Once somebody has been arrested and gone through booking and processing, bail will be set in a given amount. The amount that bail is set at is determined largely by the crime(s) that the individual is being charged with. For example, someone who is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon (other than a firearm) can have their bail set at $30,000. To get that person out of jail, the cost of a bail bond will be 10% of the total bail amount, which will result in a $3,000 fee. The thing is, sometimes people’s bail is set much, much higher and even coming up with 10% of their total bail amount can be difficult.
For an individual charged with soliciting murder can be held on $1,000,000 bail, 10% of which is $100,000 – a number that can be much, much more difficult to come up with. In cases like this, it’s possible to get a bail reduction. The first thing that must happen is the defendant must have an attorney appear before the court on their behalf. Sometimes, at the arraignment, an attorney can get the amount of bail reduced at the actual arraignment, but most of the time a bail reduction hearing is going to need to take place in order to get the defendant’s bail reduced.
At the hearing, the issues the judge will take into consideration when deciding whether or not to reduce a defendant’s bail are:
- The length of time the defendant has lived in Los Angeles County
- Is the defendant a flight risk?
- Prior criminal record
- Has the defendant ever skipped out on bail before?
- Does the defendant have a job? And, most importantly
- Will the defendant be a danger to the community if allowed out on bail
The judge will take all of the above factors into consideration and, if he or she feels good about it, will reduce the defendant’s bail.