A person charged with a criminal case does not always have to post bail. Pursuant to current California law, a misdemeanor defendant in custody at the time of arraignment is entitled to an own-recognizance (OR) release unless the court makes a finding on the record that this release will compromise public safety or will not reasonably ensure that the defendant will appear at the next court date. Public safety must be the primary consideration in the court’s determination whether to release a defendant on his or her own recognizance. According to one Redondo Beach Criminal Defense Attorney, in determining whether the defendant will return to court if released on his or her own recognizance, the court must consider the defendant’s ties to the community, the defendant’s record of appearance at past court hearings or of flight to avoid prosecution, and the severity of the possible sentence the defendant faces. Most District Attorneys try to assert that the defendant is a danger to public safety. The defendant bears the burden of producing evidence of community ties, including employment or other sources of income, the duration and location of the defendant’s residence, property holdings, and family attachments. The prosecution bears the burden of producing evidence of the defendant’s record of appearance at prior court hearings and the severity of the possible sentence.
Defendants released on OR must file a signed release agreement with the clerk of the court or other person authorized to accept bail. This OR release promise is often secured at the time the jailer lets the defendant out of jail. This agreement includes the defendant’s promise to appear at all times and places as ordered, to obey all reasonable conditions imposed by the court, and not to leave the state without the court’s permission. One Criminal Lawyer in Redondo Beach reminds that the agreement must also contain an extradition waiver and an acknowledgment that the defendant has been informed of the consequences of and penalties for violation of the conditions of release. All suspects in a criminal case should attempt to gain release in Los Angeles County by calling the OR hotline number posted in all city and county jails, including Redondo Beach.