Anyone would want to have their loved one released from jail as soon as possible. However, having your loved one out of jail can prove to be a challenge when you're required to pay bail. Unfortunately, most people cannot afford the necessary bail when they learn about their loved one's arrest. If your loved one has been arrested in Irvine, CA, and its surroundings, Cali Bail Bonds is here to help. Our experts specialize in helping people on a case-by-case basis. Contact us today, and let's help you secure your loved one's freedom.
Understanding the Bail Bond Process in California
After an arrest, the judge will set the appropriate bail. The amount you have to pay depends on factors like the provisions of the bail schedule, your criminal history, and the nature of the crime you've committed.
The California criminal justice system presumes that defendants are innocent of the charges made on them until proven guilty in a court of law. Therefore, the court can release you even after being charged with a specific crime. However, this doesn't come free.
That's where bail comes in. A judge will set a bail, which the defendant should pay and remain free until trial. Bail works as a deposit or security that ensures that an accused shows up to their court date. The court will return the amount in full if the defendant shows up to their court date.
Indeed, not all people can afford the thousands of dollars out of the blue and secure their loved one's freedom. That's where a bail bonds agent comes into play.
Like our Irvine bail bonds agent, a bail bonds agent pays the bail amount upfront to get a defendant out of jail. The bail bond works as a surety, meaning that the bail bonds agent will be guaranteeing that the defendant is showing up for their court dates.
In California, bail bonds agents typically charge up to 10% of the total bail amount for their services. This amount is non-refundable.
If a defendant fails to appear in court, the bonds agent will seek compensation from the defendant. However, since they are responsible for the defendant, they will pay the total amount of bail to the court. That's why these agents demand some form of collateral as security to the possibility of the defendant's failure to appear. They also require that a third party be involved, a cosigner, be part of the agreement.
There are different forms of collateral that a bail bonds agent might require. This includes houses, jewelry, vehicles, savings accounts, stock accounts, and other valuables. When it comes to cosigners, bail bonds agents expect defendants to use people close to them. This might be a spouse, a relative, a long-term friend, or a coworker.
Please note that a defendant can choose from other types of bail. These types of bail are as follows:
Unsecured Bond or Release on Your Recognizance
As the name implies, unsecured bail bonds are not secured by a lien on property or a deposit. Therefore, defendants don't need to pay any money upfront. Instead, the defendant will sign an agreement to pay the court the bail amount if they fail to appear in court.
With a cash bond, the defendant will pay the bail in full with a certified check, in cash, debit card, money order, or any other means that the court provides. The defendant will receive the cash bail back as long as they appear in court.
A property bond or a secured bond requires the defendant to pledge property to the court. The court will hold the property's lien until the case is completed and return it as long as the defendant is in court. Many judges demand the property's equity to be at least twice the amount of the bond.
Posting a property bond might take some time since the defendant must seek an appraisal from a professional company. Therefore, your loved one can spend more time in jail than expected if you prefer to use this type of bond.
Defendants charged with federal crimes are eligible for a different type of bail, referred to as a federal bond. Federal bonds work like bail bonds, but they are generally more expensive and must be backed by an insurance company. The rates for these bonds are typically 15% of the total bail amount.
Immigration bonds are bonds used to release defendants or illegals detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. They have the highest fee ranging anywhere between 15% to 20%. Bail bonds agencies charge high premiums due to the defendant's risk of running back to their home country.
Factors that Determine Your Bail
California judges usually note several factors when determining the bail for a defendant. The judge can choose to set a high or low bail based on these factors. Read on and learn more about them.
One of the first things that a judge looks into when determining bail is whether you're a flight risk. A person who's likely to remain in the area and will show up for the court-ordered date will possibly get a lower bail. The judge will most likely look at factors like your previous attendance history, ties to the community, employment, access to funds, and your living arrangement to determine if you're a flight risk.
Your Criminal History
A judge will also look at your criminal history and the nature of the allegations made against you. Someone who has committed a violent crime will possibly receive a higher bail.
Apart from that, anyone with a history of violating parole or probation will most likely receive a higher bail. However, anyone with a first-time minor offense will most likely receive a lower bail amount.
Your Risk to Others
The judge will most likely set a high bail amount if they believe that you may harm yourself, others, or society in general upon your release. They usually presume that this kind of defendant will less likely harm themselves or others while in jail. That's why they use bail as some insurance policy to keep violent offenders and anyone who wound intimidate witnesses in jail until the court trial begins.
Courts don't lower bail to make it easier for the defendant to pay. However, they will listen to your attorney's argument to decide whether to set a high or low bail. If your attorney successfully convinces them that you're not a flight risk, they may agree to settle on a low bail amount.
Posted Bail Schedules
Bail is often based on a standard bail schedule, aligning specific crimes with specific bail amounts. Therefore, you must seek a bail hearing to reduce the bail scheduled amount if you feel that it's too high. Remember, the U.S Eighth Amendment prohibits judges from ordering excessive bail amounts. Therefore, since "excessive bail" is unclear, your attorney can argue that the amount is too much and doesn't align with your allegations.
Common Crimes in Orange County and their Bail Amount
Generally, misdemeanors carry a lower bail than felonies. For instance, a misdemeanor can have a bail of $2,500, while a felony for the same crime carries a bail of $50,000. Many misdemeanors carry a bail of as low as $2,500 to a maximum of $100,000. Common examples of crimes that fall under this range include violation of a temporary restraining order, misdemeanor DUI, and drug possession charges.
