How is bond determined in a Criminal Case?

When a criminal complaint is filed, an initial hearing is set to determine bond. In some cases, the police department will be authorized to set a bond in misdemeanor offenses. However, if bond is not set by the police department, a criminal defendant will be required to appear before a Judge at a bond hearing.

Recently this question was asked of my office:

"My ex is a professional con man. He had warrants out for him in FL when I left him and is up to his old tricks here. When I left him the people we were renting a home from in FL were after him for bad checks.A car dealership was after him as well. This was 5 years ago approximately. I left him with nothing more than the clothes on my back. He ruined my credit,I had to file bankruptcy and start from scratch. I had to file in absentia for my divorce because no one could find him. There are at least 2 car dealerships after him up here in IL. Just yesterday he had a court date in DuPage County IL for 3 counts of theft by deception. I believe they let him out again. He has taken us for thousands of dollars as well. I believe his mother is the one helping him monetarily. My question is why do they keep giving him bail and letting him continue to screw people over? He did it in MN,IL,FL, now back here. Jail him. Pretty sure he isnt working because he owes the IRS thousands, and he couldn't use his real SS number or they would find him in a heartbeat. Besides the fact that he's a lazy a**. So why isn't the government hunting him down for that on its own?"

Every bond hearing is unique, in that there are several factors a Judge will consider when determining bond.

My answer to this question is as follows:

"When an individual is charged with a criminal offense, he will continue to carry a presumption of innocence until he is actually found guilty. At a bond hearing, there are several factors a judge will consider:

1. The underlying criminal offense and its severity.

2. Prior criminal history.

3. Whether the defendant is a flight risk.

4. Prior failures to appear in court.

5. Whether the Defendant is able to appear in court (i.e. does he/she have a valid driver's license or can arrangements be made for his transport?)

6. His connection to the jurisdiction. (Does he live in the County, out of state, or out of the country?)

7. Does the Defendant pose a risk to society if/when he is released?

8. The State's allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

These are some of the factors that will be raised at a bond hearing. Ultimately, the Judge will make a decision as to what a "reasonable" bond should be. The Judge also has the option to deny bond.

If the Judge does set a bond, he has a right to post that bond (Full Cash or 10%) and be released from custody."

As you can see, there are many reasons a Judge will grant or deny bond. For more information about Criminal Law please visit us at:

or call my office at: 630-901-8700


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