Being in jail sucks. The sooner you're able to make bail, the faster you can get back home and begin preparing for your case. But before you're able to bond out, it's up to a judge to decide on a bail amount. This is usually done during an arraignment or bail hearing.

For the average judge, determining a proper bail amount can be a surprisingly complex process. There are plenty of factors a judge needs to consider when setting bail. The following takes a look at five of these factors and how they'll affect your ability to bond out.

1. The Nature of the Crime

The type and severity of crime you're accused of could mean the difference between a $500 bail and a $5,000,000 bail or, in some cases, no bail at all. In general practice, serious crimes usually demand high bail amounts while relatively minor felony and misdemeanor charges may warrant only minimal bail.

Most judges set their own guidelines or follow previously-established practices when determining bail amounts for specific categories of crime. For instance, many judges work from standardized bail schedules that prescribe a particular bail amount for specific crimes.

2. Available Evidence

The amount of evidence against you can also have a significant impact on your bail amount. Cases with little to no evidence may warrant relatively small bail amounts. If the evidence is stacked against you, however, you can expect to face an eye-watering bail, if you're given the opportunity to bond out at all.

3. Your Past Criminal Record

Your past criminal deeds can also affect your bail amount for your upcoming case. If you have a lengthy criminal record that takes up page after page, you can expect the judge to set a steep bail amount. Breaking the law while you're on probation or parole will simply raise the stakes. It's not unusual for some judges to slap habitual offenders with the highest possible bail amount just to send a message to the defendant.

If you don't have a criminal record or if your record features only a few minor offenses, you'll have a better chance of your judge granting you a low bail amount. In some cases, you may even be released on your own recognizance after signing a written promise to appear in court when the time comes.

4. Your Overall History and Behavior

How you behave inside and outside the courtroom also has a major impact on your bail amount. In addition to considering in-court behavior, your judge will also consider a variety of outdoor factors. These factors include your overall health, financial health, family, friends, and other support networks and whether you're gainfully employed or not.

Needless to say, being on your best behavior in court and maintaining a normal life outside of it will help your chances of securing a low bail amount.

5. Potential for Being a Flight Risk

No judge wants to be responsible for releasing a defendant who decides to skip town and possibly hurt others in the process. To ensure that doesn't happen, the judge will determine whether or not you represent a potential flight risk.

Again, this depends on a variety of factors. The fewer ties you have to the jurisdiction where you're charged and held in custody, for instance, the higher your bail amount will be as an incentive to stay local. Owning a passport or other means of leaving the jurisdiction can also increase your bail amount. If you represent a significant flight risk, the judge could simply deny bail altogether.

Instead of going through the painstaking process of considering each factor listed above, a growing number of courts are using computer algorithms to determine bail amounts. These algorithms weigh the above factors to generate a risk score or recommendation result, reducing inherent bias while helping judges make faster and more reliable bail assessments.Once your bail has been set, don't hesitate to reach out to a bail bondsman