Bail in New York: How Is It Determined?

Bail provides incentive for criminal defendants to appear in court. It is intended to prevent defendants from fleeing in order to avoid prosecution. Defendants accused of non-felony crimes must be released on bail or recognizance. However, defendants facing felony charges may be denied these options. Bail may take any of the following forms:

  • Cash
  • Credit
  • Surety bonds
  • Insurance company bail bonds
  • Appearance bonds

Bail Criteria

The type and amount of bail is ordinarily decided by the judge presiding over a criminal case. The criteria used for making bail decisions include:

  • The defendant’s financial resources;
  • The defendant’s length of residence in the community;
  • The defendant’s family ties;
  • The defendant’s criminal record;
  • The defendant’s mental state, character, habits, and reputation in the community;
  • The defendant’s employment status;
  • The defendant’s court appearance history;
  • The probability of conviction; and
  • The severity of the possible sentence to be imposed.

The Bail Hearing

At the bail hearing, the prosecution and defense present arguments based on the above factors. Following the presentation of arguments, the judge makes the bail decision. If the judge decides that bail is necessary, the defendant remains jailed until it is posted. If the defendant fails to appear in court after bail has been posted, the judge can order it forfeited. When a judge orders bail to be forfeited, the attorney for the defendant may file a written request for the return of all or a portion of the bail. However, if the defendant is present at all court appearances, then the bail is returned upon the case’s conclusion.

Cash Bail

In New York, cash bail is treated differently than other forms of payment. If cash is used to post bail, and the court finds the defendant guilty of the crimes with which he or she has been charged, then the court returns 97% of the cash upon the case’s conclusion. However, if the court finds the defendant not guilty, then all of the cash bail is returned.

New York Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’ve been charged with a crime in New York, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. At Barket Epstein, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you are fully apprised of your legal rights and provided with the most effective defense possible. Our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys, who come equipped with a long track record of success in negotiating favorable plea bargains and reaching favorable outcomes in the courtroom, will fight tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you have been arrested and charged with a crime or are simply being investigated, the attorneys at Barket Epstein are here to help. Please contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys for a consultation.