Do You Need to Post Bail in San Diego?
Why You Would Need to Post Bail
If someone has been arrested in California, they can be held in jail until they are either released on their own recognizance or they post a bail amount. The bail amount is determined by the charges alleged and also by the criminal history of the accused. For instance, if the accused has prior strike offense convictions, their bail will be increased by $75,000. Bail is cash or its equivalent (real estate) that the court accepts in exchange for letting a defendant remain out of custody until the criminal case is concluded.
The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant makes all his or her required court appearances. The U.S. Constitution prohibits the imposition of bail as a punishment or the imposition of excessive bail amounts. There is no right to bail where the accused is charged with a capital crime and in cases where the judge determines there is a substantial likelihood of harm. However, every person accused of a crime does have the right to request and be granted a bail review hearing.
San Diego County has a standardized Bail Schedule that lists the bail amounts for all charges and enhancements. There are situations where law enforcement or the prosecutor can request the judge increase the standard bail amount. Bail increase requests are usually done when the prosecutor believes the defendant poses a flight risk or a danger to the community.
There are two ways you can post bail in San Diego:
- Pay the entire amount in cash or a check
- Use a bail bondsman (at a cost of 8% to 10% of the total bail amount)
California bail schedules can be found on line for the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura. The San Diego Bail schedules can be found on this website:
The Law Office of Gregory Garrison and our team of legal professionals can can guide you through the process, represent you at a bail hearing, and fight to have you released without posting bail.
A bail bond is an agreement between the bail bondsman and the government whereby the bail bandsman agrees to pay the entire bail amount if the defendant fails to appear for his or her court appearances. The defendant is released from custody once the bond is posted. The defendant must fulfill the conditions of the bond by appearing at each hearing that the court orders him or her to appear. If the defendant fails to fulfill the conditions, the bond company is then required to pay the court the entire bail amount.
Bail bond companies usually charge a non-refundable fee of 8% to 10% of the total bail amount to post a bond with the court.
For example, if the judge sets bail at $25,000, the bail bondsman will charge you $2,500 to post bail.
There are drawbacks to using a bail bondsman. The cost of obtaining the bail bond alone can drain your financial resources preventing you from obtaining experienced legal representation. Also, if your case is dismissed, the fee you pay the bail bondsman is non-refundable. Additionally, if your case continues on for an extended period of time, you may be required to pay additional fees as a bail bond may only remain valid for a limited time. Consulting an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney before posting a bond can help you make the best strategic decision for your case.
Bail bondsmen are not lawyers. They cannot represent you in court.
The bail bondsman does not represent your legal interests. Their primary purpose is to make money by collecting a fee in order to bail you out of custody. They will not have an understanding of the charges you are facing or the underlying facts of your case. The Law Office of Gregory Garrison will provide you with the assistance of experienced defense attorneys who can help you in the following ways:
Obtaining an OR Release: Your first court hearing, called an arraignment, will normally occur within 48 hours of your arrest for a felony. We will argue to the arraignment judge that you are suitable for an OR release. Convincing the judge that you will make your future appearances and informing them of your lack of or minimal criminal history are paramount in obtaining an OR release. Also important to the judge is your employment and whether you have strong community ties. If the judge grants you an OR release, you will not have to post bail.
Obtaining a Bail Reduction: Often the arresting agency will request and be granted a higher bail than the bail schedule calls for. If this occurs, we can argue for a lower bail amount that is in line with the San Diego Superior Court Bail Schedule. The judge is required by law consider public safety, the seriousness of the alleged offense, your criminal history, and the likelihood of your appearing for future court hearings in making the determination to lower your bail amount.
Referring You to the Right Bail Bondsman: Some bail bondsman charge a 10% flat fee while others only charge an 8% flat fee of the total bail amount. Additionally, some bail bond companies in the San Diego area have proven easier to work with. We can refer you to the bail bond companies that will charge you less than the traditional 10% and prove to be easier to work with.
Keeping the Bail from Increasing: In some cases, at the first hearing, the judge may increase a defendant’s bail at the request of the prosecutor. The prosecutor is required to make a good cause showing and will usually argue that public safety is at risk or the defendant is a flight risk. If the defendant is unable to post the additional bail, the judge can then have the defendant taken into custody. We can often prevent this increase in bail from occurring.
Our Firm Can Help You Get Out of Jail
At the Law Office of Gregory Garrison, our experienced criminal defense attorneys know what options are available when it comes to posting bail or gaining your release from custody. This will often depend on the client’s individual circumstances, however, we regularly secure our client’s release without posting bail. This allows the client to then use those financial resources to effectively defend their case.
We have a thorough understanding of the bail process in San Diego County. We have working relationships with judges, prosecutors, court personnel and the bail bond companies themselves. We strive to get our clients released from jail as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Call the Law Office of Gregory Garrison today at 619-615-4216 and let us determine what your legal options are in getting released from custody.
Call the Law Office of Gregory Garrison to speak to a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer. We offer a free consultation, during which we will answer your questions about posting bail and other options for getting released from custody. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown San Diego only two blocks from the San Diego County jail. Contact our office today and we can put our decades of experience to work for you immediately.
Contact a San Diego criminal defense attorney if you need to post bail, are facing a bail hearing, or are trying to obtain an OR release from custody. The Law Office of Gregory Garrison knows how to represent you and fight for your rights in court.