Updated: Feb 23
Bail is like a promise to the court that you’ll show up for your trial. If you don’t show up, the court can keep the money you paid for bail. Bail helps make sure that people who are charged with a crime come back to court.
In California, the amount of bail can be set in different ways. For example, the police might have a list of bail amounts for different crimes, or a judge might have a hearing to decide how much bail should be. The amount of bail can be different for each person and depends on things like the crime they’re charged with and their past record.
Sometimes, a judge might let you go without paying bail if they think you won’t run away or cause trouble. But if the judge thinks you might not show up for your trial or that you’re a danger to others, they might not let you go.
If you do have to pay bail, there are different ways to do it. You can pay the whole amount yourself, pay a bondsman to help you, or you can use a combination of both. A bondsman is a person who will post bail for you in exchange for a fee. The fee is usually 10% of the total bail amount.
Once you’ve posted bail, you’re free to go until your trial. But remember, you must show up for all of your court appearances or the court will keep the money you paid for bail and might even issue a warrant for your arrest.
If you think your bail is too high, you can ask the judge to lower it. During a hearing, your lawyer or you can explain why you think the bail should be lower. The judge might consider things like how long you’ve lived in the area, your job, and your criminal history.
In summary, bail is a way to make sure people come back to court for their trial. The amount of bail can vary and depends on factors like the crime and the person’s past. You can pay the bail yourself, use a bondsman, or a combination of both. If you don’t show up for court, the court will keep the money you paid for bail. If you think your bail is too high, you can ask the judge to lower it.