When a person has been taken into custody during a criminal arrest or charge, they will remain in custody until a bail has been set. Most often, the person is released and bail is set in 4 to 5 hours. However, in some situations, the person will remain in custody until a hearing is conducted on what amount to set bail.
The cases in which a hearing will be required in order to be released on bail, are cases that the Court feels are very serious, and ones in which the Court believes there is a flight risk, or the person will be a risk to society.
The Judge will look at many different factors to conclude that a person is a flight risk. For example, if the person has many past bench warrants, it is a reasonable conclusion to make that the person does not take their court dates very seriously and is likely to not appear. A bench warrant is issued when a person does not appear on a scheduled court date. When the person does not appear the Judge will issue the warrant and officers are to bring the person into custody if he or she is found.
The person may be found to be a risk to society if they have an extensive criminal history. For example, a person who has three prior DUIs and is brought in on a fourth will likely require a hearing before bail can be set. This is because the Judge believes the person has not learned their lesson and continues to drive while intoxicated and therefore continues to put people's lives in danger by being on the road. As a safety precaution, the Judge will ask that all the facts be heard before decided if and what bail will be set at.
An experienced Los Angeles Criminal lawyer can represent you at a bail hearing. Since the Judge is looking at two issues: 1) the person is a flight risk and/or 2) the person is a danger to society, the lawyer will present facts and arguments that will demonstrate to the Court that the person is not a danger to society and they are not a flight risk.
The legal professional will do this by proving to the Judge that the person being tried has a steady job that they would not leave readily, that they have ties to the community such as a group of friends, family, obligations that would prevent them from leaving or running from the county.
Many attorneys will gather positive letters that corroborate their arguments and leave the Judge with no choice but to conclude that letting the person out on bail will not be a threat to society nor will it undermine the court. If you or someone you know find themselves in custody and need someone to help prepare a powerful argument that will demonstrate that there is minimal risk in allowing them bail, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away.