If a friend or family member asks you to post their bail, you will have a few questions about California's bail and bailing process. In California, defendants or arrestees have the right to be released on bail, depending on the type of crimes they've committed. Nevertheless, not all defendants can raise the required amount. Most of them end up relying on a bail bonds agency to secure the amount needed. There are several requirements associated with posting a bail bond that you must adhere to. That's why you should assess your options, to find a reliable agency. If you're looking for a bail bonds agency in Hawaiian Gardens, Los Angeles, County, contact Cali Bail Bonds for high quality and fast services.
Overview of Bail in California
Getting out of jail may not be an easy task if you're arrested and charged with a particular crime. Many suspects arrested for a misdemeanor are released on their recognizance, but suspects arrested for committing felonies must post bail to be released from jail.
Bail is the sum of money a defendant must pay, along with the promise to appear to court as expected. In California, you can pay a cash bail, bail bond, or property bond to get out of jail. The court can accept cash, personal check, cashier's check, and traveler's check as your bail payment. If you honor your court schedules and are found innocent of the charges against you, the court will return the cash.
There are several risks associated with posting cash bail. For instance, a complex case can last for a year or longer, and the defendant cannot access the bail funds when the case is pending. It might also take up to 12 weeks to receive the amount back from the county once the court has dismissed your case. Finally, if you're found guilty of the crimes, the court can use the bail money to pay your fines.
That's why it's unusual to find defendants paying a cash bail. Additionally, most of them cannot afford to raise the required amount. Even when the bail amount is affordable, most people prefer obtaining a bail bond through a bail bonds agent like our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agents.
Only a few defendants opt to post a property bond. The value of the property's equity in question must be at a minimum two times the amount of bail to be acceptable in court. You must recently appraise the property, have its lien disclosed, and the court must estimate its equity. You also risk losing it when you fail to appear as scheduled by the court when the court moves ahead and seizes it.
The Advantages of Posting a Bail Bond Over a Cash Bail
Choosing our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agent comes with several advantages over a cash bail. As stated earlier, most people cannot raise the required amount for cash bail, hence the preference of a bail bonds agent. Apart from that, even if you have enough money to pay your cash bail, it’s advisable to use a bail bonds agent. Here's why.
It Saves You Money
A cash bail puts all your money at risk, especially if you don't adhere to the court requirements. If you stick to their provisions, the court will also subtract its fees from the cash bail.
On the other hand, when you're using a bail bond agent, you only need to pay a maximum of 10% of the total amount and have the 90% to hire an attorney and cater for other necessities.
When you choose our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bond Agent, you don't have to navigate through complex paperwork to post bail for your loved one. The bail agent will help you through this process and get your loved one out of jail in the most seamless way.
Offers Flexible Payment Options
It can sometimes be challenging to pay the 10% premium fee required by a bail bond agent when the set bail amount is too high. However, working with a bail bonds agent allows you to choose from reasonable payment options that ensure that you don't break the bank.
Guarantees Freedom to the Defendant
The most guaranteed benefit of using a bail bonds agent is keeping you out of jail. This gives the defendant enough time to seek legal counsel and prepare for the court hearing.
Easy to Locate an Arrestee when in Custody
Anyone would only want their loved ones and help them get out of jail. A bail bond company would be an excellent place to start to locate where a loved one is held. Their experience in dealing with local jails gives them an upper hand in finding arrestees from jail more than you would do.
How Bail Bonds Work in California
A bail bond is an amount of money that a defendant secures through a bail bonds agent. In California, the standard cost of a bail bond premium is 10%. The premium is a non-refundable amount paid to the bonds company for posting the bail amount on your behalf.
Our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agents can offer a lower premium for an exceptionally high bail amount of hundreds of thousands. They also offer discounted premiums to certain people. Some of the people that may receive a discount include:
- Police officers
- Active and retired military veterans
- Union members
- Attorney clients
Please note, every request to seek a bail bond from our agents is reviewed differently. Qualifying as any member that's mentioned above doesn't automatically guarantee a discount. Our agents will review your case to determine whether to grant the discount or not.
You may also have to put up collateral to secure the bond, particularly for substantial bail. Most bail companies prefer tangible assets since personal properties can disappear. Should the defendant fail to make a court appearance, the court forfeits the bail, and the bonds company seeks to sell your collateral to regain their losses.
Most bail companies also require another person to post the collateral on behalf of the defendant. These people are referred to as cosigners and have to meet certain obligations and requirements. If the defendant doesn't appear at the next court date, the bonds company will attempt to locate him or her. When they cannot find him, the bonds company will look for the cosigner to pay.
Qualification Requirements for a Cosigner
Our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agents expect potential cosigners to meet specific requirements to qualify. Before you rush into agreeing into cosigning your loved one's bail bonds, you should have the following:
- Proof of income
- Proof of residency
- A government-issued identification
- The criminal background information of the person you'll be bailing out
- Debit card, cash, or cash available
- Proof of ownership of the property you intend to use as collateral
If your loved one doesn't meet most of these requirements, the agent will most likely deny their application for cosigning. You should also note that if, at a later date, the bail bonds company realizes the information provided by the cosigner is false, they will likely surrender the defendant and take him or her into custody.
Bail bonds companies demand cosigners to meet specific qualifications to ensure that the person they're dealing with is responsible enough. If the defendant doesn't show up in court, the cosigner becomes the second in liability.
Identification is also mandatory to avoid fake identities and signatures in the bail bond process. Proof of residency is also crucial to proving that the cosigner is local and not from outside states or countries. Proof of income proves to the agency that the defendant can honor the monthly payment and there are reasonable means to support the payment.
