One of the first steps you should take after your arrest is seeking bail. Without coming out of police custody, you might not be able to build your defense and prove your innocence. However, bail can be impossible or expensive. Cali Bail Bonds understands that bad things occur to good people. We offer bails for different felony charges, misdemeanor charges, and non-arrest cases. We can also walk with you through the entire process at reasonable costs, making the process easy for you.
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows all citizens to apply for bail and secure an early release. Bail is the property or money (security) that the accused person posts with the court. Bail has two functions. First, it grants the suspect freedom until their trial date, allowing him/her to return to their daily life and continue being a productive member of society. Second, it deters the defendant from failing to appear on their scheduled court hearings. If you skip bail, the court will forfeit the entire bail money or property and issue an arrest warrant. The next time you meet with the police, they will execute the warrant. If the underlying crime is a California misdemeanor like a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) crime, the law enforcers would rarely look for you to serve your warrant.
Typically, the judge sets your total bail amount based on factors such as:
- Your offense’s severity — The severe the offense, the higher your bail amount set.
- Your criminal history — If you have a significant criminal record, you will face more substantial bail amounts. In addition, the court might deny you bail if you have an existing warrant in another jurisdiction to detain you.
- Whether you have community ties — Strong community ties work in favor of less bail amount requirement. If you have a lucrative job or business in a community, you are less likely to endanger others, commit another crime, or flee.
- Whether you pose threats to yourself or the community is another factor considered. The court will examine the severity and type of the risk to yourself and other people in your community. The court will also consider whether the alleged crime involved the use of violence, threats, or firearms.
- Whether you are a flight risk or not — The court determines defendants likely to flee the jurisdiction before your case closes. People arrested while fleeing the jurisdiction will pay high bail or might be denied bail altogether. Also, the court will require a high bail setting if you have previously missed your court hearings.
- Your financial condition and employment history
The purpose of bail isn't to punish the accused person. As far as common offenses are concerned, different counties in California have bail schedules. In that case, the defendant is released after posting their scheduled amount. The benefit of posting the preset bail amount is that you don't have to wait for the judge's bail determination during your arraignment hearing. The downside is that the court might set a lower amount.
Does the suspect have to post bail? Sometimes after putting factors like the severity of the offense, absence of a criminal record, and community ties, the court might allow you to be released from detention without posting bail. It is known as release on their own recognizance.
Lowering Your Bail Amount
If you are prosecuted with a serious felony, the judge won't reduce your bail amount unless the court finds a change in circumstances.
The legal phrase "change in circumstances'' doesn't mean the court made an error or did not analyze the criminal case properly. It means changes in your situation, circumstances surrounding your case proved by new evidence, and in court hearings. Moreover, it does not include the fact that you:
- attended all your court proceedings, and
- did not violate any other federal or state law.
If you are in police custody and haven't posted bail, you have a right to a bail review hearing within five days from the day your bail was set.
Suppose you are charged with a violent felony, serious felony, violation of a restraining order, or violation of domestic violence law. In that case, you must issue the prosecutor with a notice of the plan to request the bail reduction. You ought to issue the notice two (2) days before your bail review hearing. It allows the prosecution to oppose the reduction.
Discussed below are different ways of posting your bail:
Using Cash Bail
The easiest method of posting your bail amount is paying the entire amount to the court. You can pay using a cashier's check, traveler's check, money order, or a personal check.
The court will return the money to you within sixty to ninety days after the date of your criminal case resolution. The refund is only available provided you haven't forfeited your bail by skipping bail or violating the bail conditions.
However, if the prosecution team thinks that you illegally obtained the bail amount, the judge will hold the release and schedule a hearing to settle the matter. Therefore, it is your responsibility to verify the money was lawfully acquired. If you do so, the judge will accept the bail. If you fail to, the court won't accept the bail and might raise it, depending on the case circumstances.
The rationale of doing this is to ensure future court appearances. The court believes that if a defendant acquires the bail feloniously, the defendant is less likely to attend their court proceedings.
That means even when you have adequate money to secure your cash bail, it would be best to use Alhambra bail bonds to maintain a low profile, especially if accused of a drug offense or a white-collar crime.
Using Property Collateral
If you do not have sufficient money to foot your bail amount in full, you can post bail using a valuable property. Courts accept property like houses, cars, jewelry, bonds, and stocks. Using a property bond means you permit the court to place a lien on the property, and should you fail to attend your scheduled hearings, the court will foreclose the asset.
Using a Bondsman
The most common way of posting bail is working with a bondsman. A surety insurance company backs the bail bond company. The bondsman will post the bail amount on your behalf in return for a percentage of the bail amount.
Bail bonds are ideal if you cannot afford to pay your entire bail amount. A relative or friend should function as a co-signer for fees your bondsman incurred should you skip bail.
How Alhambra Bail Bonds Work
As previously mentioned, a bondsman comes in handy when you can't afford your bail amount. The agent will post your entire bail amount in return for a non-refundable percent of your bail. Generally, the premium is 10%. That means if your bail amount is forty thousand dollars, you will pay a premium of four thousand dollars.
Your Alhambra bail bonds will require you to provide your personal information in your bail bond application. Providing wrong information breaches the application's terms and might result in bail denial or revocation. Some of the information the firm will ask for include:
- Your name, phone number, and address
- Your date of birth
- Your social security number (SSN)
- Your physical description
- Your email address
- Evidence of residence like gas bill, the electric bill, or phone bill
- Your current employer's information
- Proof of work schedule or employment
- Information about the previous arrest and criminal record
Ensure your handwriting when filling your application form is clear and readable. If the agency can't read the handwriting, the information might not be of importance. The company will use every detail you give to determine whether you should be granted the bond or not. Should your information fail to check out, the company might think that you plan to skip bail.
