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California Bail in Criminal Cases

When a person is arrested on suspicion of committing a criminal offense, they are taken into custody. If there is a bail set, the person will be released from custody once it is paid. The bail amount differs from case to case and is determined by the government based on two factors. They will consider whether the person is a flight risk, and whether they are a harm to society. The person has the opportunity to contest the set bail amount by requesting a bail hearing where they may present arguments and evidence in favor of setting a bail or reducing it.

In determining the issue of the person being a flight risk, several factors will be taken into account. Simply put, the determination is whether or not a person is likely to appear at the next mandated court hearing, if they are let out of custody. The government will look into what contacts the person has in the area that would prevent them from leaving. These include, family, friends, community obligations, work and the duration of time they have been in the area.

For example, a person has been living in the area for over 20 years close to all of their family. They have no other family anywhere else and have been at their job for 7 years and hold a high position that took them several years of training and experience to acquire. Additionally, they have no previous failure to appear offenses on their record and are an active member in their church and local volunteer programs. This person is not very likely to drop all obligations and run from the area, skipping court. The Judge will most likely consider this person as being a very low flight risk. Compared to person B who lives alone, is unemployed and has no family or community obligations or involvement, who the judge will most likely deem to be a high flight risk.

To assess whether a person is a harm to society, the court will look at the person’s criminal background and the specific facts of the case. If the person has committed felonious activities in the past that led to severe injury to person or property, there will be a strong case for prosecution to argue that they are a harm to the community. Similarly, if the current crime being tried involves severe injury to person or property, there is an argument they could be danger to society.

The bail amount is always open to negotiation, if the person is still in custody during the first court appearance. A DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney can prepare powerful defenses and arguments to help get the bail reduced.

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I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time...
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My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
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Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
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I had a DUI issue recently. I have never had a problem with the law as serious as this one. I did panic a bit after and knew I had to get a lawyer to help my future. I researched the Web and read the reviews for awesome DUI Lawyers. Hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. Ron's 30 years experience and step by step guidance helped me with my case. Jonie was amazing with keeping me calm. Ron Hoffman is a great lawyer and I would refer any friends or family to him... Manuel Gomez
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