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Santa Barbara Bail Lawyer

Posting Bail

Once there has been an arrest, the first priority is to get out of custody immediately. Your first reaction may be to post bail. Bail is money or other security deposited with the court to insure that you will appear – it is set by a schedule in each county. The police often set a high amount of bail. A judge can lower bail. The first opportunity to ask a judge to lower the bail for someone in custody normally occurs at the arraignment, usually within 48 hours after the arrest. When you are taken to court for bail setting or release, the judge will consider the seriousness of the offense you are charged with, any prior failures to appear (even for traffic tickets) your prior record, your connections to the community, as well as the probability that you will appear in court. The amount of bail is set according to a written schedule based on your charges. The law presumes you are guilty of the charges for the purposes of setting the bail or release.

Bail bondsmen typically charge ten percent of the total bond they are required to put up for your release. In other words, if the bail is $100,000, a bondsman will charge $10,000 for putting up the bail. That fee is generally non-refundable, even if the bail is reduced at a later time.

If you are planning to bail yourself or someone else out of jail, first retain an aggressive and skillful Santa Barbara criminal attorney to argue for a bail reduction. If your attorney can get the bail lowered, or convince the judge to release you without posting bail, the savings can be substantial. By investigating and verifying community ties, such as steady employment, good family relationships, long term residence in the community, attendance at school, etc., the attorney can demonstrate to the judge that the defendant is a low flight-risk and does not pose a danger to the community. Instead of paying bail, your attorney may convince the judge to release you from custody on your own recognizance (OR) or promise to appear. This means that you do not have to pay bail because the judge believes that you will show up for your court.

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