What's a Bail Schedule?

What's a Bail Schedule?

If you are arrested for a crime, you may be held in jail until your arraignment. During this court proceeding, a judge will inform you of the charges against you. They may also set a bail amount. Because of the way the judicial process works, you might have to wait overnight in jail until your first court appearance.

Bail schedules are a way to prevent you from being held in police custody for lengthy periods following your arrest. They contain a list of pre-approved bail amounts for specific crimes. Law enforcement officials may refer to the schedule to facilitate your prompt release – instead of waiting behind bars until your case can go to a judge.

What Offenses Are Covered in a Bail Schedule?

In Ohio, not all offenses are included in a bail schedule. Bail schedules are set for misdemeanor and traffic offenses. The breakdown of bail amounts is established by the court and can be classified by the specific offense, penalty, or level of charge.

For example, the current bail schedule in Franklin County is established as follows:

  • Unclassified misdemeanor: $500 bail
  • First-degree misdemeanor: $500 bail
  • Second-degree misdemeanor: $400 bail
  • Third-degree misdemeanor: $300 bail
  • Fourth-degree misdemeanor: $200 bail
  • Minor misdemeanor: $100 bail

As you can see, Franklin County's bail schedule is listed by the severity of the crime. A first-degree misdemeanor, for example, is considered a more serious offense than a fourth-degree.

What Offenses Are Not Covered in a Bail Schedule?

Courts cannot set bail schedules for offenses in which there is a statutory requirement for a judge to determine the bail amount. Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2937.23, a judge fixes the bail amount for cases involving felonies, felonious assault, aggravated assault, or assault when the victim is a police officer. Additionally, bail schedules typically do not apply when the alleged offense involved domestic violence or a domestic violence protection order violation.

When a bail schedule is not set, the judge may determine the bail amount based on the following factors:

  • The seriousness of the offense
  • The defendant's criminal history
  • The likelihood that the defendant will appear for their trial
  • The weight of the evidence against the defendant
  • The defendant's family ties
  • The defendant's employment obligations

Ohio's Recent Bail Reform Updates

In March of 2021, the Ohio Supreme Court approved changes to bail schedules. The new rules, which go into effect in July of 2021, provide that counties with more than one court must adopt a uniform bail schedule. If the courts cannot agree, they must use the bail schedule established by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Additionally, the new bail schedule rule states that the first method of release is on personal recognizance. Release on personal recognizance means that the defendant does not have to pay bail; they only need to sign a written promise to appear. However, if nonmonetary release is not appropriate for the particular situation, monetary bail may be used.

Bail reform actions such as the one recently approved in Ohio are designed to create greater fairness in the bail process.

Of course, not all crimes are the same. But suppose that you are accused of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. You are unlikely to flee and pose no risk to the community's safety. However, you could be held in jail until you are scheduled for a bail hearing or you could be subject to a high bail amount, whereas someone else in the same county but being processed through a different court might not face the same restrictions. A uniform bail schedule helps facilitate fair treatment among all people accused of minor crimes.

Reach Out to a Bail Bonds Agency Today

Because an arrest can be unexpected, you or your loved ones may not be financially prepared to post bail – whether that amount is set by a bail schedule or fixed by a judge. If you are worried about the cost of bail, turn to Andy Callif Bail Bonds. We can help you through the bail bonds process in Columbus and the surrounding areas.

Call us at (614) 945-4334 or contact us online today.

Categories:

Contact Us Today!

ALL CONSULTATIONS ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.