Bail Information – Law Firm
If you’ve been charged with a crime in California, you may find that it’s a serious and costly challenge to get yourself released from jail. While some may be released without bail on their own recognizance (also known as OR), others may find it very challenging to arrange a release on bail.
There are few things more terrifying than spending hours, weeks, months or even years behind bars, before you’ve even been convicted of a crime. And while if you opt to plead “guilty” or are convicted by a jury, the time served is typically applied to your sentence, those who are exonerated may have found.
Felony suspects, particularly those accused of a violent crime such as rape or murder, along with others who may be considered a flight risk, may not be granted bail or the bail figure may be extremely high.
This is precisely when you can turn to the Southern California defense lawyers with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson. Based in Long Beach, our defense attorneys have the experience and strategies required to help you increase your chances of getting out of jail on bail.
If you and your family cannot afford the bail imposed on you or a loved one is currently in jail and unable to post bail, Attorney Jerry Nicholson can advocate on your behalf, arguing that the bail sum is excessive. Your defense lawyer can also refer you to a bail bondsman who may be able to assist with the matter. In some cases, it may be possible to ask the courts to reconsider if you’ve been denied bail by requesting a bail hearing.
If you or a loved one are incarcerated and require help getting released on bail in Southern California, contact the criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case. Call 562-434-8916.
How Does the California Bail System Work?
Bail or “surety” is primarily designed to ensure that the defendant will return to the court for proceedings such as arraignment, trial, judgment and other court proceedings where the defendant’s presence is required.
In California, the bail process begins in court, where the judge or magistrate will consider a number of different factors, such as:
- the nature and seriousness of the crime(s) in question;
- the individual’s criminal history (or lack thereof);
- whether there are any active warrants issued for the defendant; and
- the defendant’s ties to the community and whether the individual is a flight risk.
After the court decides the amount of your bail – also called bond or surety – you may pay it with cash, a surety bond, or a property bond. California courts accept cash, money orders, along with personal checks, traveler’s checks and cashier’s checks.
If you appear at your hearings and you’re acquitted or the charges are ultimately dropped, your cash bail will be returned in full. If you are convicted, your bail can be applied toward any monetary fines that are issued as part of the sentence. If you fail to show up in court, you lose your bail money.
Today, a large cash bail is fairly uncommon because few individuals keep large sums of cash. In cases where a cash bail is required, a bail bondsman may be able to assist.
Bail agents provide bail bond services throughout Southern California. For a ten percent fee, a surety bondsman or surety agent will post your surety. So if the court sets your bail at $5,000, a $500 payment would be required to the bail bondsman. The ten percent fee is typically forfeited to the bondsman as payment for their services.
California also allows you to post a property bond, but few use this option. A property bond allows the court put a lien on your property. If the case is resolved in your favor, the lien would be removed. If you don’t appear for your hearing, the lien would remain on the property and it would become payable when you went to sell the property. It’s also possible for the state to initiate proceedings that can ultimately result in the confiscation of your property in an attempt to recover the funds.
An individual may be released by police without bail on their own recognizance. This is most common in cases involving an individual without a criminal history who is accused of a misdemeanor crime. You may be eligible for release on your own recognizance if you demonstrate that you are not a flight risk and have been cooperative with the legal process.
Getting out of jail on bail can be a challenge, but this is where The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson can help clients. A qualified California defense attorney can advise you regarding the surety bonds process, while also fighting to have your bail amount reduced. Our goal is to help you make bail, so you can return to your life with minimal disruption.
If you or a loved one are facing legal troubles in Southern California, contact the criminal defense lawyers with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case. Call 562-434-8916.
Bond Statutes in the City of Long Beach, California
The following is a look at a few of the key bail statutes in California.
- Under Penal Code 1305(a), bail may be forfeited if “without sufficient excuse, a defendant fails to appear for any of the following:
- Any other occasion prior to the pronouncement of judgment if the defendant’s presence in court is lawfully required; or
- To surrender himself or herself in execution of the judgment after appeal.
Additionally, this statute notes that “the court shall not have jurisdiction to declare a forfeiture and the bail shall be released of all obligations under the bond if the case is dismissed or if no complaint is filed within 15 days from the date of arraignment.”
- Under Penal Code 1270(a), any person who is arrested – with the exception of capital offenses — is eligible for release on his or her own recognizance if the court or magistrate finds that they would otherwise be eligible for release on bail.
- Under Penal Code 1279(a), “except as otherwise provided by law, no defendant charged in
a warrant of arrest with any public offense shall be discharged from custody upon bail except upon a written order of a competent court or magistrate…”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for any crime, including domestic violence, child abuse, DUI, drug crimes or sex crimes, seek legal advice and assistance as soon as possible. If you need help getting released on bail in Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Riverside, Ventura and Long Beach, contact the criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your legal needs in a fully confidential, no-cost case consultation session. Call our office at 562-434-8916 or fill out the form on this website to speak with an experienced Long Beach criminal defense attorney.