The criminal justice system in California normally requires an arrestee to post bail with the court in order to get released from custody. The primary purpose of requiring bail is to make sure the defendant will appear for their court appearances.
How and when a defendant can post bail after getting arrested in Los Angeles will depend on many different factors.
Of course, there are many situations where a judge will release a defendant without having to actually post a bail, which is commonly known as a release on own their recognizance, or simply an “OR release.”
An own recognizance release is basically a promise by the defendant to attend their court appearances.
Our law firm is frequently asked by defendants and family members how soon can they post bail after getting arrested by police in Los Angeles?
Many others will ask if, not when, their family member can post bail to get released from custody.
Posting bail depends on different factors
The correct answers to these questions will always depend on the following:
- What type of crime defendant was arrested for?
- Where was defendant arrested?
- Who exactly made the arrest?
Also, the amount of bail will always vary depending on the crime and the Los Angeles County bail schedules. The LA County misdemeanor and felony bail schedules will establish the amount for bail for each type of crime.
The judge will normally set bail at the arraignment and they do have some discretion to deviate from the bail schedule.
Factors considered by judge to set bail
The most commons ways to post bail is through a cash bail or bail bond. In considering bail, the criminal court judge will review:
- the details of the case,
- defendant's criminal record, and
- flight risk.
To give readers a better understanding when or if a defendant can post bail after getting arrested for a California crime, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are providing a review below.
What is a No Bail Offense in California?
There are situations when a defendant charge with a crime can't bail out for any amount of money.
There are some cases in Los Angeles where a defendant charge with a crime can't bail out for any amount of money.
This is commonly known as a “no bail” offense which simply means a defendant has to remain in custody until a judge sets an actual bail amount other than no bail. In Los Angeles County criminal courts, the most common reasons for no bail include:
- Probation or parole violations;
- Bench warrants and extradition warrants from another state;
- Serious financial or drug crimes;
- Serious violent crimes, such as murder.
When a defendant is facing large-scale financial or drug crimes, the prosecution could allege the bail funds could come from a tainted source.
What is a Bail Hold Under Penal Code 1275 PC?
California Penal Code 1275.1 states if probable cause exist to suspect the money or property used to post bail could have come from criminal activity, then bail won't be accepted.
In LA criminal courts, this is called a “1275 hold” and can be placed on a defendant by the arresting police officer, a prosecutor, or the judge.
This bail hold defined under PC 1275 can typically be lifted after proof has been presented the bail funds came from a legitimate source.
Can I Post Cash Bail Before the Arraignment?
In Los Angeles, a defendant will typically be able to post a cash bail before they come in front of a judge at their arraignment.
In most criminal cases in Los Angeles, a defendant can post a cash bail before they appear in front of a judge at their arraignment.
Exactly how long it takes before someone can post cash bail depends on how long it will take police to get through the booking process.
Taking fingerprints before posting bail
Anyone who has been arrested must be fingerprinted and searched before they will be allowed to post a bail. The process can take a few hours or most of the day. Fingerprints are used to:
- Identify an arrestee, and
- Search for any outstanding state or federal warrants.
After the booking process has been completed, then the bail process can begin. In most cases, a bail bondsman is used to post bail money as collateral to ensure defendant's appearance in court.
10% fee of the bond amount
The bail bondsman normally takes a 10% fee of the bond amount that is non-refundable. If a defendant fails to appear in court, the funds will be forfeited to the court.
In the rare case where a defendant is able to pay the full cash amount on their own, it's posted in-person at the jail facility.
Some law enforcement agencies will require cash, while others want a cashier's check. Since bail bondsman have experience dealing with most jail facilities, they will know the proper procedures for each facility.
Posting Bail at Defendant's First Court Date
There are cases that are filed by a prosecutor without an actual arrest. These are common complex white collar fraud cases that take a significant amount of time to investigate.
In this type of situation, a defendant can post a bail from court at their first court appearance. This can be accomplished by:
- Prior negotiation between prosecutor and defense lawyer;
- Agreement on stipulated bail amount;
- Elimination of possible tainted bail funding sources.
Typically, a defendant will arrange to have a bail bond agent present at their criminal court arraignment. Their criminal lawyer will ask for the court's permission to have the bail agent remain there who will then post the required bail amount with the bond clerk.
In this manner, it will allow the defendant to get released directly from the courtroom, rather than being required to go through the routine booking process.
However, it should be noted, the prosecutor will frequently require the defendant to be fingerprinted before being released from the court.
In order to make this process faster, some prosecuting agencies are even equipped with the fingerprint scanning machine in the same building where the arraignments are held.
The judge also has the discretion to order what is called a “book and release” from a nearby police station within a certain time frame.
Can I Get a Lower Bail or Own Recognizance Release?
If a defendant is not able to past a cash bail, they must be kept in custody until their first court appearance in front of a judge.
After hearing bail arguments, the judge could lower the amount of bail or release them “own recognizance” without bail.
Once in court, then their criminal defense attorney can make an argument to the judge about getting released. Typically, they will attempt to convince the judge their defendant is:
- Not a danger to the community, and;
- Not flight risk.
After hearing bail arguments from both the defense and prosecution, the judge is allowed discretion to lower the amount of bail or release them “own recognizance” without bail.
It's worth noting, however, that bailing out of jail before the court arraignment has advantages for a defendant because a new arraignment date will be set at a much later date.
Contact Cron, Israels & Stark for Help with Posting Bail
During this break in the case process, a criminal lawyer can prepare and present a prefiling intervention package to police and prosecutors in an attempt to get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed before court.
Contact Cron, Israels & Stark for more information about posting bail and defense against the criminal charges.
If you fail to appear in court after posting bail, you will be facing harsh consequences. You are at risk of forfeiting the entire bail amount to the court and a bounty hunter might come looking for you.
If you or a family member were arrested for allegedly committing a crime, call our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys who can assist you on getting released from custody.
Cron, Israels & Stark is a top-rated criminal defense law representing clients throughout Southern California, including LA County, Ventura County, and the San Fernando Valley.
We are located at 11755 Wilshire Blvd, 15th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025. .