The constitution allows people who are arrested for a particular offense to be released on bail awaiting their court proceedings. However, it is not a guarantee that every defendant will be eligible for bail, especially if the court fears that you are a risk to society, you are a flight risk, you have a history of violating bail conditions, among others. Also, you might need the services of an experienced Placerville bail bonds company, if you are arrested in Placerville, to help you navigate the bail process and post your bail bond. Get in touch with us at Exit Bail Bonds to talk to a local bail bondsman who can help you get released on bail.
What is Bail And How Does it Work?
Bail describes the release of a defendant arrested for a specific offense before the end of the criminal proceedings or case against them. The defendant or another person typically pays the bail amount on their behalf. However, if the money is not available, you can seek help from a bail bonds company like Exit Bail Bonds.
The money paid to the court is used as insurance to ensure the defendant will attend court for their criminal proceedings. In this case, bail is not a penalty for the offense committed but a way to guarantee the return of the defendant to court for their case without the need to keep them incarcerated.
Bail is essential in the justice system. It helps reduce jail space required to keep defendants and also works as a guarantee that the defendant will be present for their case. Bail can be issued at any time in the justice process. Immediately upon an arrest, the arrestee can get bail, or after sentencing by the court. When this happens, and you don’t have the money, a Placerville bail bonds company can help secure your release.
Arresting, Booking and Bail Process
When you are detained lawfully, you will be physically placed in custody. At the police station, the administrative process begins, which is known as booking. In some cases, an arrestee is released without any charges being filed. If charges are filed, however, the arrestee remains in custody until bail is given and paid. Other times, the arrestee must wait for court judgment regarding bail or until the completion of the case.
During the booking process, the police will take photos of the arrestee, record their details, take their fingerprints and physical possessions. The police will also check if there are any existing warrants against the arrestee and will also evaluate their health. After this, the arrestee is placed in a holding area waiting for bail or court arraignment.
After the booking process, one of the following will happen:
- The police can let you go after issuing you with a notice to attend court
- The police can ask you to pay bail to secure your release. A Placerville bail bonds company can help you with this if you do not have the money
- You will remain in custody until the court sets your bail during a bail hearing.
Typically, lesser crimes like petty theft or disorderly conduct get the defendant released with a notice to attend court. Serious crimes that involve violence or others will require the defendant to remain in custody and await a bail hearing.
This is the process where the court evaluates a case and decides on the bail amount. The court has the discretion to allow or deny bail, depending on various factors. These factors are:
- Flight Risk – This is with regard to the possibility of a defendant fleeing and failing to appear for their court hearings. Some defendants are said to have a higher risk of running than others. For instance, defendants facing stringent penalties, if found guilty, could attempt to flee compared to those facing lesser penalties.
- Community connections – Individuals that have solid community ties are likely to stay through their trial compared to those that have nothing to lose if they fled. Individuals that have a house or business or have their family in the same area have more reason to stay through the trial compared to those that don’t.
- Family obligations – If you demonstrate a more substantial family obligation, you may get lesser bail compared to those that don’t.
- Assets and Income – Individuals that are financially well off will not consider getting low bail amounts as a substantial deterrent compared to those with lesser money or assets. The court takes into consideration the employment status of the defendant, and if their staying in custody or inability to pay bail can cost them their job.
- Court and criminal history – Before bail is issued, the court will look at the defendant’s background. If it shows that you have failed to attend court previously when required, your bond may be set higher compared to a first time offender. You will likely receive a high bail amount if you have a history of violating bail conditions.
- The severity of the offense – When an offense is more severe, the bail amount given is higher compared to lesser crimes. For instance, a person charged with shoplifting will not get the same bail amount as a person charged with murder.
- Public safety – When a defendant’s release on bail would expose the public to danger, the court will refuse to grant bail. For instance, if you are charged with facilitating a terrorism offense, you will possibly not get bail because your release exposes the community to danger.
Conditions for Bail
As earlier stated, on getting bail, the court imposes certain requirements. These conditions are similar to those of probation if found guilty of an offense. When a defendant violates these conditions, the police can arrest them and get them incarcerated for the remainder of the trial. In some cases, the defendant will forfeit the paid bail amount. Some of the bail conditions are:
- Pretrial check-ins – This is similar to the check-ins with a probation or parole officer. The officers monitor to ensure the defendant adheres to the terms of the bail before the trial.
- Orders not to make contact – When a defendant is facing certain charges like those of domestic violence, stalking, or issuing criminal threats, one of the conditions to their bail is not to make contact with the victim.
- Employment – In some cases, the court will need the defendant to maintain their work while out on bail. In case the defendant is unemployed, he or she may be asked to find a job.
- Restrictions to travel – When you are on bail, you are prohibited from traveling outside your jurisdiction unless permitted by the court.
- Substance Abuse – Some offenses a defendant is accused of committing will require them to stay away from alcohol. For instance, if facing DUI charges, the judge, upon issuing you with bail, will order you to stay away from drugs or alcohol.
