San Jose Lawyers Discuss How Bail Is Determined
For some, the idea of serving time before conviction due to the inability to afford bail can be a daunting thought. However, lawmakers in the state of California are trying to remedy the situation as quickly and most effectively as possible. To do this, legislation has been proposed to set bond amounts in accordance with a defendant’s income.
Understanding what bail is
Bail can be thought of as an agreement or deal between the defendant (you) and the court. As the defendant, you agree to pay a specific sum of cash in exchange for a guarantee that you will appear at your scheduled court date. If you honor the agreement and appear as scheduled, you will have your cash returned as agreed. For those who cannot afford the actual total amount of the set bail, they can utilize a bail bondman and pay a small premium, typically 7%-10% of the set bail, and a bond will be posted securing the defendant’s release. The bond is of course forfeited if the defendant fails to appear.
Bail and the idea of doing time in jail before actually being convicted
According to a report published by certain prison authorities, almost a third of the persons residing in jail cells across the country serve time prior to being convicted of an actual crime. This is because they can’t afford to put up the bail required. California recognizes this as a problem and our San Jose defense attorneys are committed to providing diligent and aggressive representation of individuals who have been arrested and charged with crimes.
In California, the average amount set for most bail hearings is roughly $50,000. For most people just arrested, this sum is unaffordable, even if they’re employed full-time. Lawmakers hoping to change this, cite statistics indicating that 63% of prisoners in the state’s jails (approximately 46,000 people each day) are those waiting for sentencing or trial.
How bail is set
Once you are placed under arrest, you will be immediately booked to jail. Once there, all relevant information such as your name, personal details, photo and fingerprints will be recorded and will remain in the police department’s database. Also, all of your personal items will be collected and saved for your release.
In certain situations, once the booking process is finished, you will be required to take a sobriety test. In some cases, this may be the second one you take if you had been arrested for failing one previously. Once the test is complete, you will be allowed to make a phone call before being placed in a cell. Your hearing will then be scheduled, whereby the judge will determine the value of your bail. This normally occurs within 48 hours after your arrest.
If any narcotics were found in your possession, you will require the services of a reputable San Jose criminal law attorney. Hiring a lawyer will be your best hope of getting a fair bail amount and securing your release.
Contact a San Jose Criminal Law Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one is arrested, bail will need to be posted to limit prison time, especially in serious offense cases. In times like these, services from exceptional and reputable attorneys are a must. Contacting the Law Office of Farling, Hecht & Davis, LLP is your best bet if you wish to secure bail, see early release, and receive excellent representation. Contact our office today at (408) 295-6100 for a free consultation, or learn more about our San Jose lawyers on our website.