheduled court dates. The bondsman can also assure the court that the additional bail amount can be paid in short order, and if the accused doesn’t show up for their court appearances, they have a lot to lose. A higher bail amount does mean an increased fee to a bail agent, but bail agencies are willing to set up payment plans if necessary.

People that have their bail raised after they’ve been released face several hardships that they may not deserve. Luckily, between a person’s attorney and their bail bondsman there is a great probability they will be able to remain free while awaiting trial. It is important to stay in contact with both of these professionals if a judge decides to raise a bail amount after an initial one has already been set. 

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