No one plans on being arrested. However, if the police put you under arrest, you would wish to obtain a release immediately. This is where we come in. You or your loved ones may not be able to afford the bail amount, but this should not prevent you from getting back your freedom. We at Exit Bail Bonds have been state-certified to post bail on behalf of Dublin residents. Read on to understand more about posting bail in California.
After Arrest: What Next?
After the police officer has arrested you, he will take you into custody. Unfortunately, you must undergo a challenging and hectic process so that you can get back your freedom.
First, you will go through the booking process. Then, the authorities will permit you to post bail. You will be released when you have paid the full bail amount.
The Booking Procedure
This is the first process that you must go through after arrest. The police officer will carry out the following activities during booking:
- Record your personal information, including your name, age, and sex
- Record details about the criminal offense that you have been suspected of committing
- Record your fingerprints and photographs
- Check your criminal record to ascertain whether you have any prior convictions or outstanding warrants
- Conduct a search on your person
- Confiscate all the valuable items you may have, including phones, wallets, and keys
- Lock you up in jail
Since this process is hectic, it can take some few minutes or even a few hours, depending on how busy the station is. Most individuals who are put under arrest for minor criminal offenses normally opt to avoid booking, but they sign a citation instead. They get back their freedom immediately after they have signed this citation. By signing, they agree that they will attend court sessions at specific dates. If such individuals decide not to sign the citation, they must go through the booking process and post bail to be released.
Release on Own Recognizance
After the police officer has booked you, he will arraign you in court. Note that the law enforcement officer will only present you in court when the prosecution decides to institute criminal charges. If they fail to file any charge within the time limits imposed by California's Statute of Limitations, you will have no case to answer, and you won't have to worry about posting bail.
While you are in court, the judge will give you an opportunity to be released on your own recognizance. The primary reason why defendants usually post bail is to guarantee the authorities that they will be present during future court sessions.
If you can convince the judge that you won’t escape the court’s jurisdiction and attempt to forfeit hearings, the judge will release you on your own recognizance. For instance, you can assert that you are a person of a reputable character who is trustworthy. When you are released on your own recognizance, you will commit yourself to a written undertaking that you won't absent yourself on future court hearings with no valid reasons.
California judges consider several factors before granting defendants release on their own recognizance. These factors are:
- The offense the prosecution has charged you with
- Whether you pose any danger to the society
- Your criminal record
- If you have close ties in the area where you reside
- Whether you may have an intention of destroying evidence or threatening or causing potential harm to witnesses
- Whether you may escape the jurisdiction of the court
You should attend all future court proceedings if you happen to be released on your own recognizance. You should also inform the court in due time if there is anything that will prevent you from attending them. The judge can issue an arrest warrant against an individual who is released on his own recognizance and misses court sessions.
Release on own recognizance is not a common practice in California because of the rising crime rates. Typically, courts are hesitant to release individuals on their own recognizance because they can quickly flee and escape their jurisdiction. Most arrested individuals are usually required to post bail before they can be released.
The Legal Definition of Bail
Bail is a specific amount of money which you, as the defendant, will deposit at the court to guarantee your attendance during future hearings. When the authorities release you on bail, you must attend all court hearings related to your case.
You will get back your money when your case is concluded, regardless of whether you have won or lost. If you forfeit court hearings and you had been released on bail, the court will order law enforcement officers to arrest you. Furthermore, you won’t be refunded your bail amount.
The Total Value of Bail
The total amount of money that defendants may be required to deposit to the court as bail in Dublin varies by what they have been charged with. Minor offenses like violating probation terms may attract a cash bail of up to $15,000, while defendants who have been accused of grievous crimes like drug trafficking and murder may pay a maximum amount of 5million dollars as bail.
You may be unable to afford these amounts, or you do not want your loved ones to bear unnecessary financial burdens. This is why you must get in touch with a reputable bail bonds agent in Dublin. A bail bonds agent can give you professional advice on how you can post bail and even reduce the bail amount.
The Bail Hearing
You can request a bail hearing if you are uncomfortable with the amount of money you have been ordered to pay for you to be released. During the bail hearing, the court will allow you to explain why you would like the bail amount to be reduced or to obtain a release on your own recognizance.
It is only the judge who has powers to modify or set your bail amount. However, if the prosecution has charged you with a serious felonious crime, the minimum amount of money you may be ordered to pay as bail is listed in California’s bail bond laws.
Even though you may plead for the bail amount to be reduced in the bail hearing, it can be increased instead, especially in situations whereby the prosecutor highlights some aggravating circumstances in your case that the judge did not know. For example, the prosecutor may tell the court that you were arrested while on probation, thus causing the judge to increase the bail amount.
Sometimes, the court can order you to observe some specific conditions when you succeed to obtain a reduced bail amount. Some of these conditions include surrendering your passport and driver's licenses and putting on a tracking device.
