This is a good question because if you're about to be arrested or you're the loved one of somebody who's been arrested, and you're trying to get them out, bail is an important topic, especially in Los Angeles today.
Because of the Coronavirus, there's been a mandate sent down that all bail should be zero, and therefore, everybody would get out.
However, sex crimes are an exception to that mandate. Sometimes, bail could be set in sex crimes, especially if they're serious sex crimes involving either minors or violent acts toward women.
Bail Schedule in Los Angeles County
So, the first starting point to figure out how the bail will be set is a bail schedule in Los Angeles county.
This is where the judges have got together, and they have decided what the presumptive bail is for every crime, not just sex crimes, but every crime in Los Angeles.
So, you would want to start with an attorney. Figure out what the person was booked for, and then that attorney can help you with the bail.
Just because somebody was booked for something in Los Angeles, some sex crime, doesn't necessarily mean that's what they're going to be charged with. The prosecutors, who are attorneys, decide what people are charged with.
That's where things get a bit confusing because people think that just because the police have booked somebody for a particular sex crime. Sometimes it's:
- something less serious;
- sometimes it's something more serious, and
- sometimes, it's precisely what the police booked the person for.
It also depends on whether or not a prosecutor was involved in the sex crime unit in actually having the person arrested and developing the case.
If that's the case, whatever the person is booked for is usually what the charges will be. So, the starting point for bail in sex crime cases in Los Angeles is to look to the bail schedule.
Defendant's Prior Criminal Record
The following relevant factor is what the person's criminal record is. Do they have any failures to appear? Any problems in the past that the court would look at and either consider them a danger to the community or a flight risk?
And that, in every single case, including sex crime cases in Los Angeles County, is a relevant inquiry:
- whether or not the person is going to be a flight risk, or
- if they are going to be a danger to the community.
For example, if someone is charged with rape, there's a strong argument from the prosecution's point of view that person is a danger to the community.
Therefore, that bail should be at bail schedule and potentially higher, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Judge Assumes the Allegations are True for Setting Bail
When I see these bails argued in the 38 Los Angeles courts in a sex crime case, you can usually anticipate that the prosecutors will use the facts of the case in open court to put pressure on the judge to put a high bail on the person. In other words:
- they're going to tell the judge exactly what the allegations are, and
- for bail purposes in a sex crime case in Los Angeles,
- the judge assumes that the facts and circumstances are as the prosecutor says.
Yes, a person has a presumption of innocence, and the prosecutors must prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the powers have decided that whatever the allegations are, the judge assumes they are faithful when it comes to bail.
So, that's where you sometimes, as a defense attorney, can point out that there are conflicting allegations, statements, and reports.
Then, you might be able to show the judge that even though they're to assume this is true, there are still problems with the case, and you could point out the facts, and then the prosecutor will be looked at to try to justify that.
Criminal Lawyer for California Sex Crimes
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime and you're worried you're going to be taken into custody and not be able to get out while your case is pending — pick up the phone.
Make the call. Ask for a meeting with Ronald Hedding. I've been doing this for almost 30 years.
I have defended thousands of sex crime cases and argued bail almost every day with great success. Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.