Exit Bail Bonds is available when you want to get someone out of jail but you don’t have the required bail money or you don’t know how to go about the process. Thus, our agents provide bail bonds services including posting bail and providing advice regarding the whole process of bail. Our services are available throughout Downtown Los Angeles and the greater Los Angeles Area.
What is a Bail Bond?
Bail describes the guarantee given by a criminal defendant to the court so that they can get released before their criminal case ends. It is paid in the form of money or other valuable property, and it aims to guarantee the defendant's appearance in court on their case hearing dates. Bail plays a vital role in criminal cases as a way of regulating congestions in holding cells and gives an opportunity for defendants to spend less time in jail before sentencing.
However, in some cases, getting out of jail on bail after a sentence is possible. Although it is typical to start serving your sentence, once the case gets concluded, the judge can allow you to get released on bail if, after sentencing, you file for an appeal.
If you have the money, you can decide to post cash bail; but in the cases where bail amount is too high, and you want to get your loved one out of police custody as soon as possible, you can seek the services of a surety bond agency. With the help of a bail bondsman, the agency will post the bond for you (at a cost that is often 10% of the total bail) which acts as a service fee.
The Process of Acquiring a Bail Bond
When you get arrested by a police officer, you will be transferred to a jail cell or criminal holding facility. Sometimes, an officer may release you without pressing charges; but if the charges get filed you will be required to remain in the holding facility until you are released on bail or until your case is resolved in a court hearing.
While in custody, you will go through the booking process that involves the recording of personal information, taking a mugshot, and fingerprints for identification purposes. Then, a bail hearing is set where the amount of bail to be paid is determined depending on the nature of your case.
Bail schedules often apply during the bail determination proceedings in Los Angeles. Bail schedules are lists indicating amounts of bail that apply to individual cases. The judge may decide to reduce, increase the bond, or even completely deny bail to a defendant. Some of the factors which may affect the judge's decision regarding bail include the defendant's financial status since people with a lot of money may not find the bail amount high enough to stay around town and attend the trial. However, a person with low income is a lower flight risk since they cannot afford to lose the bail money.
If a severe crime has been committed, the judge may decide to deny bail or set it too high that the defendant cannot afford the bail, hence, ensuring that they stay in police custody until the case is resolved. This may also apply if a defendant poses a threat to themselves or other people in case of a release. Besides, before granting you bail, the judge is likely to look through your family obligations and community connections. An individual who is responsible for the wellbeing of the family is expected to get lesser bail compared to a person who doesn’t have any responsibilities. Most first time offenders as well don’t have a hard time acquiring bond compared to defendants with other ongoing criminal cases or history of failure to appear in court when called for trial.
What Does a Bail Bond Agent Do for Me?
If you get arrested and require the services of a bail agent, the agency is contacted by your family or friends or even your attorney. The functions of securing a bail bond will begin after the judge determines the amount of bail paid. The bail bondsman will start by collecting the necessary information on your arrests such as the full names and the facility where you are held.
The agent will assess the risks involved if they decide to post bail for you. By asking questions about your financial, personal and professional life, they will determine the possibility of fleeing and failing to appear for a court hearing. If the bail bonds agency determines that you don’t pose any flight risk, a bond application form is filled to finalize the process.
After finalization of the paperwork, the bail will get posted, and you get released from police custody. Before signing the bail forms, the person seeking these services is made to understand the terms and conditions of the bail. To secure the amount of money they pay as bail, the agent will ask you to give collateral that gets refunded after you appear in court and the case is concluded.
The bail bondsman is also held responsible for your appearance in court. If you fail to appear for the court hearing, the agent is obliged to find you within a grace period offered by the court to apprehend you. If you are not traced within the provided grace period, bounty hunters will be sent to arrest you and take you back to police custody.
What are Bail Conditions?
Besides the determination of the amount of bail a criminal defendant is supposed to pay for their release, the judge will impose limitations and rules to be followed by the defendant on release before the case is completed. The restrictions given are often similar to those given to guilty defendants who get a probation sentence.
In case you violate the bail conditions, the court will order your arrest and return to police custody before the hearing date, and the amount of bail you paid is forfeited. Some of the most common conditions given for defendants posting bond include;
- Employment: If you are released on bail, the court will require you to maintain your job during this period. In the case where you are unemployed, you may be required to try and secure a job while on bail;
- Pretrial Check-ins: Similar to individuals sentenced with probation report to the probation officer, if you acquire a release from police custody through the bail bond, you will be required to report to the pretrial officers. These officers monitor your behavior during the bail period, and they ensure you comply with the rules and orders set out by the judge during the bail hearing;
- Firearms Restriction: When you are out of jail on bail bond, the bail conditions may require you to restrain from possession or use of any firearm even when your charges are not related to use of these firearms. However, this condition is often emphasized for defendants accused of violence or threat to someone’s life;
- Travel Restrictions: A defendant who is out on bail will not be allowed to leave the jurisdiction within which the crime was committed. Unless when authorized by the court through the pretrial officer, all the defendant’s travel arrangements will be limited within the area to reduce the possibility of flight and failure to appear for the case hearing;
- No-contact Orders: In the case where you are accused of crimes such as domestic violence, making criminal threats on someone’s life and stalking, the court will impose the no-contact order. This order requires that you avoid any contact with the alleged victims of the crime;
- Substance Abuse: Especially in the cases involving driving under the influence of drugs and other drug possession related crimes, the state expects that the criminal defendant will refrain from use and possession of alcohol or any illegal substance.
