Being arrested for an offense in Van Nuys can be stressful. On top of defending yourself in a court of law, you are likely to spend time in custody. Bail is a strategy where you gain your freedom as you await trial. Sadly, the bail amount set may be too huge to afford it. Exit Bail Bonds is an established bail bonds company that offers arrestees dependable bail services that will help you proceed with your normal life as you wait for court proceedings.
An individual who has been put in police custody on suspicion of violating the law can be released either through a bail bond, on their own recognizance, or on a citation. Bail is money or cash equivalent payment (personal asset) intended to make sure that you appear in court as scheduled.
In other words, bail is an agreement between the government and the surety or the individual posting bail. Typically, the surety acts as a guarantee of your appearance to court hearing until your case is closed. They assume the risk of bail forfeiture should you miss a court hearing. You will be released from custody once the bond is posted.
Different Types of Bail and Bail Bonds
Even without complications, being released from custody is not a simple process. As a result, you should know the various types of Van Nuys bail bonds and how to obtain them.
A citation release is the best type of bail you can ever obtain. This is because you will not be taken into jail. It is issued when the police do not take you to the police station. Instead, the arresting officer gives a citation, which orders you to appear in court on a specific date. Usually, it's issued for minor offenses like traffic violations.
It isn't something that a defendant fights for or applies. Instead, it's within the discretion of the police officer. If the police choose to put you into police custody, you will be required to use another form of bail.
Just like citation release, no money is required with recognizance release. All you need is promising to show up in court on a specific date. You will be released from detention after signing the paperwork. It is worth noting that failing to appear before a judge will attract a fine.
It is issued based on the arresting police officer's discretion. However, you will be required to fight for it in a court of law. The advantage of fighting for this form of bail is that your attorney charges will be more pocket-friendly.
Just like the name suggests, it's bail that is paid in cash. A defendant can pay their bail in cash, provided they have access to the entire bail amount. While most jurisdictions refuse to take cash bail in any other form, others accept traveler's checks, credit cards, money orders, and cashier checks.
If the court thinks that you got your bail through an illegal incident, act, or transaction that constitutes a California felony, the court will hold the release and then schedule a hearing to solve the matter. Therefore, it is your responsibility to present evidence that the money was lawfully acquired. If you prove, the judge will accept the bail. If you do not, the judge won't take the bail. Additionally, depending on the case's facts, the judge may decide the raise the bail amount as a consequence.
This is done to guarantee your future appearance in court. If you feloniously acquired your bail or your bail is an expense for an illegal business, there is reduced chances of you appearing in court.
Any experienced criminal defense lawyer will advise you to retain a low-profile by securing your bail through a renowned bail bond company. This could be the case, particularly if you are accused of selling narcotics.
Surety bails are the most popular type of bail. Most people don't have enough money to post cash bail. Moreover, the process of securing Van Nuys bail bonds through a bondsman is simple and takes approximately twenty minutes.
Bondsmen can be likened to lending companies. A bail agent will post the bond on your behalf in return for a ten percent premium. That means if the total bail amount is ten thousand dollars, you will pay the bail bondsman one thousand dollars.
The premium is non-refundable. It is the firm's fee for taking the risk linked to you not appearing in court.
Also, the bail bond agent may require collateral. Collateral is an asset that you give the bondsman as a guarantee should you skip bail. If you skip bail, the bondsman can choose to sell or keep the collateral.
While different forms of assets can be used as collateral, real estate is most common. Unlike the other bail bonds, it takes time to secure a property bond. The asset's value must be assessed and a hearing scheduled to be sure that an agreement is reached.
Immigration Bail Bond
The U.S non-citizens use immigration bail bonds. These bail bonds are hard to acquire, and specific eligibility criteria should be met. Your criminal defense lawyer should help you get a renowned bail bond company.
Federal Bail Bonds
Federal bail bonds are only used when a federal offense is involved. Their transactions are made directly in a court of law without involving a bondman. You can use either your property or cash to secure this type of bond.
Bail Bond Process
It's best to start at the beginning to get a clear picture of how Van Nuys bail bonds work. Here is an overview that begins with an arrest and ends with the exoneration of your bail bond.
- Booking and Processing
After being arrested, you will be taken to the police station, where you will undergo booking and processing. The process involves taking photographs and fingerprints as well as conducting a background check. Typically, the process takes approximately two to eight hours.
- Bail is Set
Your bail amount is set even without necessarily seeing the judge. After the bail is set, you can choose to either post your bail and get released from detention before your trial or wait in police custody until your trial date.
- Posting your Bail Bond
Using the defendant's details, the bondsman will draft a bail application and contract. It is not a complicated document and can be completed with email or fax if you're not in a position to physically meet the bail bond agent.
As a co-signer, you need to understand that you are taking responsibility for the entire bail amount if the accused fails to appear in court. The bondsman will clarify your duties before you sign the contract.
After the required paperwork has been completed and payments made, the defendant will be released. The release can be immediately or take up to eight hours depending on the jurisdiction, the defendant's circumstances, how busy the jail is that day, and the staff.
- Your Bail Bond is Exonerated
Once you have met all your court responsibilities, the court will declare your bail exonerated. That means the court will no longer have a financial interest in you or the co-signer and neither financially accountable for anything to do with the case.
Notably, the innocence or guilt ruling due to the trial will not affect whether your bail is exonerated or not. What matters is the fact that you attended all court hearings.
