If you commit a crime and get arrested in California, it might be challenging to get out of jail. While most suspects with misconduct in the state may be released on their recognizance, many arrested for committing felonies may not get out of jail until they post bail. However, the authority may deny you bail for a serious felony. If you are wondering how bail works in the state of California, here's what you need to know:
Bail is the amount of money you should pay the court when charged with a crime, together with the promise to go for a hearing on the set date to get out of jail. The courts in California allow you to pay the amount through a bail bond, cash, or property bond. You may pay the amount in cash, through money order, or by check. If you go to court for a hearing and the court dismisses the case or finds you not guilty, you will get your cash bail back.
However, you may spend a year or more before the ruling if it's a complex criminal charge. During that time, you will not invest or spend the bail money. Additionally, you may have to wait for six to 12 weeks to receive your bail cash back after acquittal or dismissal of the charge. If the court finds you guilty, it will use your bail amount to pay your fines. Failure to appear in court for the hearing will make the court forfeit your bail money.
Due to the high bail amount, most people find paying cash quite challenging. Many get it through a bail bond agent who will loan you the total amount for a ten percent non-refundable fee. In California, only a few defendants choose the property bond option. If you choose that option, you must understand that the equity value should be at least two times the bail amount.
In California, you will pay the bail amount depending on the crime committed and the area of jurisdiction. Each county in the state has different bail amounts for various crimes. You can pay the bail amount in millions of dollars if you commit a serious offense in California. However, you will only pay between $20,000 and $50,000 for less serious crimes.
If you cannot afford to take out a bail loan through a Sacramento bail bonds office, or you feel the bail amount is unfair, consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer in the state to request a bail hearing on your behalf. The attorney will ask the court to reduce the bail money, drop the entire bail, and release you on your recognizance.
A judge in California can reduce your bail amount or increase it if they find the need to do so. If you request a reduction in the bail amount, the state may produce new evidence that may prompt the judge to increase it. If you face a serious felony, most California judges will not reduce your bail amount to less than the minimum bail of the charge, depending on the jurisdiction. For this reason, your attorney must persuade the judge to reduce the bail amount based on a "good cause" or "unusual circumstances." You may also request to be released "O.R." If the crime you are arrested for does not qualify for the death penalty, the court can free you without bail or your recognizance. However, the judge may not release you "O.R" if they find a possibility of not returning for a hearing on scheduled dates or if you threaten the public's safety.
The criminal defense attorney you hire may propose some bail conditions to the judge. If you agree to specific bail conditions, the judge may lower the bail amount or release you on "O.R." However, the judge will not impose a bail condition that violates your rights.
Anyone who commits a crime in America has a right to an attorney. It's advisable to find an attorney and avoid acting as one. Choose an experienced California defense lawyer to advise you on the best bail options and defense plans to use when charged with a crime in the state.???????