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Why Would Bail Be Denied?


In early 2019, R&B singer R. Kelly was charged with various state and federal offenses, including racketeering, kidnapping, sexual exploitation of children, and sex trafficking. He has been accused of holding underage girls against their will and forcing them to participate in sexual acts with him.

At hearings in Chicago, Minnesota, and New York, he pleaded not guilty to the charges he faced in those states and continually denied the allegations that he committed the acts he’s been accused of. So far, he has been scheduled for trial in Chicago and New York, which are set for April 2020 and May 2020, respectively.

Bail for Release from Jail

Typically, when a person is accused of committing a criminal offense and has a trial set for a later date, they can post bail, which allows them to be released from jail until the court proceedings. The amount bail is set for could depend on a number of factors.

When determining bail, a judge could look at:

  • The risk the defendant poses to society
  • Whether or not the defendant will leave the area
  • The type of offense and how severe it is
  • The defendant’s criminal record, if any

Unfortunately, in some situations a judge will deny bail, as happened in Kelly’s situation. In July of 2019, a judge denied bail for his Chicago arrest. It was again denied in October of 2019 for his New York case.

When Can Bail Be Denied?

As mentioned earlier, a judge will look at a number of factors when either setting a bail amount. Those factors also come into play when determining whether or not to allow a defendant out on bail at all.

Reasons bail would be denied include:

  • The individual is a threat to the community. Typically, if a person is accused of committing a serious, violent offense, the judge could consider not releasing the individual if they pose a risk to public safety.
  • The person is a flight risk: If a judge feels that the defendant will leave the state or country upon being released from jail, they will deny bail.
  • The crime is severe: As with determining whether or not the defendant is a danger to the community, a violent crime, such as murder or rape, will stop a judge from granting bail. The severity of the crime is usually one of the main reasons bail will be denied.
  • The defendant has committed offenses before: A judge might deny a repeat offender bail because their continued criminal behavior suggests that they haven’t learned their lesson.

In R. Kelly’s case, his bail was denied in New York because the judge said he was a flight risk and could possibly harm witnesses. In Chicago, prosecutors argued that the singer was “an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls”; the judge agreed.

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If you’ve been accused of committing an offense in Santa Barbara, call us at (805) 467-6060 or contact us online.

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