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5 Bail Factors a Judge Considers

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Attorney Jason Chan

267 North Beacon Street, Suite 3
Boston MA 01235


Phone: 781-343-1DUI (781-343-1384)
Fax: 617-226-7986

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There are many factors that a judge takes in consideration in determining whether bail should be set or how much the bail should be.  Judges are required to state their reasons for assessing the bail they entered.  If you don’t like the judge’s determination of bail you have the ability to attempt to reduce the bail by ways of a bail review in superior court. (picture taken by billaday) The judge will consider a number of factors, but here is a list of 5 important ones:

  1. Nature and circumstances of the offense

The judge will consider and listen to the background surrounding the criminal charge.  For example, for assault and battery types of cases, the judge may consider the relationship between the defendant and the victim. The judge may ask if the assault and battery is domestic in nature and if it is an ongoing issue between the parties. 

  1. Accused family ties

If the defendant has a lot of family ties in Massachusetts that will usually be a big help in convincing the judge to let the defendant go on bail.  Usually a defendant with a lot of family ties in the state will not want to leave his or her family. 

  1. Employment

Most judges feel that more ties a defendant has to the community, the more likely the person will show up for court.  The point of bail is to ensure that the defendant will show up in court.  If the defendant has a job for a long time that shows that the defendant the defendant is likely to stay around to continue working.  It also doesn’t hurt for the defendant to show that he or she is a productive member of the community by working. 

  1. length or residence

This is an important factor.  If the defendant has been living in Massachusetts his entire life most would assume that it would be difficult for the person to just pick up and leave the state.  Because it is harder for the defendant to leave if he has lived in the state for his entire life most judges will take that into consideration when assessing bail.  The longer period of time a defendant has lived in Massachusetts the better for the person’s bail argument. 

  1. Failure to appear for court proceedings

One important factor in assessing bail is the defaults on the defendant’s record.  Assistant District Attorneys will not hesitate to highlight each default to the judge.  If the defendant has a lot of defaults on his or her record the judge is likely to set bail. 

Here are just five of the many factors that a judge will consider in determining whether he or she will set a cash bail.  And if the judge decides to set a cash bail use the factors to determine how much the cash bail should be.  

Will you get out of jail on bail? 


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