Like in any other state, California Judicial Courts have its own set legal quirks in its bail system. For example, a first-time DUI offender who was ordered to go through a diversionary program in Orange County is freed from the requirement to post a bail bond to obtain release from jail.
Thus, in the event that you got caught in a sticky legal situation in California, it will be quite useful to know the following things regarding the State’s bail system.
You have three options for posting bail.
According to the California Penal Code, an accused post a bond by paying cash or by pledging something of value, such as a home, in lieu of cash.
Posting bail via paying cash, cashier’s check, or (in some cities) credit card is the simplest way to temporarily get the accused out of jail. However, it is also considered as the least common method of posting bail as most offenders are often not financially stable enough to do so.
In some instances where the accused has no money but has real property, they can choose to post property bond as bail. However, the property equity should be twice the amount of bail for the judicial courts to allow it.
If you are lucky, you might not have to post bail at all.
When an accused is involved in minor charges or is a first time offender, the California courts might be cajoled in releasing them on their own cognizance – meaning no bail required, just a written promise that they will religiously attend their court dates on the dot.
However, this is only mostly true in misdemeanor charges. If the first-time lawbreaker is involved in a felony charge, then it is very likely that the courts will set the appropriate amount of bail.