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Mar 02, 2021

How Do I Bail Someone Out in Oakland?

When someone is arrested for an alleged crime that took place, they will want to get out of jail as soon as possible. They may make a phone call to a family member or friend and ask them to help them with their release. Then, that family member or friend can figure out the bail and get them out, ensuring their loved one can return home while they’re awaiting trial.

If you need to bail out someone in Oakland fast, learn how to do it, and then call up an Oakland criminal lawyer for help.

What Is Bail?

You don’t know anyone who has gotten arrested until now, so you’re a little confused about what bail actually means. Essentially, an officer can arrest you for a crime if they have an arrest warrant, they see you committing a crime, or they have probable cause that you committed a crime. Then, they will arrest and book you, placing you in custody. If you allegedly committed a minor offense, then you may only get a citation that states a date you need to appear in court.

You may be granted bail while you’re in custody. This means that you can pay the amount of the bail and then go home while you’re waiting for your arraignment, which is typically within 48 hours of your arrest. Bail is cash, a property, or a bond that you would provide to the court to make sure you will appear in court. If you post bail but do not go to your court appearance, then an arrest warrant could be issued and the court will keep the bail.

There may be conditions that come along with the bail. For example, if you’re arrested for alleged drunk driving, you might be able to post bail, but you cannot drive for the time being. If you’re caught driving, you could get into trouble and go back to jail.

A judge will set your bail, but usually, jails will have set bail amounts for certain crimes. A suspect can always request that the judge lowers the amount so they can post bail. The U.S. Constitution states that bail should not be excessive – though the courts don’t always follow this.

How to Bail Someone Out in Oakland

If you’re trying to bail someone out in Alameda County, or Oakland specifically, then you have to follow a few simple steps. First, find out the name of the jail where your loved one is currently being held. The two jails in Alameda County include Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility at 550 6th Street in Oakland and Santa Rita Jail at 5325 Broder Blvd. in Dublin.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office website has all the information for both jails on how to bail someone out. On the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility page, it says that you can post bail in the lobby there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inmates who are eligible to be released will be released as soon as possible, but it can take up to several hours. You should wait until you get a phone call from the released inmate prior to going to the jail. Then, bring the bail.

If you don’t know all the information like the bail amount, you can call up the jail at 510-268-7777. You need to be able to provide the inmate’s name, Personal File Number (PFN), or date or birth before you will be given any information. You can call and learn about your loved one’s bail amount, release date, charges, court date, custody status, or any other important information 24 hours a day. The emergency phone number is (510) 268-7823, and it’s open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., excluding holidays. You can tell your loved one that when they are released, they will receive all their personal property back.

The process for posting bail and finding out information is exactly the same for Santa Rita Jail. You can ask for the bail amount or any other important information 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling up 925-551-6500. Again, you need to provide the inmate’s name, PFN, or correct date of birth. If there are any emergencies, you can call the Inmate Services Section at (925) 551-6580, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays.

Typical Bail Amounts in California

Throughout Oakland, Alameda County, and all of California, there are some typical bail amounts and schedules. Bail for a restraining order violation could be $15,000 to $150,000 if you’re caught stalking with prior convictions, for example.

Bail for a DUI could range from $50,000 to $100,000, while bail for possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell them ranges from $25,000 for a small quantity to $5,000,000 for 80 kilograms. Assault charges could start at $10,000 and go all the way up to $1,000,000, and weapons charges go from $250,000 to $1,000,000.

If you pay the full cash bail amount, you’ll get the money back if the defendant goes to all of their hearing dates, but if he doesn’t, then the court has the right to keep the money. A bond could be discharged if a defendant is found not guilty or a defendant pleads guilty. If you offer a property bond to get out of your loved one, and they don’t appear in court, then the court could seize your land or home.

Make sure that whoever you’re providing the bail for will come through and attend all their court appearances so you don’t end up losing your money or property.

What to Do If You Can’t Afford Bail in Oakland

If you cannot afford bail in Oakland or Alameda County, then you could call up a professional bond bail company. The company will put up the amount of the bail on behalf of your loved one, and charge you a certain percentage of the total amount of the bond. Usually, it’s 10%. This premium is non-refundable.

