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Posting Bail In Los Angeles County

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Jun 29, 2018

I've been doing this a long time and I've dealt with a lot of bail situations, including outstanding warrants in California. The first thing you want to do is obviously get a good bail bondsman that knows the LA county court system and knows exactly what it takes in order to get the person out as quick as possible. As I pen this post here, the bail in LA county, the percentage for the bail bondsman seems to vacillate between about 6% and 10%. Most bail agents will usually do it for 7% of 8%. That's something I like to coordinate with my clients and help them if I can. I've got some bondsman who I know will be fair, give them a good price, and I know they're going to back up everything and get the person out as quick as they possibly can because when you're in custody and you want to get bailed out in LA – and trust me, it's not pleasant in there – you want it down quickly and efficiently. So, bail in Los Angeles is important and it's important you get a great attorney to help you with that, who knows the bail system and knows what it takes to get the lowest possible bail to get you out as fast as possible and save you as much money as possible.

How Does A Judge In LA Decide What The Bail Is Going To Be?

This is a great question because a lot of people don't know what to do when they get taken into custody or when their loved ones get taken into custody and they can't decide between posting the bail and hiring an attorney. Of course, I'm biased because I'm an attorney, but the bottom line is posting the bail doesn't really do anything to help you in the case. It just gets you out temporarily potentially. The attorney, on the other hand, is going to be your champion and the person who can keep you out of custody – can fight your case and assert all your defenses and resolve your case in the best possible manner.

So, if you have a choice between an attorney and posting bail, my suggestion is to hire an attorney first. Let them see if they can either get you released on your own recognizance or lower the bail. A lot of people are bailing out and they're going to end up having to do some time, then they have to go back into custody which is not a pleasant thing in any way, shape or form.

As far as what the judge is deciding when they set a bail at an arraignment in a criminal case in Los Angeles, they're going to look at the person's prior criminal history. They're going to look to see if they're a flight risk. They're going to look to see if they're a danger to the community. They're going to look to see whether or not they've ever skipped on a bail before or failed to appear, and of course, they're going to look at the nature of the crime. What did the person do? And, the judges have come up with a bail schedule in Los Angeles County for every single crime in LA, so there's a presumptive bail that the judge will usually set Now that bail can vacillate and be changed.

The bottom line is the person is entitled to a reasonable bail, and once that bail is set – that's the bail – there's no changing the bail later. The only way you can change the bail later is if you can show that there's some sort of changed circumstances to warrant either making the bail lower from a defense standpoint, or higher from a prosecution's standpoint.

What Is A 1275 Hold When It Comes To Bail?

Basically, the prosecutors – if they feel that a person might use money from ill-gotten gains in order to bail themselves out – can put a 1275 Hold on their bail and basically tell the judge – look, Your Honor – they can post $50,000.00 bail for example, but we have to see that whatever money they're using for the premium and whatever collateral they're using is clean. In other words, it's not from the crime they've committed. They shouldn't be able to use money from drug proceeds, for example, to bail themselves out, so that's when a 1275 hearing is held. The attorney cross-examines the witnesses and shows the judge and the prosecutor – yes, this money is clean. This money is coming from a family member for example. They've got a job. They've got a credit card. They've got a means of money. The premium is going to come from a bank account. Look, they have $10,000.00 in there. This is the type of stuff that's going to have to be done when it comes to a 1275 Hold in Los Angeles and the person trying to post bail.

So, the bottom line is, if you have a bail issue and you have to get a loved one out or you need to get out yourself, start with an attorney. Let them guide you. They do this all the time. I'm in the courts every single day for twenty-five years battling bail for my clients. I can typically tell a person whether yes, your bail is going to stay at a $100,000.00. You might as well just bail out if you're going to bail out, or I can tell them no, don't bail out now. I might be able to get that bail cut in half or even get you released on your own recognizance. Save yourself $10,000.00 for example.

So, got to an attorney first. Let them guide you through because they've been in the trenches. I've been there before. I've seen what happens in these bail cases. I know what factors the judge is using in order to set bail and I know what it takes to get a bail lowered; I know what it takes to get an OR release, and I know when it's a good idea to bail somebody out and when it's not a good idea to bail somebody out.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.