Getting your Bail Money Back
Bail is not a form of punishment or sentence for a criminal defendant, hence, if you post a bail bond, you are entitled to get a refund when the defendant complies with all rules set during the bail hearing and appears in court on the set date.
However, there exist two possible outcomes in the case where bail gets posted. The money can get refunded or the bond forfeited.
If you get released from custody on bail bond, the bond will be refunded to the payer on the conclusion of the case. The repayment is made on the condition that all bail terms are followed. If the bail gets paid in cash, the payer will get the full amount paid. However, there exists a procedure with which you need to apply for the bail refund.
In the case where you had sought the services of a surety bond company, the court will refund the money to the bail bonds agent. When the surety bond company gets their money back, they will return back the collateral you gave for the bond.
In situations where you post bail, and the defendant fails to appear for the hearing or violate bail conditions, the bond will get forfeited. For example, if you paid cash bail of $2,000 to get your loved one out of custody, you are likely to lose that amount if he/she does not appear in court. In the case where a property bond was used, the court will order foreclosure and auction of the property involved.
When services of a bail bondsman were used to secure a bail bond for a defendant, failure of the defendant to show up for the hearing will cause the Surety Bond Company to lose the amount paid. If this happens, the bail agent will keep the collateral given as compensation for the loss they suffered from bail forfeiture.
However, even when the defendant fails to appear in court, there is a chance that bail could get reinstated. This happens if you can give reasonable explanations for the defendant’s failure to appear in court.
Benefits of Using Services of a Surety Bonds Agency
A defendant who is unable to post bail remains in police custody until the hearing date. Staying in jail for this period could affect your social, education or professional life. If bail is posted, you have the chance to put your life together. Here are some benefits of seeking a bail agent to post your bail bond:
The process of getting arrested and being held in jail could be overwhelming for most people who don’t understand the dynamics of bail bonds. By hiring a bail bonds agent to represent you, there is a guarantee of experience and full knowledge of bail processes and laws; therefore, there won’t be any issues due to your lack of knowledge.
Saves you the headache of paperwork
Unless you are a criminal attorney, the paperwork required for filing for bail could be confusing. Minor errors in the preparation of bail paperwork could delay the bail hearing and increase the amount of time your loved one spends locked up. Since the bail agents are familiar with such paperwork, they will ensure all details are thorough and accurate, thus, speeding up the release process.
Maintenance of your privacy
When you pay cash bail on short notice, the court is likely to get suspicious on the source of the money you brought as bail. In this case, your life and that of your family will get thoroughly scrutinized. Even if the money was legally earned, this act could be a significant intrusion of your privacy that a bail bonds agent will not put you through. Taking care of the paperwork for the bail is tiring enough, and the addition of more work to present the documents of your financial status could delay the process.
Less risk and possibly save you money
When you seek the services of a surety bonds agency, the agent will pay the full amount set as bail for you. As long as the defendant appears for their court hearing, the only amount spent is the service fee which is usually 10% of the total bail. You will get a chance to ensure the freedom of your loved one even when your financial status does not allow you to pay the total cash bail. Additionally, there is less risk of losing all the bail money if you use a Bail Bonds agency if for some reason the defendant fails to appear in court.
Speeds up the release
If you decide to go about the bail process alone, you or your loved one are likely to spend a long time in police custody awaiting trial. Most bail bonds agents have connections in the legal system and are aware of how they can speed up the process.
Often, the surety bond agents are aware of court bail schedules and can vouch that you will appear for the trial if your bail is granted. With the help of an expert bail bondsman and if the crime committed was minor, your loved one is likely to be set free within twenty-four hours. Getting your freedom will help avoid the consequences associated with spending time in jail like missing work.
Find a Bail Bonds Company Near Me
In the unfortunate event where you or your loved one is arrested and held in police custody, it would be wise to seek the services of a bail bondsman to help you navigate through the process of posting bail. If you want to secure a smooth process and quick release for your loved one, you will need the expert services of the bail agents from Exit Bail Bonds in your corner. Contact our Los Angeles Bail Bonds today at 323-482-4949 if you are in Downtown Los Angeles or the greater Los Angeles area.