Obtaining your freedom upon an arrest might be more challenging than you think. In some cases, the police may release you to go home upon an arrest if the alleged charge is a misdemeanor and non-violent offense after signing an agreement to appear in court later for trial.
However, if the accused’s charge is a violent offense or a felony, you will have to post bail to obtain your release from jail, pending the trial hearing. Bail is typically the monetary amount the police or court presiding over your case will require you to post or pay to ensure your availability to defend the alleged case during future court hearings.
In most cases, the bail amount the court will order you to pay will be high and unaffordable. However, you don't have to remain in jail as your case continues because you cannot raise the required bail amount. That's where discreet bail bond dealers at Bail Bonds step in to develop an immediate cause of action to help you secure your freedom upon an arrest in Lake Forest, Orange County.
Determining Your Ideal Bail Amount
Upon an arrest in Lake Forest, the arresting police officer will put you in handcuffs and drive you to the nearest police station or jail for a booking process where he/she will:
- Take your fingerprints
- Take your mugshots
- Check your criminal history
- Record your legal names, age, and details of the allegations you are up against
- Confiscate your jewelry and other personal stuff, including clothes and shoes
- Check your body for weapons or any contraband goods.
After this procedure, the police officer will most likely place you in a detainment hall or transfer you to the nearest county jail as you wait for the arraignment hearing. Whether or not you're the right candidate to post/pay bail and the amount you may have to post for your case is a question many defendants ask themselves when they are in trouble with the law.
Under the law, you have a legal right to post bail upon an arrest because you are not yet guilty of the accused offense. At the bail proceeding/hearing, which typically occurs at the arraignment, the court will consider the facts listed below when deciding your appropriate bail amount:
- Whether or not you're a threat or danger to the victim and the community at large
- Whether or not you're a "flight risk."
- Your criminal background
- The sophistication of the allegations you're up against
- Whether or not you have family that depends on you
- Your type of employment
- Your ties or connections in the neighborhood or community
The bail amount the court will schedule during this proceeding could mean a difference between incarceration and freedom before the alleged case's verdict. If you already have an attorney in your corner during this first court hearing, he/she can raise mitigating arguments to persuade the judge to dismiss or lower your bail.
Under certain circumstances, the judge may dismiss your bail and permit you to secure your release through a pretrial relief option known as Own Recognizance release (OR). If the judge grants you this pretrial release option, you should hop on it without hesitation since paying cash bail is often impossible for most defendants.
Applicable Ways to Lower Your Scheduled Bail Amount
If you are uncomfortable with the scheduled bail amount, your attorney might help you convince the judge to reduce or lower it through any of the following possible ways:
Apply for Bail Reduction at the Arraignment
Your attorney can file a petition to lower your bail amount at your first court appearance. In doing so, he or she will provide evidence and arguments relating to the relevant facts, for example:
- Your history of showing up in court after pretrial release
- Your ties with your neighborhood
- The seriousness of the allegations you are up against
- The safety of your neighborhood or community
File a Written Petition Showing a Change in Circumstances
According to Penal Code (PC) 1289, the court can reduce your scheduled bail amount following a change in circumstances related to the alleged charge. Often the court is reluctant to reduce bail for a felony or violent offenses unless he/she finds a good cause, for example:
- You are not subject to new offenses
- There is a significant change in circumstances or facts surrounding the alleged charge, for example, new evidence.
Therefore, in your motion to lower your bail, your defense attorney will attach pieces of evidence to prove the above facts for the best possible outcome. Your scheduled bail amount isn't a punishment for the alleged charge, and the law prohibits judges from setting excessive bails.
If you think your scheduled bail amount is unreasonably high, you can request the judge to reduce it during your initial court hearing (bail hearing) with the help of your attorney.
How to Pay Your Bail
When the judge makes the final decision on your appropriate bail amount for the accused offense, you should post the full amount to the court's clerk without delay to secure your freedom. Below are applicable and common ways you or a family member or perhaps a friend can pay your bail if you're in trouble with the law for an alleged offense in Lake Forest:
Posting a cash bail is one of the ways you can secure your release on bail upon an arrest in Lake Forest. Typically, depending on the sophistication of your case and the local rules of the courthouse, you might be able to pay bail using a cheque or money order if you do not have the necessary cash at hand.
Since bail is usually expensive and criminal charges come as a surprise, paying the required cash bail is often challenging for most people behind bars on suspicion of committing an offense. If you don't have money to post the scheduled cash bail for your specific case, your friend or relative can do so on your behalf.
