Hi, my name is Ivan Morse and I'm a criminal defense attorney. I've been a criminal defense attorney for almost thirty years. Prior to being a criminal defense attorney, I was an Oakland police officer for almost seven years. I conducted investigations in virtually every type of crime allegedly committed by an individual.
Today, I'm going to be talking to you about a typical call that I will receive and what you should do. A typical call that I receive will go something like this: "Hi Ivan, my name is John Jones and my friend or my wife or my son or my daughter is in jail and their bail is $20,000." Or they will tell me they don't know what the bail is and ask what they should do.
If you don't know what the bail is, the best thing you could do is contact a bail bonds person in your area. There are a lot of them in the YellowPages or on the internet. They can find out what your friend or wife or son or daughter is in custody for and they can tell you what the amount of the bail is. And let's say, as an example, the bail is $10,000. I mean it could certainly be a lot more than that, it could be $50,000 or $5,000, it really doesn't matter. The same rules apply across the board.
The first thing I always tell people is, if it possible, that you should get the person in jail out of jail. Jail is not a fun place to be. That is number one. Number two, once you find out how much bail is the question is do you want to post cash or do you want to use a bail bonds person to assist you? If you can afford to post cash, let's say its $10,000, and you go to jail wherever your friend or daughter is or your son and you post the $10,000, at the end of the proceedings, as long as the person whose in jail makes all their court appearances, you'll get your $10,000 back.
If you can't afford to post bail because you don't have that much money, then a bail bondsman will usually charge you 10%. That's their fee to post a bond guaranteeing that the person who's in jail will make their court appearances.
So, for example, if the bail were $50,000, the bails bondsman's fee would be $5,000. They would post a $50,000 bond and your friend would be released. Then I or your criminal defense attorney would have the opportunity to talk to them about their case and about what had transpired and why you know they had been arrested.
The other thing you can do is you can leave them in jail and usually within 48 hours unless there is a weekend they'll be taken before a judge and the judge might release them on their own recognizance or might reduce their bail.
In any event, my suggestion always is get the person out of jail. It is not a fun place to be and they are far better off out of jail. Then you can consult with a criminal defense attorney. If you have any questions do not hesitate to give me a call. I offer free consultations. My name is Ivan Morse, my telephone number is 925-452-4065. I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to talking to you. Thank you.