California Criminal Defense Attorney — Can I Get My Bail Reduced in Californi
If you or a loved one find themselves in jail with an astronomical and unfair bail set on your case, relief may be afforded to you under recent changes in California law. Too often and for too long people with little or no means have been unfairly held in jail and separated from their family, friends and employment when people of greater means make bail and are released. Jails all over California are full of inmates who are in jail, cannot make bail yet have not be found guilty of any crime. Such unfairness has been addressed by the California Court of Appeal and there has been new and profound changes in the law that you need to know about.
- A Change in California Bail Law
In particular, pursuant to In re Humphry (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 1006 when setting bail, the court must consider the financial ability of the defendant to post bail; the existence of less restrictive conditions of release; and an individualized inquiry rather than bail set solely on the bail schedule.
If you are on permanent disability, or Social Security, unemployed or with significant physical ailments, with no ability to earn money to post bail you may get relief from the court. Even if you have a criminal record or serious felonies or strikes in your past the bail cannot be set solely and entirely on the County Bail Schedule.
- Setting Bail in a California Criminal Case
The criminal court Judge is authorized to set bail in amount that will insure the defendant’s appearance. PC 1268; PC 1269c; PC 1275; PC 1289. Although there may be a criminal history, if there is no record of failing to appear on any case nor any record of a history of bench warrants a criminal defendant still may be able to have reasonable bail or even released on your own recognizance.
Even after bail has been set in a case the judge can re-visit the issue of bail. “After a defendant has been admitted to bail upon an indictment or information, the Court in which the charge is pending may, upon good cause shown, either increase or reduce the amount of bail. If the amount be increased, the Court may order the defendant to be committed to actual custody, unless he gives bail in such increased amount. If application be made by the defendant for a reduction of the amount, notice of the application must be served upon the District Attorney.” Cal. Penal Code §1289.
Section 1289 of the California Penal Code expressly provides for subsequent motions to increase or reduce bail upon a showing of good cause. (In re Alberto (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 421, 431.)
“Although not necessarily exhaustive, factors to be considered in “setting, reducing or denying” bail are set forth in section 1275; protection of the public (the “primary consideration”), seriousness of the offense, previous criminal record, and probability of defendant appearing in court. (See alsoIn re Berman (1930) 105 Cal.App.270, 271-272