You could also sell some of your valuable assets in order to post bail or take out a loan from a bank. However, you shouldn’t make any hasty moves out of desperation. Although your loved one is in a tough situation, it could be made worse if you sell something valuable and then they don’t show up to court, which means you could lose your asset. Think rationally in this situation about what to do before making any moves.

What Does Release on Own Recognizance Mean?

If your loved one is lucky, they will be released on own recognizance, which basically means that they won’t need to post bail money to be released. They will have to sign a written promise that they will show up at their court appearance. Typically, a judge will do this if your loved one is a low risk offender. For example, maybe they allegedly committed a misdemeanor crime and they don’t have a criminal record. They may have a record of being a productive member of their community, which could factor in. It will be up to the judge to determine whether a release on own recognizance would apply.

Even if you were able to successfully bail someone out of jail in Oakland or Alameda County in general, the work doesn’t stop there. Your loved one will need to hire an Oakland criminal attorney to help them navigate their case and hopefully get their charges reduced or drop altogether.

Why Hire an Oakland Criminal Lawyer?

When going through the legal system, your loved one will learn that they’ll have access to a court-appointed criminal defense lawyer. While this may sound like great news, it isn’t the best option for them. Even though a court-appointed lawyer is free, they are typically overwhelmed with cases. They could be handling multiple cases at a time, which means they won’t give your loved one’s case the attention it needs. This could be very detrimental to the case and your loved one’s future.

Instead, it’s a better idea to contact a private Oakland criminal lawyer who has experience in these types of cases. Since they are private, they choose the cases they take on and ensure they aren’t overworked. They will dedicate as much time and energy as it takes to try to get a favorable outcome for your family member or friend. Unlike a court-appointed lawyer, they are much more available to their clients.

A private Oakland criminal attorney will fight hard for your loved one to get them a plea deal – where their charges will be reduced or drop in exchange for a guilty plea – or take their case to court. They will look for any errors that the police may have made when making the arrest or holes in the prosecuting attorney’s case against your family member or friend. For instance, the prosecuting attorney has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your loved one committed the crime. This is a very high standard. A private Oakland criminal lawyer will closely examine the prosecutor’s evidence and seek to invalidate it. They will also strengthen your loved one’s case by collecting as much evidence as possible.

The criminal justice system is very complicated, and if your friend or family member has never been to jail before, they may be confused and worried. A private Oakland criminal attorney will take the time to explain the legal process to them and let them know what’s happening every step of the way. They can ask questions or reach out at any time and ask what they can do to make their case stronger. A good lawyer will clear up any confusion and stand by your loved one’s side as they are going through a tough time.

What if I Can’t Afford an Oakland Criminal Attorney?

If you’re helping out your loved one when it comes to bail, you may also want to provide them money to pay for a criminal defense lawyer. However, you’re not sure you can afford private representation.

First of all, many criminal lawyers will offer you a free consultation. You won’t have to pay for the initial meeting, and you’ll be able to hear from the lawyers themselves how they will handle your family member or friend’s case. During these meetings, ask how much the lawyer will charge you for a retainer and an hourly rate.

Even if it seems high, think about this: If your loved one has to go to jail for many years, pay hefty fines, and end up with a criminal charge on their record, it’s going to cost them much more than lawyers’ fees. When they’re behind bars, they can’t work, plus, they may have to pay a large fine for their alleged crime. Then, when they get out, they might not be able to get a good job because of their criminal record. They certainly won’t be able to get federal student loans or grants if they want to go back to school. And, they could have trouble securing a place to live, since landlords may not want to rent to convicts. All of these things could take a huge economic toll on your loved one.

It’s important to weigh the benefits of paying for a lawyer now rather than paying for the consequences of a conviction over the course of a lifetime. Many lawyers will understand if you’re having financial issues, and are willing to be flexible to satisfy your needs. All you have to do is ask.

Contacting Oakland Criminal Lawyer Elliot Silver

Elliot Silver at Silver Law Firm has over 25 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer in Oakland, Alameda County, and surrounding areas. If you need an experienced lawyer right now for your loved one, then get in touch with Silver Law Firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You can email us at, fill out the form on our website, or call us anytime at (510) 995-0000. We look forward to hearing from you.

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