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How long can you be out on bail

For the vast majority of defendants, bail is a fundamental part of the US justice system. The United States “8th Amendment” says that: "Excessive bail shall not be required". The amount and length of time for bail is supposed to be fair and allow defendants to be free, continue to work and see friends and family until convicted of a crime. The amount of time that someone spends out on bail in the United States is

Average length of bail

While in most US states the average length of time that a defendant can be out on bail is 90 to 120 days, this can vary.  In the state of Connecticut for example you can be out on bail for the entire length of your trial or pending case. In Connecticut once you post you are free until the case is adjudicated.

Bail length dependant on a range of factors

The length of time bail is set is determined upon a whole range of factors:

·     Seriousness of the alleged crime

·     Whether the suspect is employed

·     Past offenses

·     Specific state regulations

Like many things in today’s world, bail is often set based upon algorithms, using existing data and information about the defendant such as their age, criminal history, ties to the community etc.. This speeds up the process in assigning the most appropriate bail amount and time for each case. Bail amounts and lengths are often decided in large-part based upon pre-determined schedules for different crimes. 

An example of how bail can vary is between felonies and misdemeanors. Generally bail amounts for felonies can be as much as 5-10 times greater than bail for misdemeanors.

The length of bail can also be impacted on trust factors such as the number of people who can vouch for the integrity of the accused. Stronger community ties, such as employment and a stable living arrangement may mean a longer bail period is more likely.

In many cases bail can be granted from the police before the defendant even gets to a court hearing; the police can refer to pre-set bail schedules based upon the information of the case and the individual; sometimes a duty judge may be called to set a bail schedule over the phone. 

If bail cannot be immediately offered to the defendant then negotiations may be begin between their representative (lawyer/bondsman) and the court.

Attending court isn’t always the end of bail

As explained by Hartford bail bondsmen 3D Bail Bonds attending court isn't’ always the end of bail. Sometimes other additional criteria must be met, such as multiple court dates, or participation in drug or alcohol programs.

Bail can be revoked

Though bail is a fundamental part of the justice system it is not a guaranteed right and can be taken away if the conditions of bail are not met.

The primary condition of most granted bail is that the defendant turns up for all required court appearances. 

In addition to this different bail schedules can come with their own sets of conditions. Some of the most common include:

·     Obeying all laws

·     Not consuming drugs / alcohol and / or participating in regular testing

·     Following a curfew

·     Not leaving the town/city/state

·     Staying away from certain places or people

If these conditions are violated, the judge can choose to issue a warning, impost more restrictions, hold the defendant in contempt of court or even revoke the bail and order the suspect to be re-arrested; this may mean that the suspect is not eligible for further bail.

Can bail be extended?

In almost call cases bail is non-flexible and cannot be extended, though it can change in certain extreme circumstances. These include a death in the defendant's immediate family and/or medical emergencies. If the defendants' medical needs are beyond the control of the court then they may defer to the treatment schedule given by the defendant's doctor(s). This can be periodically updated and reviewed with the court as treatment progresses.