You Are Allowed to Request a Lower Bail Amount
It seems like bail amounts are always crazy. A big reason so many people talk about bail reform and that bail is way too high is that the media only mentions bail in cases where bail is in the upper six figures. Media outlets do this because they know it will get people talking and, even more importantly, returning to the source for even more information about bail.
The problem is that the media only shows one side of the bail situation. They don’t explain that those super-high bail amounts are the exception, not the norm. Of course, a person who has violently murdered his family or gone on a drunken rampage through town is going to have a high bail. On the other hand, a person who simply had one or two drinks too many and got into an argument with another person will have a significantly lower bail.
The other thing the media neglects to mention is that it is possible to ask for a lower bail amount. Sometimes the request is granted. Sometimes it’s denied, but everyone is allowed to ask. If you feel that your bail is too high, here’s how you can ask for it to be lowered.
Ask your lawyer to find a request form to lower bail. These forms are available at some, but not all, courthouses, which is why having your lawyer get one to you is the simplest option.
Fill out the form to the best of your ability. The information you’ll need includes the following:
✨ Basic information about the current bail
✨ Your case number
✨ Some personal information that includes contact information, charges, and inmate number
✨ The reason you feel your bail should be modified
Once you’ve finished filling out the application, you simply need to turn it in. Sometimes you’ll have an address to mail it to. At other locations, your lawyer will have to bring it to the courthouse.
Don’t assume that just because you can’t afford to post your own bail that you’re out of options. Riverside Bail Bonds is available 24/7.
I Violated a Bail Restriction! Now What?
It’s becoming increasingly common for restrictions to be attached to bail. Not only do judges use restrictions and requirements, such as wearing a GPS monitoring system, to help lower the amount of bail they require, but they also use them to help keep the community safer and to prevent your case from becoming tainted.
Common bail restrictions include the following:
✨ Sticking to a strict curfew
✨ Not going near any witness or alleged victims connected to your charges
✨ Not being involved in any criminal activity.
If you’re charged with a serious computer crime, you might be banned from using a computer.
Every once in a while, we’ll get a panicked call from a client who has just done something that they are afraid may have violated their bail agreement. When this happens, the first thing we try to do is convince the client to calm down enough that they’re able to explain what happened.
Sometimes the matter is simple. They were a few minutes late returning to their home and accidentally violated curfew. They ran a red light, and they’re worried that it constitutes as a crime. They accidentally ran into someone connected to their case but hurriedly extracted themselves from the situation.
These are minor issues that we can help you deal with. The calls we don’t want to get are that someone has left the state after being told that they had to stay put. Or a GPS tracker was removed. Or the person is suspected of committing another crime, and the police are talking about filing additional charges.
No matter how serious the situation is, we promise to remain calm during the explanation. Once we have all the details, we’ll advise you on how you should proceed.
The call we never like getting is the one where a client tells us that they’ve been arrested while they were out on bail. If this happens to you, here’s what you need to know.
In this situation, the police have two options. They can:
✨ Allow you to be released on bail with the same conditions attached
✨ Charge you with a crime and hold you for another arraignment
The big thing that determines which option they go with is if they decide that they have enough evidence to charge you with a crime. If the answer is yes, they can charge you with something, and you’re going to have to go through an arraignment. At this point, it is up to the judge to decide if they should set bail (be prepared for it to be significantly higher than the previous time you went through an arraignment) and attach even more restrictions. They could also decide to deny bail altogether, and you’ll have to stay in jail until the resolution of your case.