Legal Glossary: Bail


If a defendant is arrested, it is very possible they will be booked and released. For more serious cases or where the defendant may be a flight risk, a bail is set.

Under the California Money Bail Reform Act, the State abolished the use of money bail in holding those accused of crimes after a Supreme Court decision rendered it unconstitutional. The new law will is effective as of October of 2019. Moving forward, decisions on who to keep in custody and who to release will be decided by an algorithm that considers several factors. Those considered flight risks will be either held in custody or released with GPS monitoring.

gavel Client Tip: Appearing 977

In some cases, especially cases where a bail is set and paid, the defendant must attend court with his or her attorney. However, in many cases such as lower level misdemeaners, you were “released O.R.” or released without a bail, the defendant can hire an attorney to attend most court dates. Please discuss your particular case with your attorney. Appearing 977 indicates that your attorney is moving to appear without client present. Where client is out of state or has a previously scheduled trip, attorneys can sometimes appear 977 with a judge’s permission.

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