Bail is a form of conditional release. By posting bail, a person facing criminal charges can secure their release while their case is still pending. This raises an important question: Can you get bail if you are appealing a conviction in a criminal case in California? The answer depends entirely on the circumstances—in a misdemeanor case you have a right to get bail, but the court has discretion in a felony case. Here, our California criminal appeal lawyer provides a more detailed overview of the key things to know about seeking bail while a case is still on appeal.
Misdemeanors are Straightforward: You Have the Right to Bail (or Release Without Bail)
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor offense in California, you can be released while your case is still pending appeal. As explained by the California Courts (CR-131-Info), you must make a proactive request to the court for your release with or without bail. If the court does set a bail amount in a misdemeanor case that is on appeal, you can apply for reduced bail with the appellate division.
Felonies are Complicated: The Court Has Discretion to Grant or Deny Bail
If you were convicted of a felony offense in California, you still have the right to request bail—but you are not guaranteed bail. Unlike in misdemeanor cases where a defendant can secure their release or get bail upon request, California courts have discretion in felony criminal cases that are on appeal. They can review a number of different factors to determine if bail is appropriate. Among other things, a California court will consider:
- The specific facts of the case;
- The severity of the charges;
- The criminal sentence;
- The issues on appeal;
- The likelihood of a successful appeal;
- The defendant’s ties to the community; and
- Any history of failure to appear for court hearings.
In general, the likelihood of bail decreases based on the length of the sentence. Additionally, any history of skipping court dates could pose a significant problem for a defendant seeking bail. Under California Penal Code § 1272(a), a defendant in a felony appeal must show “by clear and convincing evidence” that they are “not likely to flee.” If you are applying for bail following a felony conviction in California, it is crucial that you put together a strong and compelling case. As judges have wide discretion in these cases, they can deny bail if the defendant fails to demonstrate reasonable cause.
Aggressive California Criminal Appeal Attorneys
At The Appellate Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling criminal appeals in California. With specialized expertise, our legal team will protect your rights and your future. If you have any questions or concerns about getting bail while your case is on appeal, our criminal appellate lawyers are available to help. Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation. With a law office in Los Angeles, we provide representation in criminal appeals throughout California.