The majority of people have heard about a person arrested and released on bail of a certain amount. Probably the person is well known to you, or you have heard it through other sources. Perhaps you don’t understand what it means to be released on bail and the difference between a bail bond and a bail. When an individual is arrested for a particular crime, they are placed in jail or custody until bail is set. Once bail is paid, the defendant is released. He or she is then expected to appear in court for their trial until the case is determined. If you have a loved one or you are arrested for a crime, the trial can take a long time stopping you from doing what you usually do. Getting out on bail is the only way to allow you to continue with life as your trial continues. Once the court sets up the bail amount to be posted, you or your loved one may not have all the cash required. The state of California allows licensed agencies to help post bail on behalf of the defendant. If you are unable to raise the bail amount and are in Long Beach, getting in touch with Exit Bail Bonds will help you post bail for your loved one.
Bail is the money set by the court that acts as security to guarantee the release of a defendant. Defendants are normally given a choice to pay cash for their bail, but in some cases, they may not be able to do it. Often, bail is set very high out of reach for most defendants or their loved ones forcing them to look for help from bail agents. If you are in Long Beach and find it challenging to raise a bail amount for your loved one, Exit bail bonds will help you get your loved one out of jail in no time.
Understanding Bail Bond
Bail bond falls under a surety bond that is given by a bond agency through a bail bondsman or bail agent that acts as security for a defendant to be released from jail. Bail bonds are in two kinds:
- Civil Bail Bond – this is bail issued during civil cases. It guarantees that the defendant will pay a debt, costs, and interest calculated against the offender.
- Criminal Bail Bond – this is the bail set for criminal proceedings. It is used to guarantee the appearance of a defendant for trial when asked to. It also ensures payment of any penalties or fines that can be decided upon the defendant.
When a defendant is arraigned in court, the judge will set bail pending trial of the case. Should the defendant or their loved ones are unable to raise the amount set, they can ask for assistance from a licensed bail bond agency as a bail bond. The bail bond is raised when the defendant or their representative pays 10% of the amount set by the court as bail to the bondsman.
When that is paid, the bail bond agency will secure the balance amount of bail as collateral. In the event that a defendant lacks insufficient collateral, the bondsman may seek to cover the remaining from the relatives of the defendant. Many times, more cash payment in addition to collateral may be needed to post a bail bond. Once the release of a defendant has been secured, whatever will happen next is upon the defendant appearing in court during the trial.
- Should the defendant fail to make court appearances when called upon to, the bail bond ceases to work as his security. In this case, the court demands the balance of 90% to be made available to the court. To recover the money, the bail bonds agency will liquidate the collateral given by the defendant to compensate themselves for the amount they submit to the court on their behalf.
- If the defendant comes for court appearances as required, once the trial is concluded and sentencing arrived at, there is a dissolution of the bail bond. The person that gave the particular collateral is free to collect it back, but the initial 10% paid is not returned; this is the fees for the bail bonds agency.
How a Bail Bond would work
To fully understand how bail bond works, assume Peter was arrested and the court sets his bail at $50,000. Peter needs to be set free but cannot afford the full amount of $50,000. He will, in this case, seek assistance from a local bondsman in Long Beach to help him post bail. Exit bail bonds in Long Beach, in this case, will require him to pay $5,000 and add collateral so that they can raise a bail bond to secure his release. Once this is done, the bail bond is raised, filed in court, and he is out of jail.
If Peter comes for all the required court hearings, the bail bonds agency will need no extra money from him. Once the case is concluded, the bail bond is forfeited. He will, therefore, get all his collateral returned but only have the first $5,000 remain as fees for the bail bondsman. However, should Peter skip bail, the bondsman agency will be forced to make payment to the court of the bail balance. To recover, the bondsman agency will seek to sell the collateral given by Peter.
It is important to note that the outcome of the trial will not affect your bail. Whether you are sentenced to jail time or charged fines, you will be expected to meet the court obligations, and your bail is refunded back.
The Process of Bail Bonds
It may seem like a smooth and straight forward concept to pay bail. The idea is that when a person has been arrested, they need to pay money and go free. While this is probably true, there is much more behind the idea of bails and the process involved.
Being able to understand how the system works when it comes to bail is essential. You need to know how the court determines the amount, the payment methods available, and any related issues in case you or a loved one gets arrested.
When a law enforcement officer makes an arrest, he or she will take the arrestee physically into custody, then moved into a jail or a facility for criminal processing known as booking. In some cases, the police can release the arrestee without filing any charges. However, should the charges be filed, the arrested individual will be expected to remain in jail until bail is set and posted for their release.
The administrative process coming after an arrest is what is known as booking. The police carry out a number of processes like taking the photo of the arrestee, taking down personal information, taking and keeping safe the physical items found with the arrestee, evaluating their health and finally taking them to a holding cell.
