Three Reasons a Judge Might Deny Your Right to Bail

Did you know that your “right” to bail isn’t really a right at all? A judge, for any number of reasons, can choose to deny any defendant their “right” to bail. While it’s true that they can deny bail for any number of reasons, the most common three reasons a judge might deny you bail are:

  • Flight risk
  • Non-US citizenship
  • You’re a repeat offender

What is a Flight Risk?

A person considered a flight risk is someone that the court or judge feels is likely to skip bail and run from the law. Flight risk is also, generally, the most common reason a judge may deny a defendant bail. People deemed a flight risk are unlikely to receive bail because the judge doesn’t trust them to show up for their trial and other court dates.

Non-US Citizens Can’t Recieve Traditional Bail in the United States

Another common reason to deny bail to a defendant is that the defendant in question is not a US citizen. And, if you’re here illegally, then you will be refused bail and be turned into Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and possibly deported.

Repeat Offenders are Rarely Granted Bail

Repeat offenders are just what they sound like: defendants that have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes multiple times. If you’re a repeat offender, there is little chance that a judge will grant you a right to bail. Generally, repeat offenders are denied bail because they’re perceived to be less likely to commit to reforming the behavior that landed them behind bars in the first place. If those defendants were released back into the public, then there is a higher chance that they’ll re-offend before their trial date.


Remember, nobody is guaranteed a “right” to bail. It is a privilege granted by the judge. While it’s true that in the United States, defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty, that doesn’t mean that they have a right to release from jail. If you’re a flight risk, non-US citizen, or a repeat offender, then you’re unlikely to be granted bail by a judge or court.