When someone is arrested in California, our judges have a lot of discretion in determining the amount of bail that person will have to pay to be released during their trial. Judges will want assurance that the defendant will appear on time to every court hearing, and bail creates a strong financial incentive to do so. Even with recent efforts to reform bail, there is still a good chance that you will have to pay a hefty fee to get out of jail and work on your defense at home.
However, there are several factors a judge can look at when deciding to raise or lower bail. One of the terms that defendants often hear is “community ties.”
How Is Bail Assigned in California?
When a court releases a defendant on bail, there is a formal agreement between the court and the defendant that the defendant is allowed to return home during the trial in return for appearing on time at all court hearings and appearances. If a defendant misses a court date or attempts to flee the state or country, the court can have the defendant arrested again and declare their bail forfeit.
But first, to determine if a defendant is eligible for bail, a judge will review the county bail schedule and evaluate if bail should be reduced or increased. Factors that influence how bail is assigned include:
- The severity of your crime
- If anyone was injured
- If you are a threat to public safety
- If you are a flight risk (how likely you are to jump bail or capable of fleeing the country)
- If you have a criminal history
- If you have “community ties”
What Are Community Ties?
Community ties is a broad term that refers to a defendant’s relationship with his or her community. For example, a defendant may have strong community ties when she is employed full time, volunteers regularly at a homeless shelter, is a member of her neighborhood watch. Other examples of community ties include:
- Owning property in the city in which the trial will take place
- Having family that lives nearby
- Attending church or religion functions in the community
If so, the judge may be convinced that he should reduce bail because it is likely that the defendant will make all court appearances.
In contrast, if a defendant was arrested while on vacation and does not have family that lives locally, he would have no community ties and might be considered at-risk for bail jumping. In this case, a judge would likely set bail based on the county’s bail schedule.
A Lawyer Can Help – But So Can a Bail Bond Agent
It is important for the defendant’s attorney to clearly show that the defendant has strong community ties at a bail hearing in order to get bail reduced. However, even if the judge does reduce bail, you or your loved one may still have to pay thousands of dollars to get back home. If you or someone you love has been arrested in San Diego, Riverside, or Orange County, contact an experienced bail bond agent at Balboa Bail Bonds to discuss your options.
At Balboa Bail Bonds, we only charge a 10% premium in return for posting bail for our clients. This means if your loved one’s bail was set at $10,000, you have to pay us only $1,000 to get bail posted, and you do not have to pay us all at once. We work with every client to make personalized payment plans that fit their ability to pay.
But Balboa Bail Bonds understands that picking a bail bond agent is not just about money. Defendants and their families should trust that their bail bond agent will be there for them when they have questions and concerns. Each of our bail bond agents has at least five years of experience in the industry and is available 24/7, 365 days a year – including on holidays – to answer your questions and ensure you understand your options after an arrest.
We believe that every defendant deserves the chance to prepare their defense while supported by family at home. If you need bail posted for a friend or family member today, contact us online or call us at (619) 760-2222.