Bond Schedules are predetermined bail amounts that can be used to quickly and effectively set a bail amount for a defendant when judge is not present. The bail schedules are typically developed by the judiciary (a panel of judges) in a county and is reviewed and revised on an annual or other predetermined time frame. The purpose for the creation of bail schedules was to allow for release on nights and weekends when courts were not in session and also to facilitate and speed up the release process.
There have been several arguments made against bail schedules as being arbitrary money schemes and unconstitutional, however we believe these arguments to be without merit. Bond schedules are a legal extension of the judiciary, and we believe when set appropriately that their existence allows for the timely and expedited release of defendants. Individual consideration and bail setting by judges, however, is the norm in many jurisdictions.
There are resource realities that court systems face across this country, and ABC supports the use of bail schedules were necessary and judges setting bail in all cases as well.