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California Bail Information and O.R. Release FAQ

San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura County Bail & O.R.

How do bail bonds work?

The amount of bail money or other security deposited with the court to insure that you will appear is set by a schedule in each county. For some traffic citations, you may be notified that you can forfeit or give up bail instead of appearing in court. However, if you have any doubt, go to court so a new warrant is not issued for your arrest for failing to appear.

Bail forfeiture does not apply to misdemeanors or felonies, and you must appear in court. If you fail to appear, your bail will be lost and a new warrant will be issued for your arrest. For traffic citations, a "bail forfeiture" works as a conviction for the traffic violation.

Officers at the jail may be able to accept bail. If you cannot post or put up the bail, you will be kept in custody. Depending on where you are arrested, you may have the opportunity to request a bail reduction through a bail commissioner.

What is bail and how is it set?

When you are taken to court for bail setting or release, the judge will consider the seriousness of the offense with which you are charged the seriousness of the offense with which you are charged, any prior failures to appear (even for traffic tickets), any previous criminal record and your connections to the community, as well as the probability that you'll appear in court. Generally, the amount of bail is set according to a written schedule based on your charges.

California Bail Information & O.R. Realease

Instead of paying bail, you might be released on your own recognizance or "O.R." (or "supervised O.R."). This means that you do not have to pay bail because the judge believes that you will show up for your court appearances without bail.