What You Need To Know About Bail in Orange County Courts
Everyone knows that bail is money you pay to get yourself out of jail. Well, sort of. It's really more like a form of collateral. You pay money into the court system as a good faith gesture to show that you intend to return to court. If you fail to appear in court, the money is forfeited. If you meet all of your obligations, the money is returned to you. Bail has been a key point in two recent Southern California criminal cases that are still in their preliminary stages.
On March 20th, the judge presiding over the trial of Marion “Suge” Knight in Los Angeles granted a prosecutor's request to set bail at $25 million. Knight has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and two counts of hit-and-run. In setting Knight's bail, the judge ultimately disregarded the objections of his attorney, who stated that his client would not be able to post such a large amount of money (http://ktla.com/2015/03/20/bail-for-prolific-criminal-suge-knight-should-be-25-million-prosecutors/).
Meanwhile Robert Durst, who is awaiting extradition to California on suspicion of committing a murder in Los Angeles in 2000, was denied bail by a judge in New Orleans, where he is currently in custody. The judge called Durst, an heir to a massive real estate fortune, both a "flight risk" and a "danger to the community." In an interview in an HBO documentary, Durst called a bail amount as high as $250,000 "chump change" (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-robert-durst-new-orleans-hearing-20150323-story.html).
Bail is a tool used by the court to ensure that defendants comply with orders to appear before a judge. In most cases, bail is set when a suspect is booked into jail, but can be changed at a bail hearing. There are any number of factors that can affect the amount that bail is set at: the defendant's ability to flee, the seriousness of the charges, a previous criminal record, ties to the local community, overseas connections, etc. Most of all, though, these tie into the reasons cited by the judge who denied bail to Robert Durst: the likelihood that the defendant will run away, and the possible danger they pose to the community.
Just like anywhere else, in Orange County you want an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side at a bail hearing. A criminal lawyer can help you fight the prosecution's arguments and make sure that any bail amount is reasonable.
As a criminal defense attorney in Orange County since 1999, I've helped people across Southern California with bail hearings and other legal issues. While I can't guarantee that everything will go your way at trial, I'll do everything in my power to protect your interests and give you a voice in our criminal justice system.
I've seen first-hand the kind of damage that criminal accusations can do to someone's reputation and livelihood. If you come to my firm, I'll work hard to ensure that legal issues don't destroy your life. Once I've taken on a case, I never give up on my clients. And everyone on my staff shares that level of commitment to protecting our clients' rights.
I'm proud of the work I've done to grow my practice to include offices in Santa Ana, Irvine, Newport Beach, and Garden Grove. This has allowed me to help people from all over Orange County and elsewhere in Southern California. Because my clients' needs are my top priority, I'm happy to offer foreign language assistance as needed.
So if you need help fighting criminal charges in Southern California, I hope that you'll call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.