How Bail Amount is Set
On top of the seriousness of the offense you are charged with, other factors influence bail amounts. They include:
- Your previous criminal record
- Whether you have close connections in the community
- Whether you are employed
The court can also deny bail if:
- Another jurisdiction has ordered an arrest warrant on you
- You are likely to flee before your case closes
In most jurisdictions, a defendant can post bail the arresting police officer sets even before being taken to court for an arraignment or bail hearing. Jails have posted bail schedules that specify the bail amount for most common offenses. That means you can be released immediately after paying the bail amount outlined in the jail bail schedule.
Also, bail schedules vary significantly depending on the residency, and the form of the offense committed. Generally, a felony is 5 to 10 times the bail needed for a misdemeanor. The more severe the offense, the higher the bail amount.
Jail bail schedules are inflexible. The law enforcement agency won't accept any bail amount apart from the one in the schedule. Therefore, if you want to pay less, you should go before the judge.
Requesting a bail hearing is essential, especially if posting the set bail amount scheduled will strain your finances. The bail hearing allows you to ask the court to either eliminate bail by releasing you on your own recognizance or reduce the bail amount.
- Reducing Bail
The law allows the judge to set, eliminate, or alter your bail. When modifying your bail, the judge will put factors used to determine the bail amount into consideration.
However, if charged with a felony, the judge will not reduce the bail below the scheduled amount unless they get unusual circumstances. Unusual circumstances don't take account of the fact that:
- The defendant attended all court hearings
- The defendant did not violate the law again, but instead
- There has been a change in circumstances, verified by new proof
The term change in circumstances doesn't mean the judge who set the bail amount failed to review the case thoroughly or made a legal mistake. Instead, it means a change in the accused situation, in a court proceeding, and in case's facts.
If you are charged with a violation of a protective order, domestic violence, serious felony, or violent felony, you are required to issue the prosecution with a 2-day notice of your intention to request a bail reduction. The written notice allows the prosecutor to oppose the reduction.
Will the Judge Reduce Your Bail If You Agree to Bail Conditions?
They could. A skilled defense attorney knows that critical thinking is paramount when representing their clients. That is why the attorney will propose bail terms and conditions as a way of obtaining a reduced bail from a hesitant judge. These conditions may include:
- Putting on a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor gadget (SCRAM)
- Restricting the defendant's travel and ceasing their passport and driver's license
- Being examined at an inpatient medical facility
- Placing the defendant on a house arrest through electronic monitoring
The judge should not enact bail conditions that break the defendant's Constitutional Due Process rights. Also, the terms should be ones the accused can comply with.
- Raising Bail
It's worth remembering that the judge also has the discretion to increase your bail amount. When seeking a bail reduction, the prosecution may give details like a probation violation that the judge did not know. Therefore, it is advisable to post your bail immediately without requesting a hearing if you are on probation. If you bail out before the judge gets those details, most likely, the probation officer will release you on bail.
- Releasing on Own Recognizance
You can also request the court to release you on your own recognizance provided you aren't accused of committing a crime that attracts death as a penalty. You have a right to own recognizance unless your release:
- Won't reasonably guarantee your court appearance
- Will compromise the safety of the public
Who is a Co-signer?
Co-signing means signing an indemnity agreement or promissory note that financially obligates you to pay the entire bail bond amount should the defendant fail to appear in court. As a co-signer, it is your responsibility to make sure the following are met before and after the release of the defendant (if they apply to your situation):
- Paying the bond premium- If using a bail bond company, you will be required to pay a ten percent premium to the bondsman to complete the Van Nuys bail bonds process.
- Making sure the defendant shows up in court- One of the primary roles of a co-signer is making sure the accused attends all court hearings scheduled.
- Paying additional charges- Depending on the defendant's actions like skipping bail, you could be subject to additional costs. When a defendant skips bail, it's likely the bondsman will engage bounty hunters to locate the accused and return them to jail. It could be your responsibility to pay the costs incurred to find your loved one.
Fortunately, co-signers have rights. If you think the defendant will skip bail, you can reach out to the bondsman and request the bail bond withdrawn. Then the bail bond agency will have the defendant arrested and put into custody.
What Happens When You Skip Bail?
Failing to show up in court after bailing out is an offense. In other words, if you skip bail:
- Your bond will be forfeited
- Will continue facing the pending charges
- Could face additional charges
If you had posted cash bail, the whole amount would be forfeited. The same is true for a bondsman. If you used collateral, the bondsman would sell the asset as a way of recovering the money it has lost. If you did not use collateral, the bondsman would engage a bounty hunter to locate you.
A bounty hunter is paid a portion of the bond, but only when they locate you. They have the authority to arrest you and return you to the jail from which you fled.
However, the judge can vacate the forfeit order as well as exonerate your bail bonds, provided you appear in court within 180 days of your bail forfeiture date. Moreover, you should have a reasonable excuse, such as:
- Injuries or a disease proved by a medical statement or report
- Being detained in another jail
- Suffering from a mental condition
- Being disabled
Find a Reliable Van Nuys Bail Bonds Company Near Me
There are many bail bonds firms offering Van Nuys bail bonds services. Thus, we at Exit Bail Bonds understand how stressful the process of getting reliable services can be. We invite you to contact us at 951-788-1722 whenever your loved one is arrested. We will stick with you and do everything we can to secure your release from custody by posting the required bail amount. Please get in touch with us today with the necessary information so that we can begin the process of evaluating your situation and posting bail.