A bail bonds agent asks additional questions about the defendant to ensure no false information that would jeopardize the entire process.
Lastly, a bonds agent expects cosigners to avail their payment options to guarantee a seamless payment process.
Bail Bonds Payment Options
Our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agents provide several payment options to allow cosigners to choose a flexible payment option that suits them. Here are the payment options that you can choose from:
It's easier for a cosigner to pay using cash. Our agents should provide a receipt as proof of payment once you make the payment.
Personal checks are sometimes acceptable means of paying a bond but under the discretion of our agents. Bank cashier's checks are also acceptable.
Credit and Debit Cards
Debit and credit cards are also acceptable means to pay a bail bonds premium. They offer an easy way to complete your payment, especially if it's done online. You can complete the entire process without leaving your home.
If you feel uncomfortable making your payments in cash, our agents can accept a money order payment.
Real Estate Bonds and Liens
When your premium payment is relatively high, finding a reliable means of payment can be challenging. You can use real estate as collateral, but you should consider that you'll probably lose your property if the defendant skips the court mandates.
There is a long list of means that you can make a wire transfer. You can choose services like MoneyGram, Western Union, PayPal, or Zelle, depending on what feels comfortable to use.
Types of Collateral Used in Bail Bonds
Our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agents will collect collateral as insurance that your loved one will return to court. They will return the collateral after the case is complete, no matter the outcomes. When a defendant doesn't show up in court, the collateral is seized and sold to recover the losses incurred by the bail bonds company. Here are the types of bail bond collateral that you can use.
Real estate properties are common collaterals for bail if it has enough equity to cover the penal amount and all other liabilities that apply. The property should also not have any lien on it. To know about its value, use the most recent bill from the institution you intended to secure a loan from. You should then deduct the total amount put towards the principal from the overall property cost to arrive at its actual value.
Automobiles are also common types of collateral used to secure bail bonds. You must also determine its actual value before putting it up as collateral. To determine the value of your vehicle, find its trade-in value since there's a possibility of selling it to recover a forfeiture.
You'll then be required to transfer the legal ownership of the vehicle to our agents after determining its actual value.
Cash collateral is also acceptable but is commonly used by people with a lower bail amount. Most bail agents cannot collect cash collateral but can accept it if a cosigner offers it. Cash collateral has an advantage over other forms of collateral since there's no ownership transfer needed but only requires an exchange of cash.
You can also put your credit card as collateral. All you need to do is ensure that its limit exceeds or is enough to accommodate the bail amount when the defendant fails to appear in court. There are no charges associated with using a credit card as collateral if you decide to surrender its authorization information. However, the agents will charge a full amount if a defendant doesn't honor the court schedule.
Jewelry is also accepted as collateral. However, the cosigner cannot agree to take it unless the cosigner appraises the quality of the jewelry professionally.
It might seem odd to use a promissory as collateral. It doesn't physically help the bail bond agency collect the penal amount, but it can sometimes be suitable to return a defendant into custody if he fails to cooperate. In most cases, the promissory note obliges the defendant to help in keeping track of the defendant once they realize that the defendant is skipping court dates.
High-end electronics can sometimes help people access bail bonds. For instance, a new generation iPhone is worth up to $1,000. It might be hard to use it as collateral, but it fits if you combine it with other electronics and minimal cash.
Guarantee Investments or Stocks
Our Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds Agents can accept investments or stocks as collateral if their value covers the entire penal amount. You only need to sign over your legal ownership to the stocks and investments in the name of the agents to have them used as collateral.
The Do's and Don'ts of Dealing a Bail Bonds Agent in Los Angeles County
No matter how fast you intend to reunite your loved one with his family, there are some things you need to know to guarantee a stress-free release. Here are some of the things that you should know about.
Look for the Bail Bonds Agency's License Number
The first thing you must do is confirm whether your agency of choice is reputable. Therefore, look for a company with years of experience and a proven track record.
Once you contact the agent, ask for their license number. This will help confirm that the company you're about to work with is accredited for the task.
Ask for a Clarification of Your Payment Plan
As you have learned, bail bonds companies vary in the money needed to secure bail. Therefore, it's crucial to understand your premium payment's due dates, terms, and conditions before you agree to work with a particular company. Remember, failing to pay the premium may have the bail revoked and a warrant of arrest issued on your loved one.
Avoid Wasting your Phone Call
If you've been arrested, you only have one phone call while in jail. You should call a bail bonds company immediately rather than calling your loved one. A bail bonds agent will work to guarantee a quick release as they keep in touch with your loved one.
Therefore, you should provide the bonds representative with a complete summary of your arrest, the location of your jail, and who they should contact on your behalf.
Avoid Being Arrested Again
Once you've been released on bail, it's imperative to stay away from legal troubles. An arrest will most likely have the court revoke the initial bail. Stay at home with your family and avoid engaging in activities that might prompt an arrest.
Don't be Late or Skip a Court Date
Make sure that you show up for your court date as scheduled. Failure to do this will have the bail revoked and returned to custody. You will then be on the hook financially for the amount that the bail bonds company has put up for you.
Find a Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
At Cali Bail Bonds, we have over 30 years of bailing people out of jail. If you find yourself under arrest, don't panic. Reach out to our agents at Hawaiian Gardens, Los Angeles County, CA, anytime, and you'll be home with your family within the shortest time possible. Contact us at 877-373-3631 and schedule an appointment with us.