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AVOID JAIL! Call California Criminal Law Specialist and DUI Attorney Robert J. Hale



       When a person is arrested for a crime in the State of California, they will usually be taken to a local police station for booking before incarceration in a station lock-up or county jail. Once booked, the person has several options for release pending the conclusion of his or her case. The bail system is designed to guarantee a person's appearance for court hearings.

The FIVE RELEASE OPTIONS available to an arrestee are:

(Release on Own Recognizance)
(Release on citation)

       Failure to appear for court in all instances will result in a warrant for the arrest of the person released.


        Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule

        Los Angeles County Misdemeanor Bail Schedule





       An individual posts the total amount of bail, in cash, to secure his or her return to court on an appointed date, and thereafter until the case is concluded.  If the defendant shows up for his/her scheduled court appearances, the entire cash amount posted is returned. If they fail to appear, the entire bond is forfeited to the court.


       A surety bond involves a contractual agreement with with a bail agent, who guarantees to pay the court the bond forfeiture if a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court appearance. The bail agent's guarantee is made through a surety company and/or by the pledge of property owned by the agent.
       The bail agent charges the defendant a non-refundable premium, usually 10% of the bail amount.  The arrestee or a relative or friend, typically contacts a bail agent licensed by the State of California to post surety bonds.  The bail agent undertakes a detailed interview of the proposed guarantor of the surety bond, as well as of the arrestee and relatives of the arrestee, as part of the underwriting procedure for bond.
       By involving the family and friends, as well as through the acceptance of collateral, the bail agent can be reasonably assured that an individual released on surety bond will appear at his or her appointed court dates. If an agreement is reached, the bail agent posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the arrestee's return to court.
       With his money on the line, a bail agent has a financial interest in supervising bailees, and ensuring that they appear for trial.  If a defendant fails to appear for court, the bail agent has a financial incentive to find him/her and bring him/her in. Bail agents have highly efficient methods to get defendants to court.


In rare cases and individual may obtain release from custody by posting a property bond with the court. The court records a lien on property to secure the bail amount. If the arrestee subsequently fails to appear at the scheduled court date, the court may institute foreclosure proceedings against the property to obtain the forfeited bail amount.


       "O.R." is release pending trial through a county or law enforcement administered pre-trial release program. Usually, the staff members of these programs interview individuals in custody and make recommendations to the court regarding release on the person's own recognizance (i.e., without bond). The interview process is often conducted over the telephone, with little inquiry into the individual's background to determine whether the detainee is likely to appear in court and with virtually no verification of information provided by the detainee. Since no money or bond is posted to secure the detainee's appearance in court, he or she faces no personal economic hardship from his or her conscious failure to appear.


       A "Cite Out" is the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer, with the person "arrested" being immediately released upon their signed promise to appear for court on a given date and time.   As a consequence of the failure to follow complete booking procedures, the true identity and background of most individuals released on citation is never established. This results in the release of numerous arrestees who may have outstanding bench warrants pending. The "arrestee" may never be placed in custody, and like the own recognizance release, such an arrestee's appearance in court depends exclusively upon voluntarily returning to court.


(213) 736-6250


24 Hours call (213) 200-7652


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*  Robert J. Hale is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, Board of Legal Specialization of
   The State Bar of California
** 93% Success Rate in Criminal Felony Jury Trials.

Disclaimer: The Los Angeles and Southern California criminal defense, drunk driving, DUI, DMV, drivers license suspension, drug crimes, drug trafficking, domestic abuse, wife abuse, sex crimes, juvenile crime, Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, or other legal criminal defense information set forth in this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any information or results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of that individual case.  Results will differ from case to case. Whether by title of criminal lawyer, criminal defense attorney, juvenile law attorney, or DUI lawyer, please contact the LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT J. HALE for further advice and consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.

Copyright 2003 LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT J. HALE Los Angeles and Southern California Criminal Defense Lawyer, Drunk Driving Attorney, DUI Defense Lawyer, Domestic Violence Attorney, Drug Lawyer, Sex Crime Attorney, Juvenile Criminal Lawyer, Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, serving the communities of: Los Angeles County, Alhambra, Arcadia, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Beverly Hills, Bradbury, Burbank, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, El Segundo, Gardena, Glendale, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Canada, Flintridge, La Habra Heights, Lakewood, La Mirada, Lancaster, La Puente, La Verne, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Maywood, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Palos Verdes Estates, Paramount, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estate, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Temple City, Torrance, Vernon, Walnut, West Covina, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, Whittier. All Rights Reserved.

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