Bail is a means by which a person can be released from jail pending his or her Court date. Pursuant to California Law, a person is entitled to bail on all crimes with the notable exception of capital murder. The amount of Bail in any given case is set by local County officials and is known as a presumptive bail schedule. The presumptive bail is what law enforcement use to determine how much will be required in any given case. In a domestic violence case for example in Los Angeles County, the bail amount for a charge of PC 273.5 is $50,000, this amount can be raised or "enhanced" if particular circumstances exist such as great bodily injury, prior strike convictions etc. A lawyer can be instrumental in having bail lowered from its presumptive amount or, in many cases have bail eliminated altogether and see to it that the client is released on his or her own recognizance.
A release on ones "own recognizance", also known as "O.R." release is accomplished by filing a motion with the Court hearing the criminal charges. This method of jail release is very desirable due to the fact the individual will not be required to post any type of money bond, rather he or she simply promises to return to Court when ordered. This "promise to appear" can be in writing or oral. The factors considered by the judge when evaluating whether a person is a suitable candidate for O.R. include: how long the person has lived in the area, the criminal record or lack thereof, any prior failures to appear, and ties to the community such as property ownership, family, and employment.
Another method utilized by attorneys is a motion to reduce bail. The amount bail can be reduced depends on many of the same factors that are considered in a motion to be released OR, in addition the Court will strongly consider the facts of the particular charges including whether violence was used and any other aggravating factors. The primary concern for any Judge being asked to lower bail is whether the person seeking the reduction is a danger to the community. This question of "public safety" usually overrides all other considerations. Indeed, the California Penal Code has made it expressly clear that the safety of the public is paramount when deviating a person's bail from the presumptive amount. Secondly, is whether the petitioner is a flight risk, in other words, if released will the person show up for Court? Indicators such as the person's ties to the community weigh heavy in the Court's mind when evaluating this request.
Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Ruff has secured the release of many clients over the last fifteen years of his practice. Having a lawyer on board early in the case is key to obtaining a quick release from custody and can result in the savings of thousands of dollars if bail can be reduced or avoided through the use of an "O.R." release. With offices in Los Angeles County, in Torrance and in Kern County, Bakersfield, Matthew Ruff can guide you through the complicated and confusing process of getting a loved one released from jail following a criminal arrest. Contact the office toll free for a discreet consultation directly with the attorney at 1-877-213-4453.