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How Is Bail Determined In Los Angeles County?

In Los Angeles County, the determination of bail is based in part upon a bail schedule that has been created by Los Angeles County judges. This schedule contains a list of every crime along with its corresponding bail amount. During the booking process, the police will determine what they think the bail should be based upon the crime they are charging.

The bail amount that is set by the police could be increased or decreased by the prosecutors once they review the case. When dealing with what they perceive to be a particularly dangerous defendant, prosecutors may seek a bail deviation, which is a request for a high amount of bail.

Ultimately, bail determinations are made on the basis of the bail schedule, the defendant's level of dangerousness to the community, and whether the defendant is deemed a flight risk. 


In misdemeanor cases, citations to appear in court are usually served in lieu of bail being set. If someone who has been charged with a misdemeanor does not sign the citation and promise to appear in court, then the police could arrest them, at which point bail may be set.

It should be noted there is a chance to have bail lowered due to a change in circumstance.

Can I Be Released On My Own Recognizance?

It is possible to be released on one's own recognizance in LA County, which means that it is possible to be released based on the promise to appear in court.

In some cases, bail may initially be set very high, and a judge may later decide to release the defendant on their own recognizance. Such a decision would be based on several factors, primarily the defendant's criminal record and whether or not the crime for which they've been arrested involved injury to another person.

If the crime was not violent in nature, then the primary consideration would be whether the person is a flight risk or a danger to the community. If a defendant's lawyer can effectively argue that they are neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community, then there is a chance the defendant will be released on their own recognizance without having to pay bail.

Can I Get Out The Same Day Or Night?

When paying for bail, you do have options for paying the bail amount. If someone is able to have a bail bondsman or family member post their bail, then they could be released from jail an hour or two after being booked, depending on the busyness of the jail on the day or night in question.

Technical issues with the computer systems at jails can delay the process of verifying that no warrants exist, which can delay the process of being released. In most cases, however, an individual can be released relatively quickly. If an individual is unable to bail out, then they will typically be released after waiting one or two days for a court date.

If the arrest falls on a weekend or holiday, there will likely be more people in custody and therefore longer processing times.

For more information on Determining Bail In Los Angeles County, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.