BEFORE YOU POST BAIL

Things you should consider before posting bail
 While it is hard having a friend or a loved one incarcerated, and while the first thing you can think of is to bail them out and get them out of jail, in many cases it would be in his/her best interest both financially and otherwise to consult with an attorney first.

In many instances, a person who is arrested wants to be released but really needs to speak with an attorney, and almost always there is no money to hire an attorney once bail is posted. Consulting with an attorney before you post bail is the best thing you can do for yourself or your loved one.

A skilled attorney might be able to secure the release of the arrested person on their own promise to appear in court (own recognizance release) WITHOUT ANY BAIL. This can save you and your family a lot of money. In some cases, an attorney might only be able to reduce the amount of bail instead of removing bail altogether, nevertheless, you or your loved one will be in a better position regardless.

In certain counties such as Orange county, there are 24-hour Detention Release Officers or DRO's who make bail decisions/recommendations. In most cases, arrested individuals are eligible for bail however in certain cases such as facing a felony probation violation or a parole violation there is usually a "no bail hold" on the defendant. In certain cases involving people with questionable immigration status there might be an "immigration hold" placed by ICE so that he/she can not bail out.
 
The amount of bail is set by the judge, bail magistrate or DRO according to a Bail Schedule adopted in the designated county. There are minor differences in each county therefore Los Angeles County has it's own bail schedule and Orange County has it's own bail schedule. These schedules have a listing of each crime and their corresponding recommended pail amount.

Many times an attorney might decide to postpone bailing out an arrestee simply to have a chance to argue for reduction of bail to the Court which many times will consider the nature of the charges, the circumstances of arrest, the person's flight risk and his/her level of threat to society upon release. Many times hiring a private attorney will signal to the Court that the accused does not have a high risk of flight because naturally, people who pay an attorney to defend them in court are much less likely to take flight then those who appear without private counsel.

In general, misdemeanor bail amounts range from anywhere in between $5,000 to $25,000 for each count depending on the type of charges. Felony bail amounts usually range between $25,000 to $100,000 and can be as high as $1,000,000.00 for serious crimes.

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