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BAIL HEARING: WHAT TO EXPECT AND MORE

The main goal of bail is to guarantee a safe release from jail before the trial begins. After a maximum of 24 hours of police custody, every arrestee, no matter their citizenship or financial status is entitled to a bail hearing.

In the Court: Usually, this is the first court appearance before the presiding judge or magistrate. Your defense attorney will also be in attendance, along with the prosecutor. The latter recommends an appropriate bail amount to the judge during the session.

  • Following this, the defense can suggest suitable bail amounts for the alleged offense. Finally, after hearing both sides, the judge determines the bail to be posted. They have the power to prescribe what type and amount of bail are suitable.
  • A bail amount is set at a hearing based on previously set values of a bail schedule. Despite there being an official San Diego bail schedule, most presiding officials use specific circumstances to decide the bail amount. An experienced bail bonds San Diego agent will post the entire bail with only 10% as the bond fee.

Appeal for Reduction: Now, the bailee can make oral applications for reduction of the scheduled amount. As the hearings conclude very quickly, an oversight on the judge’s part can result in excessive bail.

  • Most importantly, the law prioritizes public safety as the primary factor. Other factors considered are the seriousness of the alleged crime, existing warrants, family ties in the area, steady employment, property, prior criminal records, and history of substance abuse.
  • As substance abuse and flight risk are considered crucial factors, it is necessary to avoid these complications to prevent trouble with the law. Getting arrested after the bail hearing could result in additional bail or cancellation of bail options altogether.
  • One can request further bail reduction or bail review hearing in exceptional circumstances. However, there are virtually no legal guidelines for the same.

Know Your Rights: Before signing a contract, a document is provided outlining the client’s rights and crucial information about the process. Furthermore, a copy of this Consumer Bill of Rights and the signed contract has to be provided to the bailee.

  • It is illegal to charge extra service-related fees. California mandates 10% of the bail amount to be paid as a premium. Do not pay for additional charges disguised as “check-in fee” or “courier fee”.
  • Multiple payments are illegal under California law. An agent is entitled to a single payment for one contract. Discounts on the bond fee are permitted for clients at the agent’s discretion.
  • Depending on your income, collateral is required. You have the right to know the name and license number of the agent and negotiate the contract. You should also receive in writing the conditions of the return of your collateral.

No matter how high the bail amount is, there is a reasonable limit the court should follow. The bondsman will take care of the bail application, from filling out paperwork to ensuring your unconditional release within a few hours. After your trial, the court issues a Certificate of Discharged Bond to exonerate the bond. The collateral is returned regardless of the judgment.

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