Bail is the amount of money required to ensure a release for a criminal defendant with a pending case. After an arrest, you will be held in a jail cell as you wait for trial and other proceedings. However, the judge can allow you to spend time out of jail while the case continues if you post bail. This allows you to go back to work and live normally until the court gives a verdict on your case. In this case, bail acts as a guarantee that you will show up for future court appearances.
Since arrests are unexpected situations, it is challenging for many defendants to raise the money. Fortunately, other ways are available for a criminal defendant to acquire bail, including the use of property and bail bonds. When you opt to use bail bonds to secure a release, the bail bondsman will pay your bail and take up all the responsibility towards you and your conduct while out on bail.
At Cali Bail Bonds, we understand the urgency of securing a release from jail and that money for bail is not always available. Our Altadena bail bonds agents work hard to ensure that you or a loved one spends less time behind bars.
What is Bail?
In California, a defendant does not need to remain in a jail cell between arrest and conviction or dismissal of their case. Some criminal defendants do not require a monetary commitment to secure a release from jail. The judge may decide to release your recognizance. Being released on recognizance allows you to fight your case from outside of custody without the requirement of bail. In this case, you will sign a document promising to return to court as scheduled.
You could be eligible for recognizance release if you face charges for a minor or non-violent misdemeanor. Unfortunately, not all criminal defendants can secure the OR release, and you will need to post bail. By posting bail, you can go home to your family, meet your attorney and strategize on your case. If you fail to pay your bail, you may need to remain in the jail cell until your case ends. Sometimes the court could deny your bail, especially when you have a high flight risk.
Factors Affecting Bail Amounts
At your first court appearance, the judge determines whether or not you are eligible for release on bail and sets the specific amount you need to pay to secure a release. Factors that impact the judge’s decision regarding the determination of your bail are:
- Bail schedules. A bail schedule is a list indicating recommended bail for different criminal charges. However, you will not always pay the amount indicated on the schedules. The judge may reduce or increase your bail based on the specifics of the case.
- The seriousness of your crime. The severity of your criminal charges will significantly affect the judge’s decision on bail. Bail amounts increase with the increase in the severity of your crimes. If you are charged with a crime punishable with capital punishment or a life sentence, the judge could deny you bail.
- Police practices. Sometimes police officers could exaggerate the nature of your crime during an arrest. Even though you could make clarifications during the trial, the mistake of facts could increase your bail requirements.
- Risk of flight. Posting bail assures the court of your return for trial. If the judge feels you may fail to show up even after paying bail, they could set a high bail amount or deny it.
Cash bail is the fastest way to secure the release of your loved one while their case is pending. To secure a release through cash bail in California, you must post the total amount with the court. If you do not have a case, you can pay your bail through a personal check, money order, or bank check. If you attend all court proceedings, you will receive a full refund of your bail money. However, if you skip bail, the court will forfeit the bail, and you lose your money.
Cash bail may be easier and faster, but there are some downsides to this approach. If the prosecutor to the police believes that you obtained your bail money feloniously, you could be subject to financial investigations. During a financial investigation, the court could hold your release until the matter is resolved.
California Bail Bonds
A bail bond is a contract between a criminal defendant and a bail bonds company. Two types of bail bonds are available for defendants in California.
- Civil Bail Bond. A civil bail bond is an amount you must pay for the release of a defendant facing a civil case. Most civil cases are brought by victims who suffer physical injuries or financial losses from another person's negligence.
- Criminal Bail Bond. A criminal bail bond is an amount you pay to the court to secure your release from jail when your criminal case is pending. This assures the court of your appearance for trial. An Altadena Bail Bonds agent takes responsibility for your conduct and appearance for trial and other proceedings by providing a bail bond for you or your loved one.
Paying your bail in cash is the easiest and most convenient way to secure your loved ones' release from jail. However, if you are financially incapable of paying cash bail, seeking bail bonds is a great idea. The bail bonds company will provide the funds needed to secure a release. Also, the bail bondsman will assume the responsibility of ensuring that you show up for trial and other court proceedings. As a fee for bail bonds services, the bond company will charge a premium of up to 10% of the bail.
When you reach out to a bail bonds company, the bail bonds agent will review your situation to determine eligibility for bail bonds. When the surety bond company pays your bail, the court holds them responsible for your conduct. If you violate the conditions or skip bail, the company could lose the money in bail forfeiture. Some of the factors that the bail bonds agent will consider before paying your bail include:
- Your criminal history. Before providing bail money for your release, the bail bond agent will consider whether the current arrest is your first and your behavior during previous arrests.
- Your employment status. Whether or not you have a stable job could affect your chances of acquiring bail bonds.
- Your credit score. When you acquire bail bonds in California, the bail bond company will charge you a service fee. Before accepting your request for bail bonds, the bond company will assess your credit score to determine your ability to pay for their services.
- Whether you own property whose equity matches the bail amount? When you are released from jail using bail bonds, you may need to provide collateral for the bond. Collateral can be in the form of property, a vehicle, or other valuable items. The item you provide as collateral security for the bail bonds company and may be sold in case of bail forfeiture. If you want to recover your collateral, following all the conditions set during your bail hearing would be wise.
If you do not meet the above criteria, the bail bondsman may deny you the bond. However, you can bring in a cosigner who will take financial responsibility for the bail bond. If your loved one is stuck in jail, you can step in and be a cosigner for their bail. As a cosigner, you must have a good credit score and be ready to pay the bail bond premiums for the defendant. However, it is crucial to understand the responsibility you will bear before co-signing bail bonds. If a defendant fails to show up for a trial, the bail bonds company will require you to cover the amount they lose to the court.
