It is wise to prepare for your criminal case defense, maintain your employment, and continue with your daily routine when facing criminal charges. However, you cannot do either of these in jail. The court understands this as well. Therefore, the judge can grant bail, which you should post in full before obtaining a release. If you cannot raise the amount, you should seek the assistance of a professional bondsman. Steven Mehr Bail Bonds is a certified, trained, and licensed bail bond agency that has served thousands of clients throughout Pasadena for many years. We offer different bail bonds and are reputed for delivering quality services for our clients’ freedom at a reasonable cost.
How Bail works in Pasadena
Being released from detention might be overwhelming if you are arrested and prosecuted for an offense. Most persons arrested for California misdemeanors are released on their own recognizance, while for those charged with felonies, posting bail might be the last resort. The judge might also deny bail if the alleged crime is a severe or violent felony or the accused person is likely to jump bail. So, how do bail and bail bonds work? What occurs during the arraignment or bail hearing?
Bail is the amount of money the judge needs you to pay alongside a promise to show up in your court hearings before securing your release. It allows you to continue being a productive citizen, return to your loved ones, and build your legal defense as you await trial. You will receive a refund of your bail amount (minus court administration fees) if you show up in court when required, regardless of the case outcome. If you skip bail, the court will forfeit your bail amount.
There are three (3) main ways of posting Bail in Pasadena, including:
To post cash bail, you should either have an adequate amount on hand. You can also use a money order, personal check, traveler’s check, cashier’s check, or credit card. While cash bail is the easiest method of paying bail, the amount ranges between ten thousand dollars to one hundred dollars, making it impossible for many to raise the amount. Provided you show up in court, the court will refund your money within six weeks following your case conclusion. Since your case can last months or years, you cannot invest or use your money in any manner.
Using a Bail Bond Agent
If you cannot raise the required bail amount, you can post bail through bail bonds. A bail bond is an agreement between you and your bail bond agency. You promise to attend court hearings per the agreement while the bonding company posts bail on your behalf.
You should pay the firm a non-refundable premium of the set bail amount (typically ten percent). So, for instance, if your bail amount is ninety thousand dollars, you will pay a premium of nine thousand dollars.
If you jump bail, the agency has six months to locate and return you to jail. Otherwise, the court will require the bondsman to pay your entire bail amount. Consequently, the company has the right to monitor you and ensure you attend your scheduled court proceedings.
The agency will also require collateral from you before posting your bail to the court. It can be anything valuable, including a motor vehicle, home, stocks, and jewelry. If you jump bail, your bondsman will seize the asset to recover the incurred loss.
You can also post a property bond. In this case, you post the equity interest in your asset to guarantee your court appearance. Nevertheless, the equity’s value should be greater than your bail amount. You should appraise your property, reveal all liens revealed, and professionally estimate the asset’s equity before acquiring a property bond,
If you jump bail, your county will place a lien in your asset before foreclosing it to recover your bail amount.
Bail Amount Determination
All California counties have bail schedules (a list of offenses and their corresponding bail amounts). The more severe the crime, the higher the bail amount. Posting the amount on the bail schedule allows you to secure your release immediately after paying the amount.
Since bail is expensive and can seriously cause a financial drain, you should request your own recognizance release or bail hearing.
You and your defense lawyer can request the judge to reduce your bail amount during the bail hearing. The judge has the discretion to set, deny, eliminate, or modify bail. Common factors that the judge considers when determining bail include:
- The severity of the crime
- Your criminal history
- The possibility of jumping bail
- The public’s safety upon your release
Arrestees in Pasadena can no longer be incarcerated because they cannot raise the required bail amount. Persuasive and clear evidence should prove that detention is paramount to safeguard public safety.
The judge can also raise your bail amount should they believe the move is warranted. For example, if the prosecution team presents new evidence or information, the judge might think that the proof or details warrant a higher bail amount.
If charged with a serious felony, the judge won’t lower your amount below the bail schedule amount. In this case, you have to convince the judge of unusual circumstances or good cause to lower your set bail amount.
Should You Post Your Bail Immediately or Wait for Your Bail Hearing?
It will help if you consider the factors below before deciding whether to post bail instantly after your arrest or wait until your arraignment. These factors include:
- The criminal charge and your bail amount
- Whether the prosecution is likely to charge less serious or more serious charges
- Your community ties
- Your criminal record
- How many character letters and character witnesses you can collect to persuade the judge to reduce your bail amount
- The overall possibility of the bail being increased or lowered during your bail hearing
It would be best to consult with a skilled Pasadena criminal defense lawyer before deciding.
If you post your bail immediately, the lawyer will have a lot of time working on your criminal case and convincing the prosecution to drop or reduce your criminal charges. If you wait before paying bail, the prosecution should determine the charge to file and whether to bring the charge or not.
Why You Should Speak with a Defense Lawyer Before Posting Your Bail
You can benefit from a defense counsel in numerous ways when you hire one. The legal expert can negotiate a lowered bail amount, saving you a lot of money while simultaneously developing a robust and practical legal defense strategy.
