A competent Orange County defense attorney can play a vital role in the outcome of a case. From the outset he can wield influence, even when it comes to the setting of bail. Indeed, bail fees are so inconsistent between and within counties that the matter bears discussion.
Redding, California’s KRCR News reported recently that bail for a woman arrested for stealing four beers out of a neighborhood garage was set at a full $100,000. The same bail was applied to another case in Redding where a CHP officer faces 11 felony charges ranging from possession of assault weapons and explosives to embezzlement. How can such an inconsistency be explained?
It is often very difficult to try to understand the logics that some judges use when they set the amount of bail in a particular case. Judges possess significant discretion in setting the amount of bail. A defendant who is unfortunate enough to be assigned to a court whose judge is particularly strict may find himself facing a much higher bail than one tried for a similar crime in a courtroom next door. Judges will argue that they are fair, and apply their bail practices without bias, and no one is arguing that they don’t. But is it really necessary for a woman who stole four beers – at most a misdemeanor – to have the same bail as a person who faces many years in state prison?
The Los Angeles County Jail is dealing with a serious condition of overcrowding. Reports circulate that inmates are fighting over trying to locate a place to sleep when in custody. However, the judges in Los Angeles County definitely differ greatly from judge to judge in terms of the setting of bail in criminal cases. While it is true that certain factors such as a defendant’s prior record play a role in determining the bail amount, the county of arrest and legal philosophy of the judge leave California with no uniformity whatsoever.
If you are arrested on a criminal charge, you will need a competent Southern California defense attorney in your corner. We at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years working with clients facing a range of charges. Call us for a consultation at (888) 280-6839.