If you have been arrested for any type of crime, you may be eligible to be released on bail. In order to “post” bail, a defendant in a criminal case must give cash or property with cash value to the court as a form of insurance that he/she will stick around until the court hearing or trial. If you show up for court as planned, the court will return the bail money. If you fail to appear at court, the court will retain your cash or property and issue a warrant for your arrest.
At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, our experienced defense lawyers have successfully defended countless Orange County clients against criminal charges. If you have been charged with a crime, we can also help you understand and better facilitate the bail process. Contact us today at 855-918-4253 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Getting released on bail can happen relatively quickly following an arrest, but you may have to spend a few days in jail if you are unable to see a judge immediately. This is often the case on weekends. If the judge grants bail, you will have to come up with the funds to cover it.
What if I Don’t Have the Money?
In reality, many people don’t enough cash or property with cash value to cover their own bail. Although the eighth amendment holds that bail amounts cannot be excessive, it is not uncommon for judges to set prohibitively high bail amounts, especially in cases involving violent crimes and drug trafficking. In these cases, flight risk tends to be quite high, giving judges the ability to justify high bail amounts. Even when bail is set at a reasonable amount, the defendant may be unable to afford it. As such, many defendants must get a friend or family member to post bail on their behalf, or they must purchase a bail bond.
If you have been charged with a crime and need to post bail, there is a good chance you may need to purchase a bond from a bail bondsman. Generally speaking, you will pay the bondsman approximately 10 percent of the total bail amount. To illustrate, if your bail is $10,000, you will pay $1,000. If it’s $100,000, you will pay $10,000. The bondsman may also require some type of additional collateral, such as your vehicle).
If you show up for court as planned, the full amount of your bail will probably be returned (minus whatever you paid to purchase it and some administrative fees). If you do not show up for court, the bondsman can keep your collateral and will likely hunt you down. The moral of this story is—if you purchase a bail bond, show up for court. And don’t buy a bail bond unless you absolutely need to.
Released on Your Own Recognizance
Bail usually requires payment in the form of cash or check, a bond, or signing over rights to personal property. But in some cases, the defendant may qualify to be released on his/her own recognizance (O.R.). This occurs in low-flight risk situations and simply requires the defendant to sign a statement promising to appear in court at the scheduled date. If this option is available to you, take it.
If you think you might qualify, you may have to request O.R. at your first court appearance. If the judge denies your request, you can still ask to have the total bail amount lowered. An experienced Orange County defense lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible for O.R. and position you for a favorable decision from the judge. Although there is no hard-and-fast list of requirements for O.R., the following factors can greatly improve your chances of qualifying by showing that you are not a flight risk:
- You have close family members living nearby;
- You were born and raised in the local community;
- You have a job in the community;
- You do not have a serious criminal history;
- You have always showed up for court in the past.
Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian Today
If you are facing criminal charges in Orange County, the skilled legal team at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals who have been charged with crimes for more than 16 years, and we have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Don’t make the mistake of thinking any defense attorney will do. Having a conviction on your criminal record—even if it’s for something seemingly minor—can come back to haunt you for years into the future, even for a lifetime. Don’t go through this difficult process without skilled legal counsel. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.