Facing an arrest can be overwhelming, given the intricacies of the legal system. The situation can be worse if you face felony charges. Felony offenses have far-reaching consequences. A conviction can affect your freedom, future, and reputation. The good news is that you are presumed innocent under the law until proven guilty. Following an arrest for a felony crime, you need time to prepare a strong defense. You do not have to remain in jail awaiting trial. You can post a bail bond to secure your release from custody. With the help of an experienced bail bondsman, you can be out of custody after a few hours.

California Felony Bail Bonds

A bail bond company provides bail bonds to help defendants secure release from custody while awaiting trial. The arrangement is typically between you, the bondsman, and the court, whereby the bondsman posts bail on your behalf. A bail is like a loan that enables you to get out of jail even when you do not have enough money to post bail yourself.

You should understand the conditions and financial obligations of a bail bond. This is important because the contract is a binding legal document, which can have substantial financial implications for you and any co-signers. If you fail to adhere to the bail conditions, like attending court hearings, the bondsman can seek reimbursement for the bail amount. If this happens, you could lose collateral or face other financial repercussions.

Whether You Can Post Bail For a Felony Charge

In most jurisdictions, the law allows you to post bail or bond out on a felony charge. The bail system allows you to get out of custody if you are arrested for any crime. This can only be possible if you post a certain amount of money as a commitment to appear in court when required.

Several factors will determine the bail amount, like your perceived risk of fleeing, your criminal record, and the severity of your offense. The judge can deny you bail if you are guilty of a serious felony or in cases where you are considered a flight risk or a threat to society.

The bail figure for a felony charge can also be significantly high, often much higher than bail for a misdemeanor crime. When you seek the services of a bondsman, you pay a percentage of the bail to the bondsman. In exchange, the bondsman guarantees the whole bail amount to the court.

Constitutional Right To Bail

It is your constitutional right to access bail when arrested. The Constitution protects the defendant's right to bail. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution also protects defendants against excessive bail. In this case, the courts cannot set an unreasonable bail amount.

The Cost of Bail For a Felony Offense

You could be eligible for bail when arrested and charged with an offense. Bail is the money you post with the court to secure your release from custody before your trial. Bail is a commitment that you will show up in court for trial. The amount of bail the court orders you to pay depends on the following factors:

Your Flight Risk

If you are suspected to be a flight risk, the court will impose a higher bail on you to ensure you show up in court for your trial.

Your Ties To The Community

When the court determines your bail, it will consider your ties to the community, like employment and family. You could be considered less of a flight risk, and bail could be reduced if you have strong ties to the community.

Your Previous Criminal Record

You can be considered a flight risk, and bail can be higher if you have a history of failing to appear in court or have a prior conviction.

The Severity Of Your Offense

The severity of an offense is a major factor in bail determination. You could typically face higher bail amounts if you are found guilty of severe crimes like armed robbery or murder.

Your Financial Resources

The judge will also consider your ability to post bail. This is a contentious issue because bail should not be oppressive. A suspect should never have to remain in detention because of financial hardship.

The Potential Penalty

If the punishment for the offense is severe, like the death penalty or life sentence, the judge could set the bail amount higher because of the increased flight risk.

The actual bail amount is usually determined according to a county bail schedule. A schedule is a document created by the superior court in the county that outlines the amount of bail for various offenses. The judge can increase or reduce the bail amount at the bail hearing.

Types of Felony Bail Bonds

You are likely to have many questions and concerns about your case when you have been arrested for a felony charge. In most cases, you must secure bail to get out of custody. The court releases you on bail in exchange for committing to court proceedings when necessary. Several bail options are available, depending on the criminal charge and place of residence. A professional bondsman will advise you on the best option and provide the necessary resources.

There are various felony bail bond options, including cash bail, property bond, surety bond, unsecured bail, and release on own recognizance. Understanding various felony bail bonds can help you make an informed decision about handling your bail.

Cash Bail

You can use cash bail to guarantee you will attend court hearings. A cash bail requires enough cash to cover the full bail amount. The court will refund the money you post as bail, provided you attend all scheduled court proceedings. You will forfeit your money to the government if you fail to honor court proceedings. Your bail deposit will be returned to you within two to three months if you attend every court trial.

You will have to provide evidence that your bail money was secured legally. The court can deny you a chance to post cash bail if it suspects you secured the money illegally. There will be high-level scrutiny of any money used to post cash bail if you are accused of involvement with a profitable criminal enterprise. A bail secured through a bondsman can draw less suspicion and attention.

