Being thrown in jail is one of the more frightening experiences in life, and trying to get out of jail can quickly become a nightmare. In some cases, the only way that you can be released from jail is by posting bail. "Bail" is the term used to describe the money you post with the court in order to be released until your future court appearance. If your accusations aren't that serious or if you don't have a previous criminal record, the judge may choose to release you on your own recognizance (called an O.R. release). This means that you can avoid posting bail by simply promising that you will attend your court appearances.
When you understand the bail process and what is involving with posting bail, you will be more adequately prepared to handle a criminal arrest and what follows. Bail amounts vary from county to county depending on your criminal charges, but people who are accused of the following crimes are not entitled to be released on bail in Orange County:
- Capital Crimes (I.e. murder with special circumstances) if facts are evident or the presumption great.
- Felony crimes involving the act of violence on another person, if facts are evidence or presumption is great, and the court finds that there is a substantial likelihood that your release would result in great bodily harm to others based on clear evidence.
- Felony offenses when the facts are evident or the presumption is great, and if the court finds based on clear evidence that you have threatened another with great bodily harm and there is a likeliness you will carry out the threat if released.
If you are eligible for bail, you will have three options: cash bail, property bond or bail bond. Cash bail may be applied towards the fine by depositing the full amount with the court clerk, and you may be able to pay by traveler's check, cash, money order, personal check, or a bank cashier's check. Additionally, you will receive a full refund of this money if you attend all of your court appearances. Failure to appear means that you forfeit your money to the court.
Bail bonds are the most common means used to post bail because many people do not have enough money to post cash bail. In order to obtain a bail bond, you go through a bail bondsman (also called a bail agent) who will post your bail in exchange for a non-refundable premium. California law states that this premium has a maximum of 10%, which means that you will pay the bondsman $4,000 if your total bail is $40,000. This process of obtaining a bail bond is quick and usually takes around 20 minutes, and your attorney may be able to get you a discount.
The least common method used to post bail is a property bond. This essentially means that you allow the court to place a lien on your property and the court has the right to institute foreclosure proceedings if you fail to appear for court. Before you make a decision, it is important to run through your options with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has handled cases like yours. Here at The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, Attorney Goodman and her legal team have an impressive record of success in Orange County courtrooms for a variety of cases.
Once your case is resolved, the court will release your bail if any of these circumstances apply:
- Your case is concluded
- You are declared incompetent to stand trial
- You are committed into custody following an adverse verdict
- You are ordered to take a drug diversion program
Contact our firm today for specifics about your case and to learn what you should expect during the bail process.