What Does It Mean to Be in Jail With No Bond?
Bail is money that a person posts with the court to be released from jail pending a trial. A person may post bail by:
- Depositing cash with the court
- Signing a bail bond
- Putting up property as bail (property bond)
The California Supreme Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for courts to hold someone in jail on bail solely because they cannot afford bail. Therefore, in Los Angeles county, many people arrested for misdemeanors and non-violent crimes are released on their own recognizance.
Being released on your own recognizance means that you do not have to post bail to be released from jail. However, you must agree to appear at all future court hearings. Furthermore, the judge could add additional conditions for your release.
Some individuals are held in jail without bond. In other words, the court states that they must remain in jail until the final disposition of their case.
There must be clear and convincing evidence that holding someone in jail with no bond is in the public’s best interest. According to California Penal Code §1275(a)(1), public safety is the “primary consideration” when “setting, reducing, or denying bail.”
How Do You Post Bail in a Los Angeles Criminal Case?
After your arrest, a judge determines whether to grant bail based on several factors. The judge considers the seriousness of the alleged crime, your criminal history, your flight risk, the potential risk to the victim, and the public’s best interest.
There are three potential outcomes:
- The judge releases you without bail (O.R. release)
- The judge sets a specific amount for bail
- The judge denies bail
The outcome in your case will depend on the facts, your legal representation, and other considerations.
Released on Your Own Recognizance
Being released on your own recognizance (or an O.R. release) means you do not need to post bail to get out of jail. However, you must agree to appear at all court hearings.
The judge may impose one or more conditions. Conditions that a judge could impose on someone being released without bail include, but are not limited to:
- Travel restrictions so that you cannot leave the county, state, or another specific area
- You may have to surrender your passport
- Restraining order to prevent you from contacting or coming near the alleged victim
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Routine telephone or in-person check-ins
- Attendance at a drug/alcohol treatment program
- GPS electronic monitoring
- Home detention
- Mental health treatment
- Surrender all firearms and weapons to law enforcement officials
If you violate any conditions for an O.R. release, the judge could place you back in jail pending your court hearing or require bail to ensure your future compliance.
Posting Bail in Los Angeles County After an Arrest
If the judge orders bail, you may post the full amount of your bail amount to be released from jail. Generally, the clerk of court or arresting agency accepts cash, money orders, and cashier’s check. Some may accept personal checks or traveler’s checks.
You receive a refund of your cash bail a few months after the court resolves your case if you comply with the terms of bail and appear at all court hearings. However, you forfeit the bail amount if you do not appear for court hearings.
If you do not have the cash to pay for bail, you can post a bail bond. A bail agent (also known as bail bondsmen) posts your bail for you. In exchange, you pay a non-refundable amount to the bail agent.
California law sets a maximum of 10% for a bail agent’s fee. Therefore, if your bail is $100,0000, you would pay the bail agent a non-refundable fee of $10,000 to post bail. Each bail company sets its own fees up to the 10% maximum rate.
A bail bondsmen may also require collateral. They could place a lien on some of your property in addition to charging a fee. If you do not appear for your court hearing, the lien gives the bail agent the right to seize and sell the property to recoup their losses.
Do I Need an Attorney to Post Bond in California?
You do not need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to post bond. However, you should consider hiring a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to help you argue for an O.R. release or lower bail amount.
If you face felony charges or are accused of a violent crime, you need a lawyer working on your behalf to secure your release on bail. Your lawyer can request a bail hearing to argue that you are not a flight risk and you pose no danger to the public if the court releases you from jail pending your court hearing.
Contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm of The Rodriguez Law Group Today For Help
The Rodriguez Law Group – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States