Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

Should I plead guilty to get out of jail?

Generally speaking, you do not want to plead guilty simply to get out of jail earlier. Prosecutors, police officers or related representatives of California may frame this as if it is a good deal for you, but please remember that they have no ethical or legal obligation to act in your best interests while speaking with you or offering options. In fact, speaking to them at all without knowledge of the law could threaten your defense.

Even if you cannot post bail, there still may be other options available to avoid pretrial incarceration. Your case would likely require an individual legal analysis before you know what those options are. Also, please keep in mind that California laws are constantly changing. Please continue reading for a brief discussion of the current and upcoming state of the bail system.

California currently operates on a cash bail system. You would have to pay money in order to get your freedom if you were arrested for certain offenses or under certain circumstances. Usually, the amount is quite high, and many people are not able to pay.

If you were arrested, that might mean that you would have to spend time incarcerated before your case went to trial. If you had obligations outside of your criminal charge, such as your family or your job, it could be difficult to manage them from inside the jail. Do not give up hope. You have certain rights when you are in jail pending a crime, or incarcerated under any circumstances for that matter. When those rights are violated, you may have grounds for other legal action.

Looking forward, as explained by the Human Rights Watch, the California bail system is set to change. This new system would supposedly make the institution of bail better for you if you did not have immediate access to the large amounts of cash necessary to post bail. Even so, as the article suggests, it is likely you will still need to fight to protect your rights if you are arrested in California under the new law. Please do not view this as legal advice. It is only general information. 

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