Although being in police custody does not mean you are guilty of the accused offense, your freedom could be at stake as your case continues. To stay out of the detention hall as your alleged charge continues, you may have to pay or post bail to act as the price for your freedom before the court's verdict on your charge.
Since the amount the court sets as bail in most cases is high to prevent you from fleeing, you may need the services of a bail bond agency or company to post your bail. That’s where reputable bail bond dealers at Cali Bail Bonds intervene to assist you or your friend secure his/her freedom without a hassle during these stressful and confusing moments after an arrest.
Bail at a Glance
Once you or your friend is under arrest, he/she becomes a defendant in the confusing legal justice system, which may even lead to a conviction if the prosecutor proves him/her guilty of the alleged offense.
Typically, bail in the legal justice system is the amount of money the court will ask you to pay to secure your release from police custody until the alleged case's trial date, which can happen after 30-45 days following an arrest.
Considering the time you have to stay in custody before your alleged case trial hearing, posting bail is an opportunity you cannot ignore to obtain your deserved freedom. After an arrest, posting bail is also essential to buy yourself adequate time and freedom to work with your attorney to prepare legal defenses to counter the alleged charge.
Not forgetting, your freedom is also critical because you need to continue working and enjoying quality time with your family before your alleged case final verdict. Hence, posting bail is an option you cannot assume if you’re in custody for a misdemeanor, felony, or infraction offense.
How to Know Your Bail Amount After an Arrest
Depending on the sophistication of the alleged charge against you, you could be eligible to post bail while at the police station to secure your freedom. Some police stations have a bail schedule outlining a predetermined amount of bail a defendant should pay for his/her alleged offense.
If that’s impossible because of the seriousness of the alleged offense, you will know your bail amount at the bail hearing. The bail hearing in the criminal justice system is the first court hearing you or your attorney will attend within forty-eight hours after an arrest.
Apart from determining your qualification to post bail and the monetary amount you should pay as bail, the court will also allow you to take a plea on the alleged charges during this hearing. There are several factors the judge will consider when determining the ideal amount of bail you will have to pay to the court's clerk to obtain your freedom. Some of these factors include:
Your Past Criminal Record
If you have a criminal history, the judge will look into your record to see if you have past issues with "skipping bail" or failing to appear in court after posting bail. Your past failures to show up in court after securing your bail is a legal obstacle that can affect your qualification to post or pay bail and the amount you must pay for your specific alleged offense.
Whether or Not You Are a Threat to Your Community
One of the most critical and exceptional considerations when determining your bail amount is whether you are a threat to your community or not, according to section 1275 (a)(1) of the Penal Code. If public safety might be at risk when you are free, the court may deny you bail.
The Nature and Severity of the Accused Charge
For severe and violent offenses, the judge has the discretion to set a high and reasonable bail amount to prevent you from fleeing after paying the amount. That means a felony offense will make you subject to a higher bail amount than a misdemeanor charge. When evaluating the sophistication and seriousness of the alleged charge, the judge will consider the factors mentioned below:
- Whether the alleged charge against you involves possession of illegal drugs or narcotics
- Whether the alleged charge against you involves the use of a firearm or any other dangerous weapon
- Whether there is evidence of you threatening an eyewitness or the victim of the offense
Whether or Not You Are a "Flight Risk"
Being a "flight risk" means you are likely to flee the state or the country after securing your release to avoid future court hearings or evade the police. If the court considers you a flight risk, you’ll not be eligible to post or pay bail.
Requesting a Reduction of Bail Amount
The monetary amount of bail the judge will require you to pay at the bail hearing can mean a significant difference between your freedom and imprisonment before your case’s final verdict because it is usually too high. However, under the Bail Reform Act and the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, you can request a reduction of your bail amount if you think it is unreasonably too high.
To do that, you or your attorney can petition the court to schedule another hearing or proceeding to seek a lower bail amount. The judge presiding over your alleged case will consider various issues or factors when determining whether to reduce your bail or not, including:
- The seriousness/severity of your case
- Community safety
- Your connections or involvement to the community
- Your history in attending court hearings after posting bail
- Your criminal history
Remember, bail is not a penalty for your charge and cannot act as one under the law. Therefore, if you’re uncomfortable with your total bail amount, you can petition the court to lower it.
Own Recognizance Release as an Option for Obtaining Your Freedom Following an Arrest
Following an arrest, you might also obtain your freedom without posting bail by requesting an Own Recognizance or O.R release at the bail hearing. Any person can petition the court for an O.R release unless:
- If your freedom would compromise the safety of the community
- The alleged crime or offense conviction is punishable by death
- R release will not guarantee your appearance in court for oncoming hearings
Before a release on O.R, the court will want you to sign an O.R release agreement. Under this legal agreement, you must:
- Promise to show up or avail yourself during the scheduled court dates
- Promise to not flee the state or county without the court's permission
- Promise to comply with all the conditions and requirements of your release
- Acknowledge that you are aware of the potential penalties for failing to show up in court
If the court grants you an O.R release, it is wise to take this pretrial release option because posting or paying bail is a financial burden.
Applicable Ways You Can Post Bail Under the Law
As a defendant or alleged offender in the legal justice system, you have the following options of posting bail if you are in jail following an arrest for any offense:
Use Cash Bail
One of the most challenging options of posting bail is the use of cash as surety. It is challenging to post bail using cash as surety for your release because you must have the required sum of money at hand to receive your freedom.
Even though some courthouses accept defendants to use a credit card or cashier's check to secure a cash bail, the required monetary bail amount is not readily available. For that reason, most defendants opt to use the services of a bail bondsman or agent to obtain their freedom after an arrest.
If the court refuses cash bail, it is because they suspect that your money might be proceeds from unlawful activity, for example, the sale of illegal drugs. In that situation, you will have to prove to the court that the source of your funds was lawful and legitimate to secure your release through this option of posting bail.