After Arrest Custody, Releasing the Arrestee Pretrial
After an arrest has been made and a person is booked, one of these three things will happen:
- The police can opt to release the arrestee with a notice to attend court
- The arrestee can be released upon paying of appropriate bail
- The law enforcement officer may choose to keep the arrestee in custody waiting for the court to carry out a hearing for bail determination.
Most low leveled crimes like petty theft or disorderly conduct in most cases result in the arrestee being released with a notice to attend court. More severe crimes, however, such as a DUI or violent crimes will require the defendant to remain in custody waiting for the court to determine bail.
For each crime or offense in each jurisdiction, a bail amount is set and listed in a schedule called the bail schedule. Each state decides the bail amount appropriate for different crimes, and if the police have the authority to release an arrestee without posting bail or they must post bail. The bail schedule also allows the court a significant latitude to increase or decrease bail as it deems appropriate. However, it is important to know that if the arrestee is taken to a federal court, there is no option of a bail schedule. The setting of bail is at the sole decision of the court.
For instance, in California, a bail hearing is mandatory for some cases like spousal rape, spousal battery, and the issuing of terrorist threats. When a person gets arrested, they can ask for the bail schedule, and if their offense is listed here, they can post bail after police booking. If the offense is not listed under the bail schedule, the arrestee must wait for the court to schedule a hearing for the bail.
A bail hearing is held for the court to decide the amount of bail applicable to the particular case. It is also important to note that the court can equally deny a defendant bail based on the circumstances or facts of the case. The court looks at a variety of facts before granting or denying bail. These include:
- Flight risk – some defendants may have a greater reason to run when released on bail than others. For instance, if a defendant is facing a death sentence or a possible long jail time, he or she is likely to flee.
- Connections in the community - The court considers a person with strong community ties to be less of a flight risk. Some indicators of community ties include family members, owning property, or a business.
- Family obligation – a court may issue a lesser bail amount if the defendant is dependent upon by other family members for their upkeep.
- Assets and Income – if the defendant is considered to be wealthy, the bail for them may not be as low as for a person without much income. The court also considers if the defendant holds a job and can lose if they fail to post bail and remain in custody.
- The Court or Criminal History – individuals with a history of failing to attend court or a criminal past may have their bail set very high.
- How serious the crime is – a crime that is categorized is serious will attract higher amounts of bail than a less serious one. For instance, the bail set for an individual involved in the murder is different from a petty theft offense.
- Public Safety – the court considers if the defendant poses a risk to public health or safety. For instance, if a defendant is suspected of having been a conspirator to commit a terrorist attack, he or she may have their bail application denied. This is because having them walk free may be risky to the community.
The Process of Posting Bail
Typically, the process of posting or paying for bail requires a person to visit the court or jail. In any of these locations, there is a clerk or a cashier responsible for receiving the payments. The information of the defendant is presented to the cashier or clerk. This includes their name, the booking or case number, and the set bail amount. Upon doing that, the person paying the bail proceeds to issue the full amount expected. The clerk will then inform the correction officer responsible for holding the defendant in custody to release him or her.
Bail payment is usually made in cash or through a cashier’s check, money order, or a traveler’s check. The court will accept bail either in terms of:
- Cash bond
- Personal recognizance bond
- Signature or unsecured bond
- Property or secured bond
- Surety or bail bond.
If you are facing the challenges of raising bail money, using a licensed and certified bondsman is allowed by the state of California. If in Long Beach, you can get the services of a local bondsman agency to help you in securing a release of your loved one.
When is Bail Forfeited?
If a defendant managed to secure bail and was released from custody on bail, he or she is required to make court appearances as directed. If they fail to comply with any of the court based conditions and skips bail or fails to attend court, they risk forfeiture of their bail amount.
If a property bond was used in this case, the court can repossess or move to foreclosure the property used for security. If you used the services of a bondsman agency and you fail to appear in court, the court will demand payment of the remaining bail amount from the bondsman agency. The bondsman agency will, however, move to sell the collateral you issued to recover their money.
Can the Court Reinstate Bail?
A defendant can request the court not to forfeit his or her bail and reinstate it. This only works where the defendant, with the help of their lawyer, can show good cause or reasons for missing court, such as being sick or having been involved in an accident. The court must be convinced, and it decides to reinstate or not the bail.
Finding a Bail Bondsman Near Me
Bail can be more complicated than perceived by many people. It can involve a lot of money that the defendant or their family don’t have presently. This is likely to cause a lot of financial risks and frustrations, let alone the potential outcome of the case. Knowing your options when it comes to posting bail can give you peace of mind as you prepare your defense. At Exit Bail Bonds in Long Beach, we can take you through the process of posting bail until your loved one is released. Call us anytime at 855-394-8437 and avoid the stress associated with posting bail.