Surety Bond

A surety bond involves using a bondsman to post bail on your behalf to secure your release. The bondsman serves as an intermediary and gives a commitment that you will attend all the court hearings. You can use surety bail if you do not have enough money to pay the bail set by the court. In this case, the bondsman will charge you a fee in exchange for a commitment to the court. It is essentially vouching for your appearance in court and covering any losses in case you skip court hearings. If you fail to attend court proceedings, the bondsman must pay the court the full bail amount or hire a bounty hunter to track you down.

When you apply for a surety bond, your bondsman can request for collateral. Collateral is an asset you give to a bondsman so that if you forfeit your bail, the bondsman has your asset. Collateral incentivizes you to attend all the required trials so that the bondsman does not lose anything valuable to them. The bondsman can pursue you for the debt if you forfeit your bail.

The acceptable collateral for bail includes investments, jewelry, vehicles, and real estate. The collateral valuation is generally assessed using the property's fair market value. For example, a professional appraisal is involved in real estate. The vehicles' condition, model, make, and year of manufacture will be considered. The bondsman can deny you bail if you fail to offer any collateral.

Unsecured Bail/Own Recognizance Release

You can post a bail bond without a security.  Unsecured bonds are also known as own recognizance release or signature bonds. This is the least popular type of bail that requires no collateral or money to be paid. Instead, you make a written commitment to the court to attend all the court hearings. You do not pay anything upfront, you only pay when you fail to appear in court on the assigned date. The court releases you on citation or personal recognizance. You do not have to submit collateral or pay cash to the court to secure your release. Unsecured or own recognizance release is not available for felony offenses.

Importance Of The Presumption Of Innocence In The Bail Process

The term "innocent until proven guilty" means you cannot be treated as a criminal until the court proves you guilty. The "Due Process Clause" prevents the authorities from depriving individuals of their life, property, or liberty with due process of the law. This goes hand in hand with the bail procedure, permitting you to secure your release before the court trial.

How To Get Your Felony Bail Reduced

Your attorney can negotiate with the judge to have your felony bail reduced in the following ways:

Defending You At The Arraignment

The judge can reduce your felony bond during an arraignment hearing, where you will have a chance to make a plea bargain. Your attorney can assert that you will not threaten society. You are a first-time offender and have strong ties with the community.

A Change In Circumstances

The judge cannot reduce your felony bail below the scheduled amount if you are facing charges for a violent felony or a serious felony. Your felony bail could be reduced under Penal Code 1289 following a change in circumstances. The judge can only order a reduction in your bail under unusual circumstances or if you show good cause. Good cause means a change in circumstances associated with the proceedings or case against you. It does not mean that the judge who originally determined the bail failed to analyze the case properly or committed a legal error. A good cause does not constitute these facts:

  • You have attended all previous court proceedings.
  • You have not been involved in any new crime, but instead.
  • There has been a change in circumstance, as indicated by new evidence.

Your Attorney Can Request A Bail Hearing

Your attorney can file a request for a felony bail hearing, where he/she can ask the court to reduce your bail. The judge will consider the following when deciding whether to reduce bail:

  • Public safety.
  • The probability that you will attend future court hearings.
  • Your past criminal record.
  • The severity of the alleged crime, including any harm to the alleged victim, threats to the victim, involvement of drugs, and if you used any weapon,
  • Your ability to pay.

The law requires that you serve the prosecutor with a minimum two-day written notice of your intent to request a bail reduction. This gives the prosecutor ample time to prepare to challenge the matter. You can only do so if you face charges for the following:

  • Violent felonies.
  • Certain violations of protective orders.
  • Certain domestic violence offenses.
  • Serious felonies.

Repercussions Of Failing To Seek Bail For a Felony Charge

You will face pretrial detention if you fail to seek bail for a felony charge. This can significantly affect your ability to prepare for a strong defense. A jail term can strain mental health, limit access to resources, and restrict freedom. All these can affect your ability to participate in your defense strategy.

It can be hard for you to coordinate with your attorney, connect with potential witnesses, or gather evidence from custody, which can limit the effectiveness of your defense. Additionally, a sentence can negatively influence your perception, potentially swaying the judge's opinion.

Given these possible repercussions, you should seek expert legal advice if facing felony charges. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can explore the following options:

  • Identifying options for a jail term to enhance the chances of a favorable outcome.
  • Developing a strong defense strategy against your charges.
  • Negotiating for bail reduction.

Find a Reliable Bondsman Near Me

When the police arrest and place you in custody for a felony offense, you could feel like all is lost. However, you can post bail for a felony offense to secure a release from jail as you await trial. Unlike misdemeanor offenses, felony offenses are severe and pose a higher risk of bail denial. You need a bondsman who understands the bail process and is available 24/7.

At Fausto Bail Bonds, we have experienced bondsmen who can help you post a felony bail bond. We are available whenever you need us, whether at night or on weekends and holidays. Contact us at 855-328-7867 to speak to a Riverside bondsman.