Below is why you require legal assistance before posting your bail:
- The attorney can determine your bail amount
- The lawyer can describe the various forms of bail, enabling you to choose what suits your needs
- The legal professional can negotiate to have the bail reduced or have you released on your own recognizance
- By engaging a lawyer immediately following your release, you can pay a 7% bail bond premium instead of the typical 10% (However, it varies with different bondsmen)
- Generally, police officers take advantage of the fear and confusion individuals experience following their arrest. Your criminal defense lawyer will ensure that your constitutional rights are protected by being present during your interrogation and negotiating with the prosecution team.
- Finally, the lawyer can prepare for the bail hearing.
Understanding Own Recognizance Release Laws
As previously mentioned, an O.R. release allows the defendant to get out of jail without posting bail, saving them a lot of money in bail. It permits the accused person to go based on their promise to show up in court.
Obtaining an own recognizance release is neither automatic nor does every suspect qualify. The court will not grant the release if:
- You are charged with at least one crime that carries a death penalty
- Your release won’t guarantee your future court appearances
- Your release would compromise public safety
Typically, O.R. release requests are made during an arraignment where the defendant enters a plea, and the judge determines the release.
Some crimes necessitate a formal hearing before the judge could release the accused. These crimes include:
- Penal Code Section 1319.5 needs a hearing if:
- The law violation happened while the accused was on felony parole or felony probation, or
- The accused person was issued a failure to appear (FTA) warrant at least three times over three previous years, and the present crime involves a violation of laws like battery, assault, and domestic violence.
- PC 1270.1 requires a hearing if the arrestee is charged with either of the following:
- A violent felony
- A serious felony
- Violation of PC 136.1 (witness intimidation)
- Domestic battery (P.C. 243e)
- Violation of a restraining order (PC 273.6)
Factors the Judge Considers When Determine whether to Grant the O.R. Release
Crimes like first-time drunk driving or possession of controlled substances (HS 11350) are deemed to pose a low risk to the community. Therefore, people prosecuted with low-level crimes if not released on citation are granted O.R.
Generally, it would help if you convinced the judge to release you without bail. Some of the factors the court considers include:
- Whether you have an outstanding felony warrant
- Details in a report compiled by the court own recognizance investigative staff
- Additional information the prosecutor provides
Conditions You Should Comply with When Released on Your Own Recognizance
An O.R. release comes with the following conditions:
- Release to a partner, loved one, or community member with a promise for them to accompany you to court
- Driving limitations or prohibitions
- An order to stay away from the alleged victim(s)
- Installing an ignition interlock device
- Travel restriction; you might be required to surrender your passport or required not to leave the state.
- Surrendering weapons to police
- Random alcohol and drug testing
- Substance abuse treatment
- GPS/electronic monitoring
- Home detention
- Mental health treatment
- Regular check-ins with a probation officer
During the initial court hearing, your Pasadena defense lawyer will present evidence in favor of your release. Then the judge might ask the prosecution if they have a point of view concerning the release or details that can assist the judge in determining whether to grant the release.
How Community Ties Affect Bail
A judge will want an assurance that you will attend all your scheduled court hearings, and bail creates the financial incentive to do so. However, one of the factors that the judge considers when determining the bail amount is community ties.
The term “community ties” means your relationship with your community. For instance, you might have robust community ties if you have a full-time job, regularly volunteer at children’s homes. Other examples of community ties include:
- Neighborhood watch membership
- Owning property or a business in the county where the trial will occur
- Attending religious functions or church in your community
If this is the case, you might persuade the judge to lower the bail amount because you are more likely to make court appearances.
On the other hand, you don’t have community ties if you were arrested while visiting Pasadena and do not have family members who reside locally. The court might deem you a flight risk and will set a high bail amount.
Jail, Courthouse, and Police Department Contact Information and Location
Pasadena City Jail
Pasadena City Jail is a temporary holding facility. Persons arrested in Pasadena will be booked here and held until they post bail, taken to court for arraignment, or released on O.R.
The facility is situated at:
Phone: (626) 744-4616
You can visit a loved one from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm seven days a week. Visits are permitted on a first-come-first-served basis and are limited to fifteen minutes. Only two persons can see an inmate at a time.
It will help if you carry valid photo identification.
Lawyers can visit their clients at any time of the day.
Male defendants who should return to detention either because they’ve been found guilty or cannot post bail are transferred to Twin Towers Jail, located at:
Phone: (213) 893-5100
On the other hand, women defendants are transferred to the Century Regional Detention Facility situated approximately eight miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Its phone number and address is:
Phone: (323) 357-5100
Pasadena Police Department
Phone: (626) 744-4501
South Pasadena Police Department
Phone: (626) 396-3300
The courthouse is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday.
Contact a Knowledgeable Bail Bond Agent Near Me
There might come a time when you are arrested, and you don’t have adequate bail money to secure your release. Numerous people and services are willing to offer assistance, but they might not be lawful and can put you in more legal and financial danger. Consequently, it is wise to engage an established Pasadena bondsman.
At Steven Mehr Bail Bonds, we understand that emergencies do not wait until it’s convenient for you. That is why we are ready to help you at any time of the day. Our team is dedicated to offering you the degree of customer care that makes you feel loved and appreciated. We can work with you to accommodate and design our services to meet your needs. To get started with your release process or learn more about us, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 800-834-8522.