If you are considering bail in California, before you call a bail bond company to get yourself or your loved one out of jail, call a qualified criminal defense attorney. A bail bondsman will gladly take your money, but it may not be money well spent.
A lawyer can tell you if a bail reduction or “own recognizance” (“O.R.”) release is possible. In many cases, an attorney can go into court to get you or your loved one out of jail on an “own recognizance” or “O.R.” release. An “O.R.” release means that you do not have to post any bail. If an O.R. release is not possible, a lawyer may be able to lower the bail amount. In some cases, a lawyer can prevent charges from being filed by the prosecutor, but if you bail out immediately after an arrest, then the money you paid to the bail bondsman is non-refundable, even if no charges are filed. Nobody wants to sit in jail any longer than necessary, but if money is tight and you know you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer, it may be worth waiting a couple of days for your lawyer to talk to police, prosecutors, and the judge.
Good lawyers know good bail bond companies. All too often, criminal defense lawyers get calls from people who have already spent all their money on bail bonds and cannot afford to hire a lawyer. If bail is unavoidable, a good criminal defense lawyer will refer you to reputable bail bond agencies that will work with you on a payment plan to allow you to stay out of jail and still afford an attorney.
Even if you bail out after your arrest, the bail amount can be raised at your first court date. The prosecutor can ask the court to raise your bail once charges are filed. That’s right, you could spend thousands of dollars to be bailed out after an arrest, and then forced to spend thousands more after the first court date. An attorney can advise you about whether or not this will happen and can take steps to prevent this from happening.
If you have questions or are thinking to post bail, do not hesitate to contact criminal defense attorney Jerod Gunsberg in Los Angeles at (323) 633-3423 or get in touch via the secure contact form on this page for a free and confidential consultation.