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To Bail, Or Not To Bail?

May 26th, 2009

A convenient, although not necessarily economically feasible, method of posting bail, and securing release from jail following an arrest is the posting of cash bail in the amount indicated in the order admitting one to bail. In Santa Clara County this is generally accomplished by delivering a cashier’s check to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department booking office.

Another method of securing release from jail is by posting a property bond. Real Estate equity is allowed as bail when its value is equal to twice the amount of any required cash bail. This method will require the filing of an appraisal and a preliminary title report with the court. Further, at least one court hearing, perhaps more, will be required.

A person may also be released from jail on his or her own recognizance, no bail required, in the court’s discretion. That discretion is most likely to be exercised in order to keep the jail population within the confines of Federal Court orders regarding overcrowding. In Santa Clara County there is an office of Pre-Trial Services that handles all own recognizance release recommendations to the court. As with bail, an own recognizance release may require conditions such as surrender of a passport to the court, maintaining periodic contact with a pretrial services officer, and others.

The most convenient method of securing release from jail, and the one most often used, is by posting bail through a bail bonds person. Bail bond agents will generally require a premium equal to 10% of the required bail, although the premium amount is negotiable. Tying up real property as potential collateral is also generally required.

If you need advice regarding bail, or wish a referral to a reliable and competent bail bond agent that offers negotiable premiums, call the San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers at the office of Bernard P. Bray.

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