In order to be released from custody and to ensure you will appear at future court proceeding, bail is required. In the state of California, all criminal charges other than capital crimes are eligible for bail. Capital crimes are those which are typically punished by life in prison or the death penalty. While bail may be paid in cash, most defendants post bail through the services of a bail bondsman. Many bail bondsmen will post your bail for a percentage, usually 10% which is the maximum in the state. However, this amount may be reduced to 7% or 8% if you are represented by a criminal defense lawyer. Regardless, while you desire your freedom while awaiting trial, this is sometimes a huge price to pay. Sometimes a defendant simply cannot afford to post bail, and must remain in custody.
At The Justice firm, our Los Angeles bail reduction attorneys realize that if you are in custody, you want nothing more than to be released. If you are a family member of the defendant, it is painful to have your loved one incarcerated. By consulting with an experienced lawyer, you may be able to avoid unnecessary financial hardships and enjoy freedom while waiting to go to trial.
Think of bail as a deposit; if you attend all court hearing, you will get your money back.Bail Hearing
A bail hearing is a hearing held solely for the purpose of having your bail reduced or eliminated. In some cases, your Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may plea for lower bail at your arraignment hearing. It is important to note that even if you do attend a bail hearing, it does not guarantee that your bail will be reduced or eliminated.
The judge will determine whether your bail amount can be reduced and will base his or her decision on a number of factors. These may include whether you are considered a flight risk or danger to the community, whether you have a prior criminal record, and your connection to the community (whether you have friends and family in the area, etc.) You may also request the judge release you without posting bail; this is commonly referred to as being released on your own recognizance. However, be aware that a judge agreeing to this is very rare, so it's important that you present yourself in a responsible, trustworthy manner and have a good record.Facilitating Bail Reduction - Hire a Seasoned Attorney
While a judge cannot violate your Constitutional Rights by imposing unfair bail conditions, the amount of your bail may be reduced, eliminated, or even increased at the hearing depending on the skill and expertise of the criminal defense attorney you hire to represent you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, having bail reduced may depend upon your actions, such as taking part in an addiction treatment program, agreeing to house arrest, surrendering your driver's license or passport, or other conditions which indicate to the judge your willingness to follow the law.
A successful bail reduction hearing hinges substantially on your attorney's experience and skill with such hearings. At The Justice Firm, we are proud to have a successful track record in having our clients' bail amounts reduced or eliminated. We understand that no one wants to spend time in jail, however many families simply do not have the financial resources to bail a loved one out of jail. Additionally, your Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer will have much greater success in fighting your case when you are not in custody.
Whether you have further questions regarding bail reduction, hearings, requirements, or other procedures in the criminal justice system, contact The Justice Firm immediately at 310-914-2444.