How Bail Is Set In California
Bail amounts are set on a county to county basis, in California. Each county sets its own “bail schedule,” on an annual basis. Even though bail amounts generally don’t fluctuate too much, each county still adheres to the setting of the bail schedule. It is a fact that California has the highest bail amounts in the entire country, with Orange County, and Los Angeles County leading the way, and in fact being the actual highest anywhere in the nation. This is why it is very important for people who have been arrested in California, to find a very good bail bonds agency.
Bail is always set by a Judge, and a set of criteria is always followed. Public safety is usually always at the top of the list, and they will determine this by both the severity of the crime, and what, if any, previous criminal history. It stands to reason that the more severe the crime, the higher the bail is going to be. Another factor that the Judge will take into consideration is if the defendant happens to be a repeat offender. Again, this will attract a much higher bail, or perhaps not receive one at all. Likelihood of actually returning to court is also taken into consideration. If the Judge feels that the circumstances indicate it is a low probability, the bail will be higher.
Bail can sometimes be altered by a Judge, at the arraignment. There may be occasions where a defendant, or even their family would rather the defendant went to court instead of being bailed out immediately in the hope that the bail will be reduced. A Judge has the power to leave the bail as it is, release the defendant on their own recognizance, lower the bail, raise the bail, or even deny bail all together. Anytime a defendant goes before a Judge without being bailed out, there is an element of risk. Certainly, the bail may be lowered, but the possibility also exists of the bail going up or being completely denied.
Seeking out the services of a good bail bonds firm, is always a very good idea, however, beware of any bail bondsman or attorney who guarantees that bail will be granted. No one but the Judge is able to make this determination.