How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles?

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Los Angeles County has a set bail schedule. Yet many who are charged with misdemeanors and non-violent crimes will not have to pay bail.  The California Supreme Court has ruled that the state trial courts must consider an individual’s ability to pay before setting bail, and they can’t set it in an amount a person can’t afford unless they find that there is no way to set release conditions to safely ensure that you will appear in court when the time comes. 

Even if bail is set, you may be eligible for the Bail Deviation Program. This program allows assessors to conduct interviews with inmates via telephone. They then check the inmate’s background and conduct an assessment. If the inmate promises to attend future court appearances they are released, either at a lower bail amount or without having to pay money.

You may have more trouble qualifying for this program if you were charged with a felony drug offense, as statistics show that pretrial misconduct is especially high among this population

The prosecutor may also choose to avoid seeking bail in some cases, and the courts will usually comply with prosecutor recommendations. This could change if a more conservative prosecutor were elected in Los Angeles County. 

Alternative conditions can include cite-and-release, electronic monitoring, or a signed promise to appear. 

If bail is still set and you still can’t pay it you can turn to a bail bondsman. You would pay the bondsman 10% of the bail amount. This is non-refundable. You or your family members will also have to provide the bondsman with collateral. If you fail to appear in court the bondsman will take the collateral. The bail bond company will generally also seek to bring you to court. Failing to appear represents an additional criminal charge. Whether or not a failure to appear becomes a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the initial charge. If you were charged with a misdemeanor failure to appear will be a misdemeanor as well, but it will be a felony if you were charged with a felony.

If you had a valid reason for missing court there are options. If you appear within 180 days of your bail forfeiture and present a reason such as illness, disability, or an arrest in another jurisdiction and have proof of such, the bond can be exonerated. It may sometimes be exonerated in cases of serious mental illness.

Bottom line: while bail may no longer the problem it once was, you must appear in court if you’ve been charged with a crime.

If you have been fortunate enough to secure pretrial release, it is also very important for you to avoid wasting the time. Make sure you make the most of it by reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who will give your case all the attention it deserves.

See also:

What Should You Do If There is a Warrant Out For Your Arrest in Los Angeles? 

Am I Eligible for a  Diversion Program in Los Angeles County? 

 

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles?

inne-rpage-seperator

Los Angeles County has a set bail schedule. Yet many who are charged with misdemeanors and non-violent crimes will not have to pay bail.  The California Supreme Court has ruled that the state trial courts must consider an individual’s ability to pay before setting bail, and they can’t set it in an amount a person can’t afford unless they find that there is no way to set release conditions to safely ensure that you will appear in court when the time comes. 

Even if bail is set, you may be eligible for the Bail Deviation Program. This program allows assessors to conduct interviews with inmates via telephone. They then check the inmate’s background and conduct an assessment. If the inmate promises to attend future court appearances they are released, either at a lower bail amount or without having to pay money.

You may have more trouble qualifying for this program if you were charged with a felony drug offense, as statistics show that pretrial misconduct is especially high among this population

The prosecutor may also choose to avoid seeking bail in some cases, and the courts will usually comply with prosecutor recommendations. This could change if a more conservative prosecutor were elected in Los Angeles County. 

Alternative conditions can include cite-and-release, electronic monitoring, or a signed promise to appear. 

If bail is still set and you still can’t pay it you can turn to a bail bondsman. You would pay the bondsman 10% of the bail amount. This is non-refundable. You or your family members will also have to provide the bondsman with collateral. If you fail to appear in court the bondsman will take the collateral. The bail bond company will generally also seek to bring you to court. Failing to appear represents an additional criminal charge. Whether or not a failure to appear becomes a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the initial charge. If you were charged with a misdemeanor failure to appear will be a misdemeanor as well, but it will be a felony if you were charged with a felony.

If you had a valid reason for missing court there are options. If you appear within 180 days of your bail forfeiture and present a reason such as illness, disability, or an arrest in another jurisdiction and have proof of such, the bond can be exonerated. It may sometimes be exonerated in cases of serious mental illness.

Bottom line: while bail may no longer the problem it once was, you must appear in court if you’ve been charged with a crime.

If you have been fortunate enough to secure pretrial release, it is also very important for you to avoid wasting the time. Make sure you make the most of it by reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who will give your case all the attention it deserves.

See also:

What Should You Do If There is a Warrant Out For Your Arrest in Los Angeles? 

Am I Eligible for a  Diversion Program in Los Angeles County? 

 

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