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Bail in Indiana – What You Need to Know

Bail in Indiana – What You Need to Know

What is Bail?

A person arrested for a crime in Indiana may be able to get out of jail while awaiting trial by posting bail. The court sets an amount for bail, the arrested individual pays, and the individual gets their money back (less certain costs and fees) at the conclusion of their case, provided they show up for their court dates. This prevents the individual from having to sit in jail while awaiting trial. An individual will usually have the option to post bail, but it is not available in all circumstances—for example, a person accused of murder or treason may not have that opportunity.

How Much is Bail?

The amount the court sets for bail will vary from case to case. Many Indiana counties have local rules establishing presumptive bail amounts that can be changed by the court as appropriate. When assessing bail, the court has a few guiding principles to determine what the amount should be. In general, bail may not be set higher than the amount reasonably required to (1) assure the defendant’s appearance in court or (2) assure the physical safety of a person/the community if the court finds that the defendant poses a risk to the safety of that person/community. If an individual faces a bail amount they are unable to pay, the individual can petition the court to reduce the amount, explaining why he or she is not a flight risk or danger to the community.

How is Bail Determined?

When determining an amount of bail, the judge considers several factors. These factors can be found in Indiana Code section 35-33-8-4(b) and include:

  • the length and character of the defendant’s residence in the community;
  • the defendant’s employment status and history and the defendant’s ability to give bail;
  • the defendant’s family ties and relationships;
  • the defendant’s character, reputation, habits, and mental condition;
  • the defendant’s criminal or juvenile record, insofar as it demonstrates instability and a disdain for the court’s authority to bring the defendant to trial;
  • the defendant’s previous record in not responding to court appearances when required or with respect to flight to avoid criminal prosecution;
  • the nature and gravity of the offense and the potential penalty faced, insofar as these factors are relevant to the risk of nonappearance;
  • the source of funds or property to be used to post bail or to pay a premium, insofar as it affects the risk of nonappearance;
  • that the defendant is a foreign national who is unlawfully present in the United States under federal immigration law; and
  • any other factors, including any evidence of instability and a disdain for authority, which might indicate that the defendant might not recognize and adhere to the authority of the court to bring the defendant to trial.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact McNeelyLaw today. Call us at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate through the complexities of your case.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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