How Does Bail Work?
If you are ever arrested and detained, one of the first things you may be wondering is, "How do I get out?" Unless the offense you are accused of is minor (a misdemeanor) or you are released of your own recognizance (known as "O.R."), then the answer is most likely by posting bail. The California bail system can be a bit tricky to navigate, but we've broken it down below to help you understand.
In order to post bail, you must have the proper amount of cash on hand, which typically ranges from $10,000 to $100,000. If you are able to pay cash in full, your cash bail will be returned to you as long as you attend all court appearances. Remember, most cases can take a year or longer to resolve, and you will not be able to invest or use the money in any way during that time. According to California Penal Code – Section 1305, if you fail to appear at any court appearances, you will forfeit your cash bail to the court. It's very unlikely that most people will have the amount of money necessary to post bail in their possession, which brings us to the next option ...
If you don't have the proper amount of cash on hand to post bail yourself, you will most likely be employing the assistance of a bail bond agent. A bail bond is a contract between you and a bail bond agent, under which you promise to appear in court when ordered and the agent promises to post bail for you. The bail bondsman usually charges 10% of the bail amount as a non-refundable fee for their service. If you fail to appear in court, the bail bondsman is responsible and forfeits the money to the court. But that means the bail bond agency will have reason to keep tabs on you, and any collateral you posted with the agency will be used to cover the the loss. If you hire an experienced attorney, they can refer you to a reputable bail bond agency and make the process easier for you.
In California, a bill has recently been introduced that proposes abolishing cash bail to help combat an "unequal system of justice based on wealth." But until the bill goes to vote, we're here to assist you with legal counsel and in getting released.
Our legal counsel can help
Are you or a loved one in need of help with bail and looking to hire an attorney for representation in Fresno, California or the surrounding area? The Law Office of Annette T. Smurr can help. With over 30 years experience, Annette will fight for you and present legal defenses that can help you fight the charges. See her Recent Wins, which include cases where defendants received no jail time, probation, and/or recovery programs.
Call today for a free 30-minute consultation.
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Office: (559) 442-7100 | 24/7 Jail Line: (559) 251-4529