Felony bail can go to as high as $1,000,000, depending on the nature of the crime. However, you should note that judges usually don't allow bail for some severe crimes like 1st-degree murder. Common felony charges with high bail amounts include:
- Possession of over 4 kg of certain controlled substances.
- Shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
- Shooting from a motor vehicle.
You might be worried about the possibility of lacking enough money to cater for overly high bail amounts. Don't worry; our Irvine bail bonds agents can raise any required amount, as long as you pay your premiums and convince them that you'll meet all court obligations.
Factors to Consider when Choosing an Irvine Bail Bonds Agent
When a loved one is in jail, you're already in a highly emotional situation. Therefore, you can easily fall for an unreliable bail bonds agent if you rush into hiring any company that comes along your way. The best thing to get around this is to have several factors to help you decipher whether a particular bail bonds agent is reliable or not. Below are some factors that will help you narrow down to the Irvine bail bonds agent.
Every professional bail bonds company posts comments from their clients on their websites or social media platforms. This can be the perfect place to determine whether a particular is good enough and learn about its credibility. Take time to ask yourself the following while reading through the reviews:
- Whether previous clients were satisfied with their experience with the bail bonds agent.
- Whether the client felt that the company offered fair charges for their bail bonds.
- Whether the company guaranteed their loved one's freedom as quickly as possible.
- Whether the bail bond agent's response was quick enough.
Evaluating and finding answers to these questions guarantees comfort throughout the process. You'll be more confident when hiring a company that you can trust.
You should confirm that the bail bonds agent about to engage is upfront and honest with their charges and repayment options. It can be devastating when you set up your loved one with a particular bonds agent and find that they are dishonest with their percentage and repayment procedures.
Ensure that you cover this topic during your first call. If you feel that a particular agent is dishonest about their repayment options, you better cross them off your list before it's too late.
Hours of Operation
Many crimes that require bail occur at night, even though more crimes and arrests occur during the day. That's why you would want to deal with a bail bond agent that provides their services any time of the day. Our Irvine bail bonds agents operate 24-hours a day. They will answer your phone call anytime you call them, regardless of whether it's a holiday or a weekend.
A good bail bonds company should offer insight into the bail bonds process. A bail bonds company with good communication should answer all your questions and help you understand the bail bonds process. Contrary to popular belief, a good company should not stop working with you once they post your bail. They should work with you until your case completes.
A bail bonds company with several years of experience in its field guarantees quality services. You should expect a seasoned bail bonds agent to have an in-depth understanding of the legal field and excellent tactics that would help you get your loved one out of jail within the shortest time possible. They also know how to get around the most common issues experienced in posting bail.
A local bail bonds company will post bail without much delay than a company located far away. Furthermore, a local company can respond quickly to your emergency, meaning that your loved one doesn't have to spend more time in jail. Local bail companies also have quality professional relationships with everyone involved in the release process, meaning that they will help speed up your loved one's release.
Types of Collateral You Can Use in Bail Bonding
Many bail bonds agent demand collaterals from their clients to secure their bail bonds. There are different types of collateral that a person can use. Let's take a look at some of the most common types of collateral you can use to secure your bail bond.
Real estate refers to different properties like vacation property, farmlands, and homes. This is perhaps the most common type of collateral used to secure bail. However, any property to be used as collateral must have enough equity to cover the total amount of the bond and other expenses incurred by the bail bonds agent.
One advantage of using real estate as collateral is that it cannot be lost or concealed. It also has a value that is easy to access. Remember, even though your bail bonds agent is working as an ally to secure your release, they are also business people who seek to recover any potential losses if you fail to meet your court obligation. That's why they are so keen on ensuring that there is no lien placed upon your property by third parties or creditors.
Vehicles are other forms of bond collateral that you can use. You can use vehicles like cars, aircraft, motorcycles, and your aircraft. The best way to ascertain the value of your vehicle is by using its trade-in value. Again, the bail bonds agent is trying to avoid any losses if you miss your court obligations. Therefore, you must ensure that the trade-in value of the vehicle you're about to use is equal to the value of the bail bonds.
Personal jewelry can also be used as collateral. Using jewelry as collateral can be tricky, especially when determining its value. The only way to do this is by using a professional assessment. Some bail bonds agents might insist on an appraisal, while others prefer to pawn the items yourself and use the cash to secure the bond. If you use jewelry as collateral, check whether this aligns with your bail bonds policy. You can use jewelry like your rings, necklaces, or broaches.
Certain metals like platinum, gold, or silver can also be used as collateral. You need to ascertain your ownership and their value to use them as collateral.
Some bail bonds agencies accept handguns, long guns, and crossbows as collateral as long as their value is sufficient to cover the bond amount and other expenses. Like jewelry, bail bonds agencies might prefer the items to be pawned and the cash used to secure the bond.
Irvine, CA Jails and Courts Information
Sometimes it can be challenging locating where your loved one is held, especially if this is their first arrest. It can also be difficult knowing where their prosecution will occur if this is your first experience. Here are addresses for jails in Irvine, CA.
James A. Musick Facility
Phone: +1 949-855-2600
Here are addresses for the courthouses where your loved one's case will probably occur.
Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach
Phone: +1 657-622-5400
Find a Reliable Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
Spending your nights in jail can be uncomfortable and scary for both you and your family. By hiring us, the Cali Bail Bonds, you won't have to remain in custody after you're arrested in Irvine, CA. We will handle your release efficiently and discreetly once you contact us. Contact us today at 877-373-3631 for the best bail bonds services.