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California Bail Information and Charges

Health and Safety Code 11377

If someone violates Health and Safety Code 11377(a), that person has been arrested for possession of a controlled substance that is a non-narcotic drug, such as PCP or barbiturates. This Health and Safety Code violation is a felony and carries a $7,500 assumptive bail amount. The assumptive bail amount is the same for all counties across California.

Assumptive bail is the bail amount that is listed on a bail schedule for a particular crime. The bail amount may be adjusted in order to suit the particular offense that a defendant has been arrested for. If a person is arrested for possession of a controlled substance, for example, as well as possession of a firearm, then the bail amount will increase with each offense.

The bail amount may also increase depending on the particular circumstances of an arrest. For example, if a pretrial release program representative has reason to believe that a defendant could pose a threat to society if he or she is released, then the representative may pass the case along to a judge, who could then deny bail.

Similarly, if a pretrial release program representative believes that a defendant has reason to show up to court and that the defendant meets other criteria, then the representative could decide that the defendant may be released on his or her own recognizance, meaning that the defendant would not have to pay bail in order to be released from jail.

When a defendant does have to pay bail in order to get out of jail, the defendant has a number of options. The first option would be to decline the opportunity to pay bail and to wait in jail until the court date. Another option would be to fund the bail on his or her own. However, many defendants do not have enough money to post the bail themselves. In such situations, the defendant may opt to partner with a bail bonding agency in order to make bail.

A bail bonding agency will post the full amount of the bail for the defendant. In return, the defendant pays the bail bonding agency a down payment, which is usually about ten percent of the bail amount. This down payment is non-refundable, but can sometimes be paid through a credit card or through a payment plan.
When a bail bonding agency posts bail for a defendant, the agency is then responsible for ensuring that the defendant arrives in court to stand trial. If the defendant does not arrive in court, then the bonding agency may go after the defendant by using a bounty hunter or private officer to find and rearrest the defendant.
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