October 31, 2008 By Wallin & Klarich

Why i should have the assistance of a California criminal defense lawyer before i make the decision to bail out my loved one

What Is Bail, and How Is It Set?

The amount of bail is a sum of money that an accused must deposit with the court to ensure that you will appear. When someone is arrested the bail is initially set at the “bail schedule”. Each county has a bail schedule that is set by the Board of Supervisors of each county. However, in most counties if you retain the services of a criminal defense law firm they may be able to have your bail lowered by filing for a bail review hearing at the earliest opportunity. In Orange County, for example, there is a detention release officer system. What this means is that if you are arrested for a “new alleged crime” in Orange County, you can retain a lawyer and the lawyer can contact the detention release officer, who works for the county and ask that they review the clients bail and hopefully reduce the bail or release the accused without bail pending his/her appearance in court. In many cases our clients have saved thousands of dollars in bail bond fees by having the good sense of calling our Orange County criminal defense law firm prior to making the decision to bail a loved one out of jail.

If you do not “bail out” prior to your first court date (called the arraignment) then the judge will set bail at your first court date. In some cases the judge has the power to lower or raise your bail at your first court hearing. However, with some more serious cases the judge cannot lower or raise the bail without setting a “bail hearing” where both your lawyer and the prosecutor can argue on the “bail issue”.

When you are taken to court for bail setting or release, the judge will consider the seriousness of the offense you are charged with, any prior failures to appear (even for traffic tickets), any previous record, your connections to the community, as well as the probability that you will appear in court. The law presumes you are guilty of the charges for purposes of setting bail or releasing you on your own recognizance.

The smart decision is to contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer before you make the decision to post bail. In some cases you can save money by hiring a lawyer first before positing bail. Wallin and Klarich has almost thirty years of experience helping people with the critical decision of whether or not to bail out a loved one when they are facing a criminal charge. To learn more about bail, contact the criminal law experts at www.wklaw.com or call Wallin & Klarich at 888-749-0034

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