What are Non-Bailable Crimes?

While there may be a constitutional right against excessive bail, there is no constitutional right to bail itself. In fact, it may be argued that law enforcement authorities arrest individuals for a reason, and that is because that person has committed a crime. Bail is granted not because a person is now off the hook for the crime, but because of the interest in presuming a person innocent until proven guilty. A court also wishes the defendant to prepare his defense well before the trial, as well as to decrease the growing population of pretrial inmates. Bail is most often than not granted by courts on the condition that the defendant appear in court on his scheduled trial dates.

This state of affairs no longer holds true when the crime that a defendant is being charged with is considered non-bailable. Non-bailable offenses are usually those that are classified as capital offenses, or punishable by life imprisonment or death.

Obviously, what determines the refusal of bail here to a defendant is the severity of the crime with which a person is being charged. The defendant’s interest in being presumed innocent until proven guilty is now largely superseded by the greater interest of public safety and the maintenance of law and order.

Even if a person is not being charged with a non-bailable offense, if he has been previously charged with a non-bailable offense, or have two or more previous non-bailable offenses, bail may also be refused or denied for such a person.

It may be interesting to note that even if the charges against a defendant are considered bailable, a judge may still decide to refuse bail to that defendant on several grounds, such as that the defendant is a flight risk, or that he poses a threat to the public if released from jail.