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Legal Tips On How To Reduce Your Bail In California

Okabe & Haushalter May 5, 2018 Criminal Defense

Being arrested for a crime is always a traumatizing and frustrating experience, which is why many arrested people wish to be released on bail to spend at least a short period of time with their family and prepare a strong criminal defense case as they await trial.

But bail is not always an option if you have been arrested in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, as the amount of bail set by California laws is most of the time anything but affordable. Unless you are a celebrity with a yacht load of cash to spare, being released on bail is not always a reasonable option.

That is why many people ask their San Francisco criminal defense attorney to help them reduce the amount of bail. And yes, it is possible to reduce your bail or even eliminate it altogether through a bail hearing.

How to reduce bail in California?

While it is possible to modify or eliminate your bail through a bail hearing, in no way does it mean that doing so is easy? In fact, judges may choose to reduce or eliminate bails in San Francisco and elsewhere in California only after all of the following have been considered:

  • Your financial situation and ability to afford the bail
  • The severity of the alleged criminal offenses (in most cases, the judge will consider whether or not you are being accused of injuring the alleged victim and/or if law enforcement has a reason to believe that the alleged victim would not be safe if you walked free)
  • Your prior criminal history
  • Public safety (will the general public be safe if you are released?).

What about bail in serious offenses?

If you have been charged with a serious felony or a violent felony in California, our criminal defense attorney in San Francisco warns that your bail will most likely not be reduced unless the judge finds unusual circumstances or good cause.

Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you establish unusual circumstances or good cause in your case. If you are prepared to request a reduction of your bail, you are required to provide the prosecutor with a two-day written notice of your intent to do so to give the prosecutor a chance to approve or reject your proposal. The written notice is required only if the alleged offense is classified as a serious felony, a violent felony, one of the domestic violence offenses, or is a certain violation of protective orders.

Agreeing to bail conditions to reduce bail

In California, it is also possible to reduce your bail by agreeing to certain bail conditions. What bail conditions will those depend on the particular circumstances of your case, and should be determined by your San Francisco criminal defense attorney.

The more experienced and skillful your attorney is, the bigger the chance that the judge will agree to modify your bail if you are willing to comply with certain bail conditions. Generally, courts do not offer bail conditions on their own, which is why lawyers representing clients who are being accused of crimes have to propose bail conditions on their own.

This is a non-exhaustive list of bail conditions that could be required to reduce your bail:

  • Restricting your traveling abroad or across the country/state
  • Surrendering your passport and/or driver’s license
  • Wearing a GPS tracking device
  • Placing you on “house arrest” and having electronic monitoring in place to ensure that you comply with the condition
  • Wearing a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor “SCRAM” device.

What the best legal strategy to reduce your bail depends on the particular circumstances of your case. Let our skilled criminal defense lawyers here at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm examine your case and determine the best strategy to reduce or eliminate your bail in San Francisco or elsewhere in California.

Call our offices at 310-430-7799 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.