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How to Get a Bail Reduction in CA

Get Out of Jail on a Reasonable Bail

Bail is cash or a bond given to the court by a defendant to secure a conditional release from custody if they promise to return for judicial proceedings at a later time. If the defendant fails to appear in court, they can permanently lose their bail money.

While every crime, except those that warrant capital punishments or pose a risk to public safety, is eligible for bail in CA, not everyone can afford it. Judges set bail according to a “bail schedule” at first, but that amount can change depending on circumstances such as:

  • The type and severity of the alleged crime
  • Whether the defendant is a flight risk
  • The defendant’s ability to pay
  • The defendant’s criminal history, if applicable

Eligibility for Bail in CA

Under CA Penal Code section 1289, after a defendant has been admitted to bail upon an indictment or information, the court may either increase or reduce the amount of bail if good cause is shown. If the amount is increased, the court may order the defendant to be held in custody, unless they can afford such bail. If the defendant cannot afford it and applies for a reduction of the amount, a notice of the application must be served upon the District Attorney.

Under California Penal Code section 1275, the court must consider the several elements when asked to re-evaluate the set bail. They include but are not limited to the following:

  • In setting, reducing, or denying bail, a judge or magistrate shall take into consideration the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her appearing at trial or a hearing of the case.
  • In considering the seriousness of the offense charged, a judge or magistrate shall include consideration of the alleged injury to the victim, and alleged threats to the victim or a witness to the crime charged, the alleged use of a firearm or other deadly weapon in the commission of the crime charged, and the alleged use or possession of controlled substances by the defendant.
  • In considering offenses wherein a violation of Chapter 6 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code is alleged, a judge or magistrate shall consider the alleged amounts of controlled substances involved in the commission of the offense, and whether the defendant is currently released on bail for such offense.

Reducing Bail in California

If you were charged with a crime and your bail is set too high, our Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney can motion to reduce your bail. We can request a bail hearing where we will make strategic arguments that better convince a judge that you deserve a bail reduction for reasons including:

  • The bail amount is so high that it violates your 8th Amendment rights and the federal Bail Reform Act
  • There was a change in circumstances, such as your charges getting reduced or dismissed
  • You do not pose a flight risk or public safety threat to your community
  • Your financial situation impedes your ability to post bail

When you get arrested, time is not on your side because it’s extremely limited. You need to utilize your precious time wisely by hiring a reliable, competent criminal defense lawyer in Santa Rosa to defend your best interests from the very beginning. We will work diligently to get your bail reduced or dropped, therefore we urge you to contact (707) 418-5352 to get started immediately.