According to Penal Code section 1275, When "setting, 
reducing or denying bail," a judge must consider public 
safety the primary factor, but also must consider the 
following factors:

  • Seriousness of the Offense Charged

  • Previous Criminal Record of Defendant

  • Probability of Defendant Appearing in Court

  • Injuries to the Victim

  • Threats of Violence Made by Defendant

Use of Firearms or Other Deadly Weapons

In Los Angeles County, bail is set by the arresting law enforcement agency according to the LA. County Uniform Bail Schedule.

In California, an arresting officer must take the defendant 
before a judge within 48 hours of arrest, excluding 
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. So if you are arrested on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday do not count towards the 48 hours, and the day for you to be brought to court would be Tuesday. (Penal Code sections, 825,  828)

It is a misdemeanor crime for an officer to willfully delay taking a defendant before a Judge within 48 hours of 
arrest. (Penal Code section 145)


Generally, there are only two ways to get your bail 
reduced. 1) Before Your First Court Appearance or 2) At 
Your First Court Appearance.


If a defendant  wishes to have a lower bail set before 
going to court and he/she is still in custody, the defendant 
must himself contact the L.A. County Bail Deviation 
Program ( 213-351-5151 or 1800-773-5151 between 
6a.m. and 12 midnight
) to apply for a lower bail.


Otherwise, a defendant may wait until he appears before a 
judge and through his Attorney request that the Judge 
reduce bail or possibly permit defendant to be released on 
his word and promise to appear at the next court date 
(which means you do not have to pay bail). This is known 
as "own recognizance release" or O.R. Release.

Although difficult to obtain, this office has had success in 
the past obtaining the release of many of our clients on O.
R. Release at their first court appearance, saving them the 
expense of hiring a bail bondsman, which usually charge 
10% of the bail amount for their services. So if your bail is 
set at $ 20, 000, the cost of hiring a bail bondsman would 
$ 2000. Many times, this leaves defendants without any 
funds to hire an experienced and successful private  
attorney to represent them in court. So unless it is an 
extreme necessity, it may be best to wait until your first 
court appearance, hire an experienced attorney to appear 
with you on that date and allow your attorney the 
opportunity to convince the judge to reduce your bail or 
release you on O.R.

Obviously, deciding whether to immediately bail out or wait 
until you go to court is a very personal decision. Every 
case is different and your decision will depend on your 
own personal circumstances. However, it is our 
experience that the following circumstances merit and 
almost require that you post Bail immediately:

  • If Defendant Is Not A U.S. Citizen

A person who is not a U.S. Citizen risks being detained by 
INS for deportation proceedings as long as he remains in 
custody, even if you have been a Permanent Resident all 
your life. Generally, the INS will not detain someone who is 
no longer in custody. The INS simply does not have the 
manpower to actively locate  people who  have been 
released from jail. However, they will locate and detain 
individuals who are in jail.

  • If Defendant Has A Serious Medical Condition 
    Requiring Medication

  • If Defendant Has Not Been Interrogated By 

       Most serious cases, such as sexual assault or homicide,
involve an assigned investigating detective who will  make
every effort to interrogate the defendant to obtain a confession BEFORE he goes to court.  A confession is the most powerful weapon a Prosecutor can use against a defendant. Most defendants will give confessions out of fear, ignorance or just because they think if they cooperate and say what the police want to hear, then they will get released.

Whatever the reason, a defendant in custody runs the greatest risk of interrogation. This is because usually the interrogation will take place within 24 hours of arrest. Sometimes it can take longer for an investigator to be assigned and then interrogate the defendant.

So if you are able to bail out before the investigator has an opportunity to question you, many times you will have protected yourself from incriminating yourself and putting the nail in the coffin. Once you are released, immediately hire an attorney so the attorney can contact the investigating detective and stop them from questioning you about the case.

However, if you do not have the ability to pay the bail
immediately hire an experienced attorney who will then 
contact the investigating detective assigned to your case 
BEFORE he interrogates you. Once your attorney notifies 
the detective that you are being represented by an 
attorney and that we are invoking your Constitutional Right 
to remain silent and not answer any questions, and 
demand that you not be interrogated without our presence, 
the likelihood is that the detectives will not question you 
any further.