How Does a Judge Determine if You’re a Flight Risk?

How Does a Judge Determine if You’re a Flight Risk?

When a judge is positioned with the decision to set bail, they are first going to want to think about whether the defendant poses a flight risk. Any suspect who has been accused of a serious crime will immediately be labeled as unfit for bail. This is because they could pose a serious danger to the community. But some suspects who commit less threatening crimes could have the option for bail, in which the defendant would be able to return to their normal life before appearing in court on a specified date.

The Deciding Factors

A few factors help judges determine a defendant’s flight risk. It could be that the defendant has a lot of family or close relations in the local community, or it could be that they have a career in the area. Let’s examine a few of the variables judges consider when it comes to a defendant’s flight risk.


If you have a lot of family in the area the chances that you’re going to flee the community are relatively low. Plus, even if you do, tracking you down will not be that complicated given the number of resources that law enforcement has within your family.


Jobs are part of everyday routines. The only time we can really leave our jobs for an extended period of time is when we’ve built up our PTO. So, if a judge can see that you have meaningful employment, it raises the chances that you’re likely to stick around and adhere to an organized schedule.

Proven Track Record

The judge will have access to records of any previous court appearances you’ve made, including your timeliness, respectfulness, and compliance. If you skipped out on a previous court appearance, you’ve probably broken trust and could be considered a flight risk.

Financial Status

As much as it feels unfair, your financial status could play a large factor in your flight risk evaluation. If you hold a high financial standing and have a lot of ties in the community, you could pose a large flight risk. In the past, wealthy criminals have been able to flee the country after posting bail. Financial status is something that doesn’t always come into play with flight risk, but it is important to remember.

Can Flight Risk Affect Your Bail Amount?

Yes, though other factors can lead to the amount of bail you’ll face, flight risk is definitely one of them as well. If you’re more likely to flee the state or country, you could see a much higher bail price. Other factors include the type of crime committed and the location in which you’re facing charges. For instance, if you’re facing charges for a hit-and-run, you’ll probably have a lower bail than if you’re facing charges for a million-dollar money embezzling scheme. On that note, if you committed the same crime in a small town as someone in a large metro city you could face a lower bail amount.

Andy Callif Bail Bonds is here to help our clients get back on track. Feel free contact our team of surety bond agents today for more information on flight risk and the variables that judges consider. We can be reached at (614) 945-4334.


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