How Bail is Determined in Utah

Why Bail?

When a person is arrested and thrown in jail because of criminal charges, it presents a difficult decision for law enforcement.  Do they leave the person in jail until the trial commences or release the person hoping he or she will show up for court? Leaving everyone in jail would fill up the jails too quickly and there would not be enough room for everyone.  On the other hand, releasing those accused of crimes may allow them to skip town and not show up for court.

This situation caused the law to establish the idea of bail as an attempt to assure defendants would return for trial, but to avoid incarceration before trial.  Over hundreds of years, bail has evolved into a defendant giving the court an amount of money, or real property, which will be forfeited if the defendant does not return for trial.

Bail in Utah is the Result  of Several Factors

The amount of bail is the result of the weighting of several factors.  The most important factors are the seriousness of the crime charged, the evidence against the defendant, the defendants ties to the community, and the character of the defendant.  These facts can be very difficult to asses in each case. The seriousness of the crime is the only factor that is both relatively unchangeable and not liable to subjective evaluation.  A statute setting a maximum penalty for burglary does not alter with the facts of the specific case.

Courts are most likely to look at the charge as the most important criteria when setting bail.  Thus, Utah has established a bail schedule under which a specific criminal charge generates a certain presumed bail unless there is overwhelming reason to vary from that presumption.

Receive Help if Bail is Unjust

If you or a loved one has been arrested and there is an overwhelming reason to vary from the Utah bail schedule, the criminal defense lawyers at the Salcido Law Firm law firm may be able to help.  The attorneys from Salcido Law Firm will help you post bail so you won’t be in jail until the trial.  Call them today at 801.618.1334.

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