How bail works for misdemeanors and felonies

How bail works for misdemeanors and felonies 1

Arrest charges can vary in severity but are typically divided into either misdemeanors for lesser charges or felonies for more serious ones. While most will know that with that comes a range of different sentences that come as consequence, it is probably a bit more surprising that it can also affect one’s bail options as well. Here are some of the differences when it comes to bail between the two.

What are felonies and misdemeanors

Felonies tend to be the most serious type of charges such as acts of physical violence, murder, as well as more serious financial crimes such as identity theft and robbery. Felonies tend to come more often with longer prison sentences and fines while misdemeanors can often go without jail sentences in lieu of community service or probation.

Felonies are more expensive

While any set bond will be set at a decently high amount, felonies tend to be quite high going into the tens of thousands all the way into the millions for bond of, especially serious crimes. The reason for this is because bond is made to keep people from fleeing to avoid serving their sentence and not showing up to their court dates so the courts tie a high monetary cost to ensure that people return as not to lose a huge amount of money. Since most felony charges come with longer sentences, there is more reason to not show thus higher costs needed.

Misdemeanors may not require bail

Often, when a defendant is facing charges for the first time and they are in for misdemeanor charges, a judge may choose to release the defendant on what is called personal recognizance. When this is offered, it allows the defendant to sign a promissory contract promising that they will return for all scheduled court dates and in return, they are allowed to be released without having to post bail. This is almost never an option for defendants facing felony charges, however.

Felony bonds can be revoked

The final difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the fact that are few reasons why a misdemeanor would not be offered bond but there are some charges that a judge would be considered unbailable. These tend to be the most serious of crimes such as violent murders or attacks but a judge can choose to revoke the option of bail for other reasons as well such as a high chance of fleeing or having such vast resources that no amount could be considered a deterrent.

Overall, the main thing to know is that for most issues, bond will be offered but one may end up having an easier time with the bond process overall when dealing with a misdemeanor over a felony.


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