Since cash bail is just a security for your release, the court will return your money after subtracting administrative fees when your case is over. However, you have to abide by your pretrial release conditions.
Use a Property
Since not everyone can afford to pay the required monetary bail amount in full due to their financial status or joblessness, the court can allow you to secure your bail with an asset/property to receive your freedom. Securing bail using an asset/property seems like a favorable idea to obtain your release following an arrest.
However, it has its risks because the judge with jurisdiction over your case will order foreclosure upon it if you fail to abide by or comply with the conditions of your pretrial release.
Use a Bail Bond
To secure your release from police custody using a bail bond or surety bond, you should retain the services of an affordable and reputable bail bond agency or company. A bail bond agency is a third party that agrees to take over the responsibility of ensuring you will not miss your upcoming court hearings after pretrial release on bail.
The bail bond agency will sign a legal contract with the court to pay your total monetary bail amount when you fail to show up in court after securing your freedom. In exchange, the bail bond agency will expect you to pay a 10 percent service fee (non-refundable) of the total required bail amount.
Additionally, the bail bond agency may also want you to provide some kind of collateral to guarantee your appearance in court after pretrial release. The bail bond agency will allow you to use any property or asset as collateral as long as it's equivalent to your bail amount. Some of the properties you can use as collateral include a house, real estate, vehicle, or yacht.
Depending on the jail and the staff available, it can take thirty minutes to twelve hours before you receive your freedom after securing a bail bond. If you’re helping a loved one secure his/her freedom after an arrest, you should give the bail bond agency the following information to making the bail process seamless:
- His/her legal names
- The detention hall or jail he/she is in custody
- The alleged charge he/she is facing
Securing your release from jail using a bail bond is a dependable and affordable option if your financial situation cannot allow you to post cash bail.
Court Hearings to Expect After Securing Your Bail
If you decide to plead "not guilty," as most people will do, you must be ready to prove your innocence in the subsequent court hearings. Below are court proceedings/hearings to expect after posting bail at the arraignment hearing:
Depending on the unique circumstances and facts surrounding your specific case, the pretrial process could last from one week to a year. The primary purpose of the pretrial hearing is to give your attorney and the prosecutor time to discuss the following:
- Intangible factors surrounding the alleged charge against you, for example, past criminal history
- weaknesses and strengths of the alleged offense against you
- Plea bargain possibilities
To achieve the primary purpose of this court proceeding in a just and fair way, your defense attorney can file any of the following motions on your behalf:
- Motion to suppress
- Pitchess motion
- Motion to dismiss
The trial hearing is the next court hearing you will attend if it is impossible to resolve the alleged offense against you at the pretrial phase. During the trial hearing, the prosecutor and your attorney must present their arguments, pieces of evidence, and eyewitness statements to a judge or a jury to determine if you are guilty or not.
At this stage of the legal justice system, the prosecutor must convince the judge or jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that the accusations against you are true to obtain a conviction against you. If you’re not guilty of the alleged offense, you will go free. However, if you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge will schedule sentencing hearing dates.
Often the court will schedule a separate hearing known as "sentencing hearing" to determine an appropriate punishment after the case verdict or conviction. Your attorney should be ready to raise mitigating arguments to convince the judge you deserve the minimum sentence for your charge during this hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Bonds
Elaborated below are some of the most frequent and prevalent questions about bail bonds:
1. What Will Happen When I "Skip Bail" After Securing My Freedom Using the Services of a Bail Bondsman or Agency?
When you "skip bail" or fail to avail yourself in court after obtaining your freedom using a bail bond, the bail bond agency will hire a bounty hunter to trace you and return you to the detention hall because their money is at stake. If the bail bond agency had your property or that of your friend as collateral, they would seize it when you skip bail.
Therefore, it is crucial to comply with the conditions and requirements of your pretrial release because a rearrest can lead to additional charges and a higher bail amount. Some of the conditions you have to comply with after pretrial release include:
- Not leaving the state or the county after release without the court's permission
- Reporting or checking in with your court-assigned probation officer often
- Showing up in court on time for all your case hearings
When you comply with the above conditions of your pretrial release, the court will exonerate the bail, meaning it will not have any financial interest from you or the bail bond agency.
2. How Do I Find a Reliable Bail Bonds Agency in the City of Bellflower?
There are several bail bond agencies or companies in this business, but finding a reliable service provider is a challenging and time-consuming task. Listed below are prime factors to consider when finding the right bail bond agency following an arrest in Bellflower:
- Consider the agency's availability – A dependable and credible bail bond agency understands that time is of the essence when someone is under arrest. Hence, you should focus on finding an agency that offers its services 24/7
- Consider the agency's reputation – The reputation of your prospective agency can give you a hint or idea of what to expect once you choose to retain their bail bond services following an arrest
- Consider the agency's licensing – Like any other business, a reliable bail bond agency will be compliant with the legal requirements of conducting this kind of business
The above factors can narrow down your options to find a reliable and credible bail bond agency without a hassle if you’re in jail or detention hall for any alleged offense.
The City of Bellflower Courthouse and Jail Addresses
The crucial information below will help you when you are assisting a friend to obtain his/her freedom after an arrest using the services of a bail bond agency:
10025 East Flower Street
Bellflower, CA 90706
Bellflower City Sheriff's Substation
16615 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706
Lakewood Sheriff's Station
5130 Clark Avenue
Lakewood CA, 90712
Find a Bellflower Bail Bond Agency Near Me
If you need bail services in the city of Bellflower, we at Cali Bail Bonds can help you secure your release from police custody without unnecessary delay. Call us any time of the day or week at 877-373-3631 to discuss your bail issue with our understanding bail bond agents.