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 an edict sent down that all bail should be zero, and therefore, everybody would get out.
However, sex crimes is an exception to that edict and sometimes bail could be set in sex crimes, especially if they're serious sex crimes involving either minors or violent activity toward women.
Bail Schedule in Los Angeles County
So, the fist starting point to figure out how the bail is going to be set, there's something called 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 single 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 what the bail might be.
Just because somebody was booked for something in Los Angeles, some sort of a sex crime, doesn't necessarily mean that's what they're going to be charged with. The prosecutors, who are attorneys are the ones who decide what people are charged with.
That's where things get a little bit confusing because people think that just because the police have booked somebody for a certain sex crime, that will be the charged. Sometimes it's:
- something less serious;
- sometimes it's something more serious, and
- sometimes it's exactly 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 are going to be. So, starting point for bail in sex crime cases in Los Angeles is to look to the bail schedule.
Defendant's Prior Criminal Record
The next 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.
If someone is charged with rape, for example, there's a strong argument from the prosecution's point of view, that person is a danger to the community.
Therefore, that bail should not only be at bail schedule, but potentially higher, depending on what the facts and circumstances are 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 are going to use the facts of the case in open court to try 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 is to assume 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, when it comes to bail, the powers that be have decided that whatever the allegations are, the judge is to assume they are true.
So, that's where you sometimes, as a defense attorney , if you can point out that there's conflicting allegations, conflicting statements and/or reports.
Then, you might be able to show the judge that even though they're to assume this is true, there's 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 have argued bail almost every single 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.