One of the first tasks a criminal defense attorney has is to help clients get out of jail! Clients’ family members call in a panic and an experienced criminal attorney can and will make arrangements to have their client released. Bail is simply an insurance policy that you will appear at the court hearings and will not abscond and become a fugitive. Bail is usually posted by a bail bond company that you pay an 8 to 10% premium of the bail amount. For example, if your total bail amount is $10,000 dollars, then you will pay a bail bond company $800 to $1,000 dollars along with collateral for them to post the bond for you to be released from custody. Once paid, you do not recover the money paid to the bondsmen for the premium.
However, you can post your own cash bail or property bond in the total amount of the bail and it will be returned to you in full after your case is resolved and the court exonerates the bond. In San Diego, the return of the bail money takes six to eight weeks. You may also use the cash bail to pay off any fines or restitution. If you flee the jurisdiction and don’t appear in court, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and the bond company will send a bounty hunter to locate you and return you to custody.
The amount of bail is set by a bail schedule based upon the seriousness of the charges filed against you unless your criminal attorney is able to persuade the court to reduce the bail amount, release you on your own recognizance with a promise to appear or on a supervised release under the supervision of the probation pretrial services where you check in daily either in person or via telephone. The prosecution may request the judge to increase the bail amount above the bail schedule if he believes you are a flight risk or a danger to the community. A formal bail review hearing may be had where the judge hears evidence and testimony on your ties to the community and your criminal history.
San Diego Superior Court Bail Schedule (PDF)
The criminal defense attorneys in my firm have extensive experience at bail hearings persuading judges to either release my clients on their own recognizance (O.R), supervised O.R. or reducing their bail amount below the bail schedule so my clients could post bail and be released from custody. Please contact a criminal defense attorney in my firm if you need help in posting bail for yourself, family member or friend who is in custody in San Diego, Riverside or Orange Counties.