Bail is property that is deposited a court in order to gain the release of a suspect from jail. Usually, the property is a fixed amount of money that is returned at the end of the trial provided that all court appearances are made and often regardless of whether the person is found guilty or not guilty of the crime accused. These are particulars that the sitting judge can decide on a case-by-case basis.
The understanding, of course, is that the suspect will return to court at an appointed date for trial otherwise the bail is forfeited to the court. That's not the only consequence of breaking bail. The defendant will probably be also charged with the crime of failure to appear on top of the previous charges and the judge will issue a warrant for their arrest.
Many people seek the services of a bondsman, who issues a surety bond, which is a kind of insurance. The fee for the bond is not refundable, but the full value of the property is released once the court issues clearance.
When someone is arrested, the court usually sets a bail amount in their case. Bail is set at a certain dollar value in an attempt to ensure that the defendant will appear at their assigned court date. The amount of bail is often predetermined by the court. Here are a list of court issued Bail Schedules from Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino:
Your next step.
If someone has been arrested or is in jail, and bail has not been addressed or set, we urge you to contact our office immediately. The Law Offices of Stull & Stull are very experienced at reducing the bail amount set by the court, or getting clients out of jail on an “O.R.”, or “own recognizance” release. The own recognizance release means no money is posted, and the client agrees to appear at court on their own promise. We are able to get an O.R. or own recognizance release mainly with individuals who have no prior criminal record, or is being charged in misdemeanor case.
In Orange County, our firm has the ability to contact 24 hour Magistrate at the jail about reducing the bail amount or allowing for an own recognizance release. And your access to our law office can have a huge impact on the determination of bail.
Determination of Bail
Bail schedules (like those listed above) give the court guidance on bail amount. The court is also free to set bail based upon three factors that can increase or lessen the bail amount:
The court will assess these three factors and determine whether the defendant is a flight risk. Depending on the flight risk of the defendant, the court will set an appropriate amount, according to the Superior Court of California. Again, consult the links to Bail Schedules from Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino. These are your most current authorities on bail amount.
What is a cash bail?
Cash bail may be applied towards the fine, if the depositor was the same defendant or if the third party who posted it signed an authorization to apply the bail to a fine. If a portion of the cash bail is to be refunded it will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks from the date of the court order. The Orange County Auditor’s office will process the refund check to the depositor or authorized designee. If the defendant fails to appear the bail will be forfeited to the court and a warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest. For further information, please feel free to contact the court at the Automated Information and Payment Center or review the court’s online case information.
What is a bail bond?
If a bail bond has been posted to the case and the defendant fails to appear, the bond will be forfeited and a warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest. A bondsman can surrender the defendant to the court on a forfeited bond.
Typically, in a misdemeanor case, bail is set anywhere from $500 to $10,000. For felony charges, bail can be set anywhere from $1,500 to $100,000. Some crimes that are egregious or violent (for example, crimes involving serious injury or large amounts of drugs will carry bail amounts of up to one million dollars – these high bail amounts can also apply if the client has prior felony probation violations. Contact us immediately and we can educate you on bail and hopefully save you some money.