The Procedure for Paying Bail
Every jurisdiction has its own rules for determining bail. Equally, the procedures of paying bail differ from one jurisdiction to the other. Usually, when paying bail, the person posting bail is required to go to the jail or courthouse. If you are unable to raise the bail money, a local bail bonds company will help you post your bail.
Once there, an officer charged with receiving bail will require details of the defendant, such as their names and booking number, as well as bail amount. The payer submits the required bail amount to the officer, and then a notification is sent to the officers having the defendant in custody. In some cases, the process can be fast, especially where the bail receiving clerk is in the same location as the jail.
Usually, posting bail is typically in cash, but there are other forms acceptable. You can post bail via debit or credit cards, a cashier’s or certified check, money orders, or traveler’s check.
Types of Acceptable Bail Bonds
Bail is typically associated with cash payments. However, in certain instances, the amount may be large, complicating the bail process. Due to this, California allows various types of bail bonds. Some of the common bail bonds are:
1. Cash Bond
In many cases, a simple notification or citation may not get you released until you pay a certain amount in cash bail. If you do not have the money, a friend or a relative can pay for you. The amount of cash bond you pay is determined by the bail schedule of the specific jurisdiction. Once you pay the required amount, you will be released from police custody. If the amount is out of your reach immediately, getting a local Placerville bail bondsman to post it for you will ensure your release.
2. Personal Recognizance or Own Recognizance Bond
A court can release a defendant on personal or own recognizance. These types of bonds are similar to citations, but they are only issued following a bail hearing. When this bail is granted, the defendant gets released from custody but must present themselves in court at a later date. At the same time, the defendant must comply with all the bail conditions set forth.
3. A Signature or Unsecured Bond
With this type of bond, the defendant presents to the court the security interest of a property that is equal in value to the bail amount issued. When a defendant is issued this type of bond, it means they give the court legal rights to the property presented. If you fail to attend court as expected, the court can take the property offered as collateral and sell it to recover the bail you never paid.
4. Surety or Bail Bond
When a bail bondsman pays bail on your behalf, it is known as a bail bond. Bail bondsmen are licensed business entities specializing in posting bail for defendants facing criminal charges. The bondsmen post bail at a fee and act as your guarantor so that if you fail to attend court, they will pay the total bail money.
Most companies charge between 10% and 15% of the bail amount. For instance, if the court grants you $10,000 in bail, the bondsman will require you to pay them at least $1,000 in fees.
Once this fee is paid, the bondsman will assure the court that you will attend court, and if you fail, they will be held liable for the full bail amount. For this to happen, however, the bondsmen protect themselves by ensuring that you provide them with collateral. If you fail to attend court and they are unable to trace you, they will keep/ sell the collateral to recover the money they pay to the court as bail.
Getting the Court to Release Your Bail Money
Bail is not a penalty or a form of punishment. As such, upon the successful completion of the trial, the bail money is refunded back to the person who paid it. When bail is posted for a defendant, there are two expected outcomes. These are:
Refund of the Bail Money
After the conclusion of a case, the bail amount paid is typically refunded back. The payment depends on the type of bail bond that was posted and the jurisdiction where it was posted. When cash bail is used, it will take a few weeks to get a refund back. On the other hand, if a property was used to secure the defendant’s release, a lien on the property must be released by the court.
In case the defendant was tried in a federal court, a petition must be filed to get the bail bond back or lien on the property used.
Forfeiture of Bail
If the bail is not refunded, it means you have forfeited it. Forfeiture of bail happens when a defendant fails to comply with the terms set forth when issuing bail. For instance, a defendant can flee and fail to appear for his or her court hearings. When this happens, the full amount paid in bail is forfeited.
If a local Placerville bail bonds company posted your bail or guaranteed the court of your court attendance, they will be required to pay the full bail money. If the defendant used the property to secure their release, a failure to comply with the bail conditions would see them lose the property to the court. The court will move to foreclose on the property and sell it to recover the bail money.
Recovering Your Money from the Bail Bondsman
Before a bail bondsman secures your release, you must pay them a nonrefundable fee for their services. Additionally, a security agreement must be signed or collateral handed over to the bondsman. If you comply with the bail conditions, they will refund the guarantee or the lien agreed upon. This is also only done once the case has been concluded successfully.
Forfeiting Your Bond with the Bondsman
Similar to the court, when you fail to comply with the bail conditions, you will forfeit your bail with the bail bondsman. When you do not appear in court, the company is allowed time by the court to locate and present you before the court. When the time lapses and you are not found, the bonds agency must pay the court the full bail amount owed to them.
While looking for you, the company can hire bounty hunters to locate and arrest you. The cost of the bounty hunters is also included in the money that the bail bond company must recover from you. The company will also auction the collateral to recover the bail money paid to the court if you are not located.
Hire a Bail Bondsman Near Me
Staying in custody waiting for the conclusion of your case hinders you from doing other productive things. Bail can be your relief if you need to focus on preparing a good defense strategy with your lawyers. If you want bail bond services from a local Placerville bail bonds company, get in touch with Exit Bail Bonds at 951-788-1722. We are available throughout the week to ensure you get excellent and reliable services!