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Explaining No Cash Bail In California

Okabe & Haushalter Aug 29, 2018 Criminal Defense

The state of California is switching how it operates the bail system in place for people charged with a crime. The changes were made at the end of August when Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 10 on August 28. According to Brown, the change in the bail system makes it fair for people of all backgrounds when posting bail. Our San Francisco criminal defense attorney would like to discuss the changes to the bail system in California and what no cash bail means for all who are facing criminal charges.

Reviewing the Current Bail System

The system currently in place in California gives people the opportunity to post bail if they are arrested and charged with a crime. By posting bail, the defendant is released from jail while they wait for a trial to commence. For the most part, a bail bondsman usually helps with this process. The fee typically amounts to 10 percent of the bail posted for the bondsman. There is another option for posting bail and that is for the defendant to put their property up for bail in order to be released from jail.

If a defendant does not make the court appearance they lose the money they posted. The same happens to the bondsman, which is why they go so hard after their clients. The current law allows each county’s judges to establish bail amounts based on the crime. A felony charge begins with $10,000 bail.

Who Cannot Post Bail?

If you’ve ever wondered who out there cannot post bail, check the following list:

  • Defendant was charged with a crime that is a capital offense (homicide)
  • The defendant committed a felony crime that involved sex or violence
  • The judge believes that the defendant’s release would cause harm to others
  • The defendant has threatened someone

Changes from the New Law

The new law will make significant changes to the bail system in California. For starters, it will require a risk analysis to be conducted by local judges. There will be local agencies established that will examine the risk associated with someone charged with a felony. The agency will need to determine if the person charged with a felony will actually voluntarily return to court for a hearing as well as the chances they are arrested again.

Low Risk

If a defendant is deemed to be low risk to the community then he or she will be released using the lowest amount of money charged as possible, according to the new law.

Medium Risk

If a defendant is deemed to be a medium risk then he or she will either be held or released based on the standards of the local governing body.

High Risk

This type of defendant would be kept in custody until the arraignment occurs. This includes anyone who commits crimes involving violent felonies, sex, a third DUI arrest in less than 10 years, has violated conditions of a pretrial release and is under the supervision of the court.

If you have been charged with a crime in California it’s time to speak to an experienced San Francisco criminal defense attorney. Call the team of Okabe & Haushalter today to schedule a consultation.