Brian A. Vogel - Attorney at Law - Ventura County
At the Law Offices of Brian A. Vogel, PC, we will make every effort
to secure your release as quickly and inexpensively as possible under
the circumstances presented by your particular case. Call 805-654-0400
for more information and assistance in securing release from jail
on your own recognizance or lowering the amount of your bail if you
are incarcerated in the Ventura County Jail, Todd Road Jail, Santa
Barbara Jail, or Van Nuys jail. Securing your release is usually
the first issue to be addressed after an arrest.
BAIL OR RELEASE FROM JAIL
California, a person accused of a crime has both statutory and
regarding bail. The purpose of bail is to ensure
the defendant's appearance in court. While most police officers and
on call magistrates will initially set bail at a pre-determined bail
schedule based upon the charges for which the defendant was arrested,
this (usually high) bail amount can be lowered in a number of ways.
For example, the District Attorney may be persuaded to file lesser
charges or fewer counts, which would result in a lower bail setting
at the arraignment. Further, at the arraignment, a judge will decide
whether to set bail at the schedule, set bail at a lower amount,
or release the defendant on his or her promise to appear, (release
on his or her "own recognizance" or "OR"). In
making this decision, the judge will consider several factors including,
but not limited to: public safety, the nature and seriousness of
the offense charged, the defendant's prior criminal history including
prior failures to appear in court, the defendant's ties to the community
including how long he or she has lived in the jurisdiction, family
ties to the jurisdiction, the location and length of employment,
and whether he or she owns any property in the jurisdiction.
In general, there are four ways to make bail or be released from
jail pre-trial. You should consult with a lawyer regarding the best
approach in the particular case. Considerations will include the
cost, how important it is to obtain immediate release, and the likelihood
of an acquittal or dismissal of the charges or the possibility of
having to serve additional time in custody later. The actual legal
rules regarding bail or pre-trial release from jail vary in each
jurisdiction. For this reason alone, you should talk to a lawyer
familiar with the practices in the jurisdiction in which you are
incarcerated. However, there are some general concepts that are fairly
common in California state cases.
1. Own Recognizance
Release: A person may be released from the jail after booking or may be
considered for an "OR" release.
Some jails have a unit with staff present who will evaluate a person
for OR release or bail reduction. This process may take a few hours
or, sometimes, days. Sometimes the release can only occur after a
Judge has ruled on the OR or bail reduction. Depending on the jurisdiction
and the circumstances of the case, a slight delay in release may
be well-advised in order to avoid the posting of bail or a bail bond.
In other jurisdictions or under other circumstances, waiting for
an OR or bail reduction determination could result in needless additional
days spent in jail.
Either the Court or the staff acting on the Court's orders can impose
conditions on an OR release such as reporting regularly, staying
within the jurisdiction, surrendering a passport or other conditions.
2. Bail Bond: The person arrested or the friends or family of that
person may contact a bail bond agent and arrange for a corporate
surety (a bail bond). While many bailbond companies and the people
employed by them are knowledgeable about the issues affecting the
setting of bail, they are generally powerless to affect the amount
in which bail is set and can only post a bond in the amount that
the authorities have set. Bailbond companies make their money by
agreeing to post the full amount of the bail bond in exchange for
a "premium" or fee which is often as much as ten percent
of the full amount of the bail. THE BAILBOND COMPANY KEEPS THE
PREMIUIM even if the defendant makes all of his court appearances
and his case is resolved without a failure to appear. Bailbond
companies do not post bonds for free. Security is generally required
for the total amount of the bail. If there are no holds or restrictions
on release such as a parole hold or an immigration hold, the person
will usually be released within a few hours of the posting of the
bond. Generally, as long as the person makes all court appearances,
the bond will be discharged at the end of the case. If the person
does not appear, the bond will be forfeited and the person or the
friends or family arranging for it may be liable to the bond company
for the full amount of the bail. Carefully read any contract that
you make with a bailbond company BEFORE you sign it!
Only an attorney should advise the defendant his or her family members
as to how to lower the bail or arrange for an OR release. Only an
attorney can arrange for real property (real estate or other valuable
property) to be used as collateral for bail. If the defendant or
familymember posts the entire amount of the bail, he or she will
receive back the entire amount of the bail posted at the conclusion
of the case.
3. Cash Bail: The
person arrested or his or her friends or family can post cash with
the jail in the amount of the bail. Usually this
has to be in the form of actual cash or a cashier's check. There
are some jurisdictions which will allow the use of a credit card.
If cash bail has been posted, it will all be returned to the person
posting it at the end of the case as long as the person arrested
has made all of his or her court appearances and followed all orders
of the Court. On the other hand, if the person arrested does not
appear in court, the cash will be forfeited to the Court.
4. Property in
Lieu of Bail: It is generally possible to post real
property in lieu of bail. Depending on the jurisdiction, this usually
requires proving that the person posting the property has equity
of more than two times the amount of bail. This procedure generally
requires proof of title, (a title report), proof of encumbrances
and court approval. The procedure generally takes time and is usually
appropriate in high bail cases where a person is willing to spend
a few days in jail pending the Court's approval.
At the Law Offices of Brian A. Vogel, PC, we will act quickly to
secure your release as soon as possible. Call (805) 654-0400 for
more information and assistance in securing release from jail on
your promise to appear or in lowering the amount of your bail, or
in arranging to pledge property in lieu of bail.
Brian A. Vogel - Attorney at Law - Ventura County
Square Drive, Suite 104
Ventura, CA 93003
your right to the effective assistance of counsel.
The right lawyer can make all the difference.