If you show up for all court dates and follow all bail conditions, the court will release the bail back to the bail bonds company. In return, the bail bonds agent will give back the collateral you provided for bail bonds. It is essential to understand that the bail bond premium is not refundable.
Role of an Altadena Bail Bondsman
When you contact the bail bonds company, they send a representative whose role in your case is as follows:
- Bond Assessment. The first step when you contact a bail bond company is an assessment of your qualifications. The bail bond agent will investigate your background to ensure that you can pay the fee for the bail bonds. If you are not eligible for bail bonds, you can bring in a cosigner to shoulder the financial responsibility.
- The bail bondsman is responsible for all paperwork associated with the bail bonds. This will include the paperwork filled in court, the bail bond agreement, and collateral.
- The bail bonds agent is an intermediary between you, the bail bond company, and the court. When you call the bail bond company, they contact the bail bond agent and send them to handle your case.
- The bail bonds agent has the responsibility to ensure your appearance in court. Therefore, if you attempt to flee, they will find you and return you to court.
Conditions of Bail
Sometimes, the judge attaches some conditions that you need to comply with while out on bail. Failure to comply with these conditions is considered a violation of bail and could result in forfeiture. Common bail conditions include:
- Travel restrictions. While out on bail, the court may require you to remain within the jurisdiction. The court can issue this bail condition is [f the judge feels you are a flight risk. To enforce this condition, you may be required to surrender your travel documents.
- Stay away order. If you or a loved one faces criminal charges for a violent crime or crimes involving domestic violence, the court could issue a restraining order against you.
- Random drug testing. If you are out on bail for DUI or other drug-related crimes, the judge may order you to submit to random drug testing.
- Order to surrender weapons. On release through bail, the court may impose a firearm restriction requiring you to submit all your weapons.
Bail Bond Repayment Plan
Although buying a bail bond is an effective and cheaper way to secure a release from jail, it may be difficult to pay the bail bond premium. However, this should not prevent you from seeking the services of an Altadena bail bonds agent. A bail bonds company can allow you to make a repayment plan to ensure you pay the premium within your capabilities.
Bail bond premium is up to 10% of the full amount required by the court. If you cannot pay the premium before a release, the bail bond company will allow you to make a down payment and pay the rest in installments. The higher the amount you can raise for a down payment, the higher the chances of securing the bail bonds.
When you are working out a payment plan for a bail bonds premium, it is crucial to find out more about the company's interest rate on the remaining amount. The repayment plan works like a loan, and the bail bond agent will consider the availability of collateral when determining your eligibility for the plan.
When you negotiate the repayment plan, you will determine the amount you can comfortably pay each month. If you are working with a bail bond cosigner, the bail bond company will consider the co-signer’s credit score before allowing you to make the plan.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bail Bonds in California
Having you or a loved one spend time behind bars is a traumatic experience. When you face an arrest for allegedly violating the law in California, securing a fast release is the first thing that will cross your mind. The process of posting can be pretty expensive and complicated. Therefore, seeking the services of an Altadena Bail Bonds agent would be in your best interests. The following are some of the commonly asked questions regarding bail bonds in California:
Can I bail myself out of jail?
Yes. If you are fortunate enough to have the amount of money required for your ball at your disposal, you can bail yourself. However, most individuals who face an arrest do not have this opportunity. Bail amounts vary widely depending on your case, and it may be challenging to raise the amount required. If your situation allows you to bail yourself out instantly, a bail bonds agent will provide a bail bond. The bail bondsman will secure your release, and in exchange, you must pay a service fee that is often 10% of the total bail.
What happens if I don't post bail?
If the judge decides that you need bail to secure a release, you have no option but to pay. Failure to post bail will cause you to remain behind bars awaiting the outcome of your case.
How long does it take to be released after posting bail?
There is no specific time set to release a defendant after posting bail in California. The process can take up to eight hours or quicker, depending on the workload of the jail. After posting bail, you have to sit and wait for the process. However, you can ensure a quick release by seeking bail bond services. A good bail bonds agent can help speed up the process.
Can I travel out of State while out on bail?
Yes, Travel restrictions are one of the conditions of bail. However, bail conditions vary for different defendants. Therefore, if the judge does not restrict your bail hearing, you may be free to travel. Sometimes, traveling while on bail bond could make it challenging to meet other conditions. Therefore, it is vital to consult with your Altadena Bail Bonds Agent before making decisions.
Jails around Altadena include:
Altadena Sheriff's Department
Altadena, CA 91001
207 Garfield Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
Glendale City Jail
131 N Isabel St,
Glendale, CA 91206
The following courts serve Altadena, CA are:
300 E Walnut St
Pasadena, CA 91101
Find a Bail Bond Agent Near Me
Being arrested and sitting in jail for a crime that is not yet proven can be a scary experience. One of the first things you need to do is secure a faster release and avoid spending unnecessary time behind bars. Shortly after an arrest, you will appear before the judge, determining whether you can secure a release through bail and setting your bail amount. Bail amounts vary from one case to another depending on the circumstances of each case. In California, bail amounts may be very high, and raising the amount required for cash bail is challenging for many defendants.
If you or your loved one is in jail and you lack the means to pay cash bail, it would be wise to seek bail bonds. A bail bonds company will provide the funds to pay your bail, and you will be responsible for a small percentage. At Cali Bail Bonds, we provide our clients with the funds and guidance required to make the bail process faster and easier. Contact our Altadena bail bond agents at 877-373-3631 to discuss your situation.