What to Expect at your Bail Hearing

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What to Expect at your Bail Hearing

November 15, 2014

Van Nuys criminal defense attorneysAny person arrested and subsequently charged with a crime in California is entitled to a bail hearing.  Bail is a money payment to the court system that promises the defendant’s appearance at all future court dates. At the bail hearing, the judge will decide what the appropriate bail amount is, and in some cases, the defendant can get released on his or her “own recognizance” (OR), where no bail payment is required.   There are many factors that play into ultimately determining the bail amount.  Having representation from Van Nuys criminal defense attorneys can help to ensure that bail is set at the lowest possible amount.

How Bail is Determined

Bail is initially set based on a schedule.  It can range from a few thousand dollars for some non-violent offenses to millions for drug and murder offenses.  Each county has its own schedule that sets the bail amount for each specific criminal charge.  After being arrested and formally charged, bail will be set based on the schedule, and the defendant has the option of paying that bail without waiting for a bail hearing.  A Van Nuys criminal defense lawyer can visit the defendant in jail and determine if it would be appropriate to wait until a bail hearing before paying the bail.  If the defendant is facing serious charges, and the bail amount is very high and he or she is unable to pay it, having a bail hearing is the only option for reducing the bail.

Skilled Representation at a Bail Hearing

At a bail hearing, the defendant can ask the judge to reduce the bail.  Judges in California are given a great deal of discretion to lower or even raise the bail amount.  The judge can change bail based on the defendant’s criminal history, the seriousness of the crime, how much of a threat the defendant poses to public safety, and any other important information that may sway the judge’s decision. The prosecution will never ask for a reduced bail, so having representation from Van Nuys criminal defense attorneys who understands the bail process is vital to getting a fair bail hearing. For experienced legal counsel regarding your bail hearing, contact El bufete de abogados Mattern at 888-420-8932.

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