Bail Reduction Hearing
"Bail" is the money you are required by law to pay to a court in order for you to be released from custody and to guarantee your future court appearances in your particular matter. If you do not appear in court on the appointed day, your bail is forfeited and you permanently lose this money. All criminal charges, except for capital crimes - those punishable by death or life imprisonment - are eligible for bail. Bail may be posted by payment of the full amount in cash, but it is most commonly paid through a bail bondsman. Bonds may be obtained through a bail bondsman who will commit to posting your bail for a maximum of 10 percent of the full bail amount. If you are represented by an attorney, a bail bondsman may charge you as little as 7% or 8% of the full amount. While bail bonds allow for you, friends, or family to be released from jail while fighting your case and waiting for trial at a reduced price, it can still cost a great amount of money depending on the criminal charges.
At the Kann California Defense Group, our Ventura, Santa Clarita, Los Angles, Encino, and Pasadena bail reduction attorneys understand how painful it is to see a loved one in jail and how important it is to help get them out quickly. But bail is often very expensive. As such, seeking a bail reduction is of great importance so that defendants do not have to stay in jail while awaiting trial and family members do not suffer unnecessary financial hardships.
How is Bail Set?
How is bail usually set? That depends on the type of crime. Each county has its own bail schedule depending on the type of crime that is alleged and prices could vary from about $20,000 to millions of dollars for serious crimes such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, or sexual assault. Having to post bail can be extremely stressful for the defendant and his or her family. It is important to note that the percentage that you pay to a bail bondsman is not refunded at the conclusion of the case. It is the price that you pay for the bail bondsman to put up the full amount and secure your release from custody. Of course, if the defendant fails to appear for the trial, the bail is lost. This is why it is critical to ask for a bail hearing.
What is a Bail Hearing?
A bail hearing gives defendants the opportunity to reduce his or her bail or eliminate it completely. Usually, it is the judge who determines setting, reducing, increasing, or doing away with your bail altogether. There are a few key factors that will play a part in a judge's decision regarding your bail.
Some of those factors include the circumstances of the case, the seriousness of the charges, the defendant's prior criminal record, whether or not the defendant has ties to the community such as friends and family, and the impact release from custody could have on the alleged victim's safety or public safety in general. If you have not posted bail and still remain in custody, you will be entitled to a bail review hearing within five days from the date your bail was originally set.
In some cases, a defendant may request the judge to release them on their own recognizance, "O.R.", meaning that you are released from jail without needing to post bail on a promise that you will return to court on the date of your scheduled trial. A judge may do so unless you are considered a flight risk or a danger to yourself and/or others. Even so, being released on your own recognizance may include restrictions including restricted travel, orders to stay away from the victim of the accused crime, and mandatory periodic reporting to a supervising officer. Being released on your own recognizance is a sign of trust; as such, it is important for you to not only have a trustworthy record but to also present yourself as worthy of such a decision and then to act responsibly while waiting for trial.
What Can Help Facilitate a Bail Reduction?
Whether your bail is reduced, increased, or eliminated during a bail hearing usually depends on the experience and skill of your criminal defense lawyer. However, there are certain conditions you may have to agree to which will help get your bail reduced or eliminated. Bail-reducing conditions can include surrendering your passport or driver's license; checking into an in-patient treatment facility; wearing a GPS tracking device; wearing an alcohol monitor; taking part in Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on a regular basis or agreeing to house arrest. These conditions act as insurance that you will not continue to violate the law or attempt to flee during your case. In some cases no conditions other than promising to appear at future court dates are imposed. Remember, a judge cannot impose bail conditions that violate Constitutional rights.
The Priceless Help of a Bail Reduction Lawyer
The attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group have extensive experience and a successful track record with bail reduction hearings. Through dedicated and skilled representation, your bail can be reduced significantly or completely eliminated in order to free you and your loved ones from heavy financial burdens and having to spend time in custody while your case is pending. Remember, it is always easier to fight your case when you are out of custody rather than in custody. Call the the attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group to have your questions about bail requirements and options, hearings, and other court procedures answered. We will fight for your rights and ensure that you get a fair hearing. Call us today to discuss your case.