The authorities will inform you of the date of your next court session if you have been released on bail terms. Not all accused persons in California are entitled to be released on bail. The judge may deny some of them bail because their charges are too severe, or if he believes that they will destroy the evidence of the prosecution or escape the jurisdiction of the court.
How to Post Bail
There are three ways of posting bail in California. These ways include depositing the full bail amount at the courthouse in cash or check form, posting bail in the form of property, or hiring a bail bondsman.
Since bail amounts are usually exorbitant, most defendants are unable to raise them. Others fear to post bail with a property bond because they do not want the authorities to exercise control over their pieces of property. The most common method that California defendants use to post bail is to hire a bail bonds agent.
Bail bonds agents can help you post bail, but they may take up to 10% of the bail amount as fees. They will simplify the entire process for you, including handling all the required paperwork.
Your loved one can reach out to a bail bonds agent immediately after you have been arrested. When the agent is notified of your arrest, he will start processing all the paperwork required for you to be able to post bail. Your family member or close friend will provide to the agent all the necessary details to commence the process, including your name, bail amount, date of birth, possible charges, place of work, address, place of detention, and place of arrest. After the bail agent has received all the necessary information, you will be required to pay the application fees.
However, if you willingly absent yourself from court proceedings, the bail bondsman will have to forfeit the full bail amount, thus incurring a loss. To protect themselves from such losses, most bail bonds agents will instruct you to appoint a co-signer. This co-signer may be your family member or close friend. Your co-signer has various rights and responsibilities.
The responsibilities of a co-signer include making sure that you attend court sessions, ensuring you do not involve yourself in the furtherance of criminal activities or violating the conditions of your release, showing proof of his residency and income, and tracking all the records of your court hearings. Some of the rights that co-signers are entitled to include providing conditions that you must observe, such as taking part in a drug rehabilitation program and canceling bail if they feel that you may probably miss court sessions. If your co-signer cancels bail, you will have to find another person to act as one, put up collateral, or raise the entire bail amount by yourself. If you fail to do so, you will have to go to jail.
If you flee the court’s jurisdiction, it is your co-signer who will suffer the loss. If you can’t find a co-signer, you may be required to offer collateral equal to the value of your bail amounts. Some examples of items that you can put up as collateral include real estate, jewelry, or your car.
What Happens to the Bail Amount?
Most bail payments are deposited at the court, or in some instances, at the jail where you have been locked up. Typically, you will always find a cashier or clerk at the courthouse or jail who processes bail payments. These professionals can access essential information such as your name, booking number, and bail amount from your records. You can pay bail in cash, credit card, cashier’s check, traveler’s check, or money order. The payment method you are most likely to use will vary depending on the courthouse where you have been arraigned. After you have paid, you can expect one of these two outcomes:
If you attend all court sessions and observe all the bail conditions, your bail amount will be released. This means that you will get back your money after your case has been concluded, within a timeframe of 2-6 weeks. If six months lapse after the conclusion of your case and you have not gotten back your bail money, you should get in touch with the court and provide your case number, name, address, and the conclusion date. If you had used a bail bondsman, he will return you your collateral.
If you miss court sessions with no valid reasons, you will have to forfeit the bail amount. This means that you will not recover your money when your case has ended. Your bail bondsman can recover his money from your co-signer or collateral to protect himself from loss.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are various types of bail bonds. You can select one among them depending on the offense you have been charged with, the bail amount, and your financial status. Note that you will also have to invest in your defense, so you should select a bail bond that you can comfortably pay. Here are the different categories of bail bonds in California:
- Surety bond – Here, you agree with your co-signer and the bail bond agent, and then pay the fee. The contract sets several conditions, including how you must attend court sessions.
- Cash bail – You deposit the full bail amount in cash at the courthouse or jail, and you will be refunded this money when your case is concluded.
- Property bonds – Instead of money, you can use property to get back your freedom. The value of the property must be double the total bail amount.
- Federal bail bonds – It is necessary for you to secure a federal bail bond if the prosecution has charged you with a federal offense. They have higher values than other bond types.
- Immigration bonds – This bond type is mostly secured by foreigners who are charged in California. It is challenging to acquire one because the authorities believe that you can easily flee.
Being Released from Jail on Bail Terms
After you have posted bail, the cashier will instruct the correction officers to process your release. You may get back your freedom immediately, especially if the office of the cashier is in proximity to the jail. Sometimes, this process may take a couple of hours in instances where there is unrest, change of shifts, and during meal times. The speed of your release will also vary depending on the location and size of the jail, and the number of correction officers on duty.
Before you are set free, the correction officer will check your record to ascertain whether you have any other outstanding arrest warrant. If he finds none, he will release you. You will be given back all your valuables, and you can call a friend or family member to pick you up.
Find a Bail Bondsman Near Me
If you or your loved one has been placed in custody, you should reach out to Exit Bail Bonds. We have posted bail for numerous defendants in Dublin. We guarantee you your freedom. Call us today at 951-788-1722.