When your friend agrees to pay the full bail amount on your behalf, he/she will be responsible for your oncoming court appearances to counter the allegations against you. When you skip bail or refuse to show up in court after paying bail, the court will forfeit your cash bail and order a re-arrest. That means your friend will lose his/her money to the court when you choose to skip bail.
Suppose you are "broke" and cannot raise the necessary cash bail. In that case, the court might also authorize you or a family member to give up collateral/property as security for your freedom before the judgment of your case.
Typically, the monetary worth of the collateral you'll use as security/surety for your freedom must be double the amount of your required total bail. Here are examples of acceptable properties or assets you might use to obtain your freedom on bail:
- Real estate
The most popular way to bail out a loved one following an arrest in Lake Forest is through a bail bond after paying a 10% fee of the scheduled bail amount to a bail bondsman. The services of a bail bond agent will come in handy if you're under arrest and cannot find a way to pay the total scheduled bail amount to obtain your deserved release from jail.
Generally, the agent will enter into a formal contract or agreement with the court promising to post your bail if you decide to flee after obtaining your freedom. That means the bail bondsman is entirely responsible for your oncoming court appearances after posting your bail bond.
Because the agent will put his/her money at stake to ensure you're out of police custody, they may want valuable collateral from you or your co-signer (your friend or relative). The collateral they may want you to provide could be an asset/property, like a yacht, to ensure that you will not disappear after your release on bail.
What You Need to Know as a Co-Signer in a Bail Bond Agreement
When you choose to help a friend obtain his/her release in the event of an arrest by working with a bail bond agent, you might want to know your responsibilities as a co-signer in his/her bail bond. Below are facts you need to beware of as a co-signer in a bail bond agreement:
- If the defendant decides to flee, you will be accountable for his/her full bail amount
- Should your friend (defendant) skip bail, you may have to surrender your property to the agent or pay his/her full bail amount
- You have the authority to ensure his/her availability in court and compliance with the required bail conditions
As you can see above, there are many risks associated with being a co-signer in any bail bond agreement when your friend is in jail for any alleged offense. To reduce these risks, you may want to do the following before his/her case final verdict:
- Make surprise visits at his/her place or call him/her daily to know what he/she is up to or doing
- Before you sign the bail bond agreement, you should read it keenly and understand its conditions. Ensure your agent or bail bondsman relevant questions if you need some more clarification on the agreement
- If you barely know the defendant or perhaps you don't trust him/her, you might not want to take the responsibility of being a co-signer in his/her bail bond.
- Call his/her workplace or employer regularly to know whether or not he or she is showing up for work.
What to Anticipate When You Miss a Court Appearance After Securing Your Release on Bail
When you obtain your deserved freedom by posting bail, you must comply with the required bail conditions and requirements until your case is over. Otherwise, should you violate any requirement of your pretrial release, the judge presiding over your case will order a bench warrant, allowing the officers to re-arrest you.
Since the agent has their money at stake, they will work with a trained bounty hunter to trace your whereabouts for a re-arrest. If you're a co-signer in a bail bond agreement, you will be liable for the fees and additional costs the agent incurs to trace the defendant, for example, the bounty hunter fees.
Upon a re-arrest for skipping bail, the judge will not give you another opportunity to post bail. You will stay in jail without bail before the final judgment of the alleged case. To avoid these repercussions, you should abide by the requirements of your release. After your case's verdict, the court will give you back your property or cash bail.
Bail Conditions That You Must Comply With After Securing Your Freedom
There are many conditions or requirements the court may want you to adhere to after obtaining or securing your freedom on bail, including:
- Consent to wearing a GPS or electronic tracking device
- Surrender your passport and driving license
- Consent to regular drug tests, especially if the case you are up against is drug-related or a felony
- Stay away from the victim or eyewitnesses of the alleged offense
- Enroll in a treatment program
The conditions the judge will require you to comply with for this pretrial release option will typically depend on the unique facts of your case.
Lake Forest Courthouses and Jails Addresses
The information listed below will come in handy if you're on a mission to help a friend secure a release from jail using the services of a bail bondsman:
Old Orange County Courthouse
Central Justice Center
Orange County Jail
James A. Musick Facility
Find a Bail Bond Agent Near Me
Having the services of an available and dependable bail bondsman is vital if you're in custody for any alleged offense. We invite you to call bail bond dealers at Bail Bonds at 323-579-1415 if you or your brother needs assistance on the bail procedure in the city of Lake Forest, Orange County. We're available 24/7 to offer you the quick bail bond services you require during these challenging times.