How is Bail Determined in Illinois Criminal Cases?

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois dedense lawyer, bail conditions, If you are charged with a criminal offense, you can be held in jail pending your trial unless a judge grants you bail, or you are released on your own recognizance. Without posting bail, you can be in jail for a long time waiting for trial. Whether or not you can be bailed out for an offense, and the amount you will be required to pay, is determined by a judge according to the law.

What is Bail?

 Bail is an amount of money that is required by a court in order to release an accused person pending trial for a criminal charge. Bail is refundable once the accused appears for trial, and if he or she does not appear, the money is forfeited to the government. If someone who is on bail fails to appear in court, the judge can issue a warrant for his or her arrest. The person would not be likely to get bail again in the same case, unless he or she can show that the failure to appear was not intentional. Although there is no constitutional right to bail, there is a constitutional prohibition against excessive bail, where bail is to be granted.

Most offenses are bailable in Illinois, except in the following circumstances, if there is sufficient evidence showing a probability of the accused’s guilt:

  • Crimes that may be punishable with a life imprisonment sentence;

  • Felony offenses that carry a sentence of imprisonment, without conditional and revocable release, upon conviction;

  • If the judge determined that the defendant’s release would pose a real and present threat to the physical safety of any person;

  • In cases of stalking or aggravated stalking, if the judge holds a hearing and determines that the release of the accused would pose a real and present threat to the physical safety of the alleged victim and denial of bail is necessary to keep the accused from carrying out a threat upon which the charge is based; and

  • Certain weapons charges.

When a judge is considering granting bail, he or she may consider several factors, including whether or not the crime charged involved violence; whether the crime involved physical harm or threats of physical harm to a child, senior citizen or other groups of people; the nature of the offense charged; and, whether the accused was on bail pending trial when he was arrested for the current charge.

If bail is granted, the amount of bail shall:

  • Be determined in consideration of the financial ability of the accused;


  • Be enough to make sure the accused satisfies the conditions of the bail bond;

  • Not be so high as to be oppressive; and

  • If the accused is charged with possession or delivery of a controlled substance, the street value of the drugs shall be considered.

 Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are arrested on suspicion of a crime, remember you have rights, and do not say anything before consulting with an experienced Naperville criminal defense attorney. Your attorney may also help you petition the court for reasonable bail to secure your release as you wait for trial. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC for a consultation on your case.