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When Can a Judge Raise or Lower My Bail Amount?

Southern%20California%20Criminal%20Defense%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg You were recently arrested for allegedly carjacking a vehicle. In California, the 2013 Uniform Bail Schedule states that the bail amount for a carjacking in violation of PC 215 is $100,000. May the judge set your bail amount for higher or lower than $100,000? Are there any procedural steps that must be taken before your bail amount can be modified?

The “Notice” and “Hearing” Requirements

California Penal Code 1270.1(a) states that in all serious or violent felonies, a court may not set bail higher or lower than the bail set under the bail schedule without holding a hearing in open court with two court days’ written notice to the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney.

A complete list of all “serious or violent” felonies pursuant to PC 1192.7 and/or PC 667.5 is provided below:

    • Murder or voluntary manslaughter (Penal Code section 187);
    • Mayhem (Penal Code section 203);
    • Rape (Penal Code section 261 and 262);
    • Sodomy (Penal Code section 286);
    • Oral copulation (Penal Code section 288a);
    • Lewd or lascivious acts (Penal Code section 288) A;
    • Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;
    • Any felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, or any felony in which the defendant personally uses a firearm;
    • Attempted murder (Penal Code section 187);
    • Assault with intent to commit rape or robbery (Penal Code section 264.1 and 211);
    • Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument on a peace officer (Penal Code section 241);
    • Assault by a life prisoner on a non-inmate (Penal Code section 4500);
    • Assault with a deadly weapon by an inmate (Penal Code section 4500);
    • Arson (Penal Code Section 451);
    • Exploding a destructive device with intent to commit murder (Penal Code section 12308);
    • Causing bodily injury with explosive or destructive device (Penal Code section 12309);
    • Causing death or mayhem with explosive or destructive device (Penal Code section 12310);
    • Any burglary of the first degree (Penal Code section 459);
    • Robbery or bank robbery (Penal Code section 211);
    • Kidnapping (Penal Code section 207);
    • Holding of a hostage by a person confined in a state prison (Penal Code section 4503);
    • Attempt to commit a felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;
    • Any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon (Penal Code section 245);
    • Selling, furnishing, administering, giving, or offering to sell, furnish, administer, or give to a minor any heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), or any methamphetamine-related drug (Health and Safety Code Section 11055);
    • Penetration by foreign object (Penal Code section 289);
    • Grand theft involving a firearm (Penal Code section 487);
    • Carjacking (Penal Code section 215);
    • Participation in a criminal street gang (Penal Code section 186.22);
    • Assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation (Penal Code section 220);
    • Throwing acid or flammable substances (Penal Code section 244);
    • Assault with a deadly weapon, firearm, machine gun, assault weapon, or semiautomatic firearm or assault on a peace officer or firefighter (Penal Code section 245);
    • Assault with a deadly weapon against a public transit employee, custodial officer, or school employee (Penal Code section 245.2, 245.3 and 245.5);
    • Discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, vehicle, or aircraft (Penal Code section 246);
    • Commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person (Penal Code section 264.1);
    • Continuous sexual abuse of a child (Penal Code section 288.5);
    • Shooting from a vehicle (Penal Code section 12034);
    • Intimidation of victims or witnesses (Penal Code section 136.1);
    • Criminal threats (Penal Code section 422);
    • Committing a felony while using a firearm (Penal Code section 12022.53);
    • Possession of a weapon of mass destruction a (Penal Code section 11418);
    • Conspiracy to commit an offense described in the list above (Penal Code section 182).

What factors will a judge consider when deciding whether or not to modify my bail amount?

California Penal Code 1270.1(b) states that the judge must consider the following factors at the bail modification hearing:

    • Your record of appearances;
    • The potential length of your sentence;
    • Your criminal history;
    • Your past history of violence;
    • Any public safety concerns;
    • Any threats that you made;
    • Your ties to the community; AND • Your ability to post bond.

The judge must state the reasons for the bail modification on the record

California Penal Code 1270.1(c) provides that if a judge sets the bail higher or lower than the amount listed under the bail schedule, he or she must include the reasons for this decision in the court minute order.

California Penal Code 1270.1(d) states that if any threats were made against the victims or witnesses, the judge must also evaluate those threats on the record.

Why you should retain the Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich

The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully helping clients lower their bail amount in felony cases. Our attorneys will provide you with the most efficient and professional representation from the moment that you retain us. We will scrutinize all of the evidence and utilize all available defenses in order to provide you with the best opportunity to win your case.

Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Please call us today at (888) 280-6839 to inquire about your case. We will get through this together.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.