In murder cases, a judge may deny bail entirely.
In recent years, California has worked to reform its bail system, attempting to outlaw the cash bail requirement that often prevented people without financial resources from being released for even minor crimes. This new law has been challenged, and its implementation is not certain. For now, California relies on its system of cash bail.
Bail is an amount that can be paid or posted that allows someone to be released from custody. It typically takes the form of cash, a bond, or other security. Bail is set at a person’s first court appearance, typically according to the county bail schedule. This is a schedule that each county in California has created. The bail schedule typically lists criminal offenses by code section and description, and then recommends bail for each charge.
Under California law, bail must be set by the judge for all criminal offenses except for:
- Capital crimes (offenses that are punishable by death);
- Violent felonies where there is a substantial likelihood that release would result in great bodily harm to others;
- Felony sexual assaults where there is a substantial likelihood that release would result in great bodily harm to others;
- Any felony if the person charged with the crime has threatened someone with great bodily harm and there is a substantial likelihood that he or she would carry out that threat; and
- If the person has a parole hold (they are currently on parole for a different crime).
In setting, reducing or denying bail, a court must consider several factors:
- Public safety;
- The previous criminal record of the individual charged;
- The probability of the accused appearing at trial; and
- The seriousness of the charged offense.
A judge may examine other factors when making this determination, such as whether the accused has ties to the community, if they are employer, and if they have a history of failing to appear.
Importantly, just because a judge can deny bail in certain cases — such as a murder charge — does not mean that bail will be denied. A skilled murder defense lawyer Orange County, CA can argue that there is no need to detain a person if there is no likelihood that their release would result in great bodily harm to others.
In order to deny bail, a judge must find that there is clear and convincing evidence of the underlying facts of the case. If there is not sufficient evidence that a person committed a murder, for example, an experienced attorney may argue that there is no justification for denying bail.
In murder cases, particularly those that are punishable by death, bail may be denied entirely or set at a high level. Your murder defense lawyer Orange County, CA can request a bail hearing to argue for lower bail — or that bail should be granted. The success of this type of argument will depend on the facts of each case.
If you have been charged with a serious crime, such as murder, you will need a tenacious attorney who will fight for your rights. At the Chambers Law Firm, we are known for our aggressive defense of our clients. Contact us today at 855-397-0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.