Reducing Bail in California: Is It Possible?
Being arrested for a crime is always scary and frustrating. Current California law has a cash bail system that lets most defendants who show up in court stay free in the community with the help of a bail bond.
Most defendants don’t have enough money to pay the full cash bail amount themselves, so they hire a bail bondsman whose job is to post bonds for defendants in exchange for a fee. The bondsman takes the risk that the court will take back the bond if the defendant doesn’t show up or does something else against the terms of their release. Here’s how the process works and how to reduce bail in California:
How California Judges Set Bail
Within 24 hours of an arrest, a court may impose bail based on the arrest warrant for the offender. According to California Penal Code 1275, judges may set bail in accordance with the county’s own timetable, but they may also decide to raise bail at their discretion. A prosecutor’s argument that a defendant poses a danger to the public or that there is potential harm they would inflict on a victim may persuade the judge to set a larger sum.
In general, judges will determine bail depending on the following:
- The defendant’s prior offenses.
- The alleged crimes’ seriousness.
- Whether the accused used a gun or a weapon while committing the crime.
- If there were anything that made it worse.
- Whether the accused poses a flight risk.
- If the accused poses a risk to public safety.
A good bail reduction motion from the defense will take into account both public safety and the risk that the defendant will run away and offer reasonable alternatives to cash bail that will make sure the defendant shows up in court in the future. Some of these alternatives are electronic monitoring and staying at home.
Bail Amounts Based on Criminal Offense
Based on the different felony and misdemeanor charges, some examples of bond amounts are as follows:
- $20,000 for a deadly weapon assault.
- $10,000 for second-degree burglary.
- $5,000 for maltreatment of children.
- $50,000 for unintentional homicide.
- $5,000,00 for homicide.
- $5,000 for sex offenses.
- And $100,000 for stalking.
Bail Reduction in California
During an accused person’s arraignment, California judges may also lower bail. A court will consider the following factors when determining whether to decrease bail:
- The defendant’s earlier offenses (minor to no prior charges may lead to reduced bail)
- The bail-paying capacity of a defendant
- If the accused person is a local
- If a defendant owns a home in a neighborhood.
- If the defendant is an active participant in neighborhood volunteer initiatives, religious organizations, or community projects.
Bail Reduction On Felony Cases in California
Many defendants, especially felony defendants, worry about bond reduction.
Defense attorneys often request a bail reduction or review for their clients facing serious accusations in detention. Setting bail prioritizes public safety and flight risk.
White-collar crimes like fraud and embezzlement pose no risk to public safety, while violent crimes do. The court will also assess if the defendant will flee and not appear in court. You can reduce bail by:
Requesting a Bail Hearing
Your criminal defense counsel may request a bail hearing to reduce the amount of bail. Based on several factors, including whether or not violence was involved and your criminal background, the judge will decide whether to lower bail.
Reducing Your Bail During Arraignment
At your arraignment, bail may be decreased. Your lawyer can claim that you are a first-time offender, have community links, and are not a threat.
A Legal Change in Circumstances
Changes in circumstances can lower bail under California Penal Code Section 1289. Good cause is required to reduce bail. Good cause is a change in circumstances related to the case or procedures against you.
Can You Request For a Bail Reduction After a Bail Hearing?
Judges may reduce bail at arraignments or bail hearings. If your lawyer reduces or drops some charges, a judge may reconsider bail.
This is rare, so talk to a bail bond agency right now. Angel Bail Bonds provides quick, reasonable bail bonds for defendants in California.
Legal Reasons To Ask For a Bail Reduction
Accepting bail conditions in California can lower your bail. Your criminal defense attorney or bail bond agent will determine bail terms based on your situation.
If you comply with bail requirements, a judge may adjust your bond if your counsel is qualified and skilled. The following bail conditions may reduce your bail:
- Limiting international or domestic travel.
- Passport and driver’s license surrender.
- GPS tracker.
- “House arrest” and electronic monitoring to assure compliance.
- SCRAM device use.
Contact Angel Bail Bonds and ask us to guide you with the bail bond options for your loved ones. Our team is ready to help 24/7!