Collateral In Bail Bonds
One of the ways of obtaining a bondsman's services is offering collateral instead of cash. Collateral can be in the form of:
- Real estate
- Stocks and bonds
- Bank accounts
If you use your home or motor vehicle, it should be valuable and in good shape. You must bring a deed with the court and inform it that your property is under the bondsman's lien. Nevertheless, you can use your property. The company will take physical possession of smaller collateral such as jewelry and keep them until your case is resolved.
Typically, collateral is returned when one of the below happens:
- The judge finds you innocent
- The bail amount is exonerated, or you are sentenced
- The criminal case is dropped
A bail bonding company asks for collateral to protect itself from incurring financial losses. The court will require the company to pay the entire bail amount should the defendant skip bail or fail to fulfill their contractual responsibilities. The worth of the collateral should satisfy or exceed the bail amount paid on the defendant's behalf.
Skipping bail might lead to your bail agent locating you and returning you to detention. They can also use bounty hunters to apprehend you. Bail terms are effective after your release and cease to take effect once your case is closed.
However, the judge can vacate your forfeiture order and exonerate the bond if you show up in court within one hundred and eight days after the forfeiture date. You should also have a viable excuse like:
- A mental health condition
- A health condition established with medical statements or reports
- You couldn't attend the hearing due to disabilities
- You were in custody elsewhere
Skipping bail also attracts severe criminal consequences that might carry over in consequent criminal cases after your present one is closed.
Conditions for Posting Bail
While the terms for obtaining Alhambra bail bonds differ with different companies, you should read and comprehend them. Your agent should advise you of your bond limits, options for getting the money consolidated, any service fee, interest rate, and hidden fees related to the services.
Here are other conditions for obtaining your Alhambra bail bonds:
- Signing an Indemnity agreement
- Notifying the company of any changes
- Raising concerns and asking questions about the services
- Submitting to compulsory check-ins
How Long Does It Take to Get Released After Paying Bail?
Getting booked, fingerprinted, and processed after your arrest can take time. Getting released is also a time-consuming process. You have to sign for your asset and fill in paperwork confirming your release.
How long it takes to get released depends on factors such as:
- How busy the jurisdiction is — The busier the police officers or the jail clerks, the longer it will take to get released.
- How many defendants have paid bail that day, and where on the line you are
- The time of day you post bail — If you pay bail in the evening or afternoon and there are clerks available to process your release, you could be out within a few hours.
The faster you post bail for your friend or relative, the sooner the process of their release begins.
What to Do Between Posting Your Bail and Your Court Proceedings
After your release, you should be proactive about the criminal case. What you do then can make a difference between losing your case or obtaining a favorable case outcome. Here is what to do:
Follow the Terms of Release
Following posting bail, you will be issued with terms that you should adhere to for your bail bond agreement to be valid. If you used Alhambra bail bonds agent services, you should provide specific details to the court and the agency after your release. These details might include:
- Employment changes
- Travel plans
- Change of physical address
The court might set more terms and conditions, hinging mainly on the offense. Common bail conditions include:
- Surrendering a passport or driver's license
- Wearing a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) monitoring device
- Restricting your travel
- House arrest
- Refraining from visiting specific persons or places
- No operating an automotive with any level of alcohol in your bloodstream
Whatever the terms and conditions, it is wise that you comply with them. Recall that you're accountable to the court, your co-signer, and the bailing company, and you should honor your conditions. Otherwise, you will be arrested again and your bail revoked.
Find Legal Representation
It would help if you planned a legal strategy as you await your court trial. While you can represent yourself, self-representation isn't the best decision. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court can appoint a public defender to represent you at no cost. When hiring your lawyer, ensure you choose a person with the following qualities:
- Experienced and have a track of record in similar criminal cases
- A person that prioritizes the case and understands its importance
Retaining the best legal counsel allows you to look forward to your trial with confidence. Having a lawyer in Alhambra goes beyond representing you. The advocate should assist you in understanding the criminal charges, navigating the California judicial system, and stand with you throughout the process.
Avoid Getting into Trouble with the Law
Adhering to your bail conditions is the bare minimum. You must be on your best behavior and be a productive member of society. What does that look like? While the following criteria might not include your bail conditions, it would help to obey them:
- Avoid associating with persons with criminal records
- Avoid drinking, going to bars, and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Maintain a good relationship with your loved ones
Additionally, it's wise to be intentional about physical appearance. As you prepare for the court appearance, consider how you'll present yourself, your attire, and grooming. If you require investing in new clothing, find something that looks decent and professional. Things such as arriving early at the courthouse and how you speak will go a long way in showing that you are put together and respectable.
Focus on the Positive Aspects of Life
While facing a criminal charge can disrupt your life, it doesn't have to derail your life. Instead of sinking into depression or allowing anxiety to take the better part of you, cultivate the positive aspects of life. It means building meaningful relationships, taking care of your health, and making plans for your future and life.
Most importantly, it would help if you took care of yourself. Keep your employment, do whatever it takes to perform your obligations, and participate in beneficial activities and practices like self-improvement, exercise, and meditation.
Alhambra Police Department and Jail Contact Information
Alhambra Police Department
211 S 1st Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
Alhambra City Jail
211 S 1st Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
Contact an Experienced Alhambra Bail Bondsman Near Me
If you face a criminal charge, you are innocent until proven guilty, and the judge might release you as you await the trial date. However, the court might require that you post bail that you can post through cash or property. Also, if you cannot afford your bail amount, you can seek the services of a skilled bondsman. At Cali Bonds, we understand how a criminal case can affect your life and future. We can help you get released fast to start building your defense and return to your job and family. Call us at 877-373-3631 at any time of the day to learn how our team can assist you and get your questions answered.