Orange County Bail Lawyer
Bail and Own Recognizance (O.R.) Release
Bail must be set no higher than is reasonably necessary to ensure the defendant's
appearance at future court proceedings. It is not intended as a means
to prematurely punish those who have not been convicted of a crime. Notwithstanding,
when determining the appropriate bail, the Court must assume that the
facts alleged by the prosecutor, i.e. in the police report, are true.
Still, any person who has been arrested for or charged with a non-capital
offense is entitled to be released on his or her own recognizance unless
the court makes a finding on the record in accordance with
California Penal Code § 1275 that an "own recognizance" (O.R.) release will compromise public
safety, or will not reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant
as required. If such a finding is made, the court must set bail.
When can an accused get an O.R. release?
Oftentimes a skilled criminal attorney can secure the pre-trial release
of an arrested defendant on his own recognizance, or promise to appear.
In such cases, even where bail has been set by the arresting agency, the
defendant is immediately released with no outlay of money and there is
no need for any bail bond. Other times, a motion for reduction of bail
or O.R. release can be made in court at arraignment, shortly after the
arrest, or at other times during the pendency of the case, as appropriate.
Factors Used in Determining Pre-Trial Release
Two factors are at the heart of every bail review: risk of flight and risk
of danger to the community. Making the motion for bail reduction or O.R.
release serves both to secure the pre-trial release of the defendant,
as well as to humanize him, as part of the overall defense strategy.
Flight Risk - Facts such as the defendant's substantial ties to the community, including
how long and where he resides, works, or attends school, as well as family
ties, his record of past court appearances and lack of prior failures
to appear, all indicate that the defendant is not likely to jump bail
and flee the jurisdiction. Moreover, retention of counsel is a further
important indication that he intends to stay and answer to the charges.
Courts recognize that the fact that someone who hires an attorney is less
likely to flee.
Danger to the Community - Whether or not the defendant poses a risk to the safety of the community
is less a question of the past history of the accused and more a question
of the crime charged. Since the defendant is presumed guilty for the purposes of bail,
violent crimes and multiple
DUIs will concern a Court. In such cases, an offer of some additional conditions
of release, like house arrest or AA meetings, are helpful to dispel the
Generally, the prosecutor need not be given any notice or opportunity to
participate in a decision to grant an O.R. release. The exception to this
rule is that before any person who is charged with certain specified felonies
may be released on his own recognizance, the prosecutor must be given
a two-court day notice and a hearing must be held in open court, at which
the prosecutor is allowed to participate. Even in the most serious cases,
however, there is no need to comply with the two-day notice requirement
if the O.R. release motion is made at the defendant's arraignment,
because it is reasoned that the prosecutor would already be prepared to
address the issue.
Speak with an Orange County Defense Lawyer
A skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney can save a client tens
of thousands of dollars and needless incarceration
after an arrest.