What is bail?
Bail refers to the money that you must post with the court in order to be released from jail. It is a way of ensuring the court that you will attend your future court appearances.
In many instances, the judge will release you on your own recognizance (typically referred to by it’s initials, “OR”). If you are released OR, you do not post bail. The court will accept your promise to attend your future court hearings.
If you are accused of certain offenses, you may not be eligible for bail and the judge will not set bail, or the judge may set very high bail. In most instances, however, bail is required.
If your bail is exceedingly high, our Torrance criminal defense lawyers (Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, South Bay criminal defense lawyers) can arrange a bail review hearing and argue vigorously for your bail to be reduced or that you be released on your own recognizance.
The amount of bail varies depending on the crime involved. All California counties have their own bail schedules that set forth the amount for bail for each type of crime. For example, if you look to the Los Angeles County 2010 Felony Bail Schedule, you’ll see that your bail could range anywhere from $20,000 for the least serious offenses to $5,000,00 for the most serious offenses.
That said, it is the judge who ultimately sets your bail. California criminal law bestows the judge with quite a bit of discretion, allowing him to deviate from the bail schedule, depending on:
- your criminal history;
- your flight risk;
- and the facts of your case.
As you can see, posting bail can put a serious strain on your finances. This is why it is important to request a California bail hearing or an OR release to lessen some of this burden.
How do I post bail?
There are essentially three way to post:
- Through cash bail;
- Through a bail bond (which is the most common way to post bail); or
- Through a property bond (which means that you allow the court to place a lien on your property, such that if you fail to appear in court as instructed, the court is authorized to institute foreclosure proceedings against you…Although this type of bond is available, it is rarely utilized).
Robert Ernenwein has more than 30 years of experience defending persons accused of vandalism. Mr. Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney and is Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has also been named a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.
His extensive experience and knowledge give him the tools necessary to convince the court to reduce your bail or release you on your own recognizance. Call us today at 310-375-5858.