Being arrested in Riverside can be a low point in life. Not only will it appear on your criminal record, but also the experience is harrowing. So what should you do? One of the steps you need to take is securing bail through a renowned bondsman like Exit Bail Bonds. A bail bond is an agreement that releases you from custody with a promise that you will appear in court when summoned.
What is Bail?
Being arrested and detained in a jail or knowing that a family member is in police custody can be devastating. Luckily, knowing how to post bail to initiate the release process can assist make the experience less scary.
Bail is the amount of money you should post with a court of law so that you can be released from custody. It's a method of assuring the court that a defendant will show up in court for their court hearings.
Often, the court will release a defendant on their own recognizance. If released on an O.R, you do not post bail. Instead, you only promise to show in court.
Also, in relation to certain offenses and circumstances, the court can deny a defendant their right to pay bail.
Various Categories of Bail in Monterey, CA
Getting yourself out of custody isn’t easy. Well, the process can be made more accessible by the fact that there are several categories of bail bonds. They include:
A defendant should deposit the entire amount with the arresting authority or the court's clerk before they can be released. You can pay either by cash, personal check, bank cashier's check, money order, or traveler's check.
If the prosecutor, judge, or police think that a defendant feloniously acquired their bail, the court will hold their release and schedule a hearing to settle the issue. The phrase "feloniously acquired" means a defendant got their bail through an unlawful transaction, act, or occurrence that constitutes a California felony.
As a result, it is up to you to prove that the money was lawfully acquired. If the defendant successfully proves, the court will accept your bail. Otherwise, the judge will not accept your bail. Besides, depending on the case circumstances, this could even escalate the bail amount.
It is reasonably believed that in the event a defendant feloniously acquired the bail or their bail is an expense of a large criminal business, they are less likely to appear in court.
Consequently, to maintain a low-profile, you could still want to use a renowned bondsman even if you’ve adequate money to get cash bail. This could be true if, for instance, you are arrested for selling narcotics.
This is a category of bail where you don't get taken into police custody. It’s issued when the police issue a citation that orders a defendant to show up in a court of law on a specific date. Usually, it is meant for minor crimes such as traffic violations.
If a defendant wants to be released and doesn't have enough money, the only method to resume their normal life is working with a bail bonds agent. The first bond offered by a bondsman is known as a surety bond. It is secured when you pay 10 percent of your bail amount to the bonds agent together with a promise to appear in court.
The ten percent is non-refundable.
With this bond, a property should be used as a guarantee or collateral. You can use different kinds of assets, such as real estate, vehicles, and jewelry.
Securing this type of bond is time-consuming. The asset's value must be assessed, and a hearing conducted to make sure everything is agreed upon.
Federal Bail Bonds
If you are charged with a violation of federal law, only federal bonds can be used. Both property and cash can be used to secure this bail bond. Just like a property bail bond, the transaction is made directly with a court of law without involving a bondsman.
An immigration bond is secured only by the U.S non-residents and non-citizens. As a result of the absence of legal status, it is hard to secure, and you must meet certain criteria. An experienced bail bond agent should be in a position to help you.
Understanding Bail Schedules
In Monterey, CA, you can post bail with the law enforcers even before arraignment, or when taken to court for a bail hearing. Most jurisdictions use posted bail schedules that specify bail amounts for common offenses. You can be released immediately after booking by paying the bail amount outlined in the jail bail schedule. Typically bail schedules vary depending primarily on the type of offense, residency, and locality.
Generally speaking, bail for felonies is 5 or 10 times the bail needed for a misdemeanor. That means more dangerous and severe crimes attract a higher bail amount.
A jailhouse bail schedule is not flexible, and the police won't accept bail other than what is scheduled. Therefore, defendants wanting to pay less should go before the judge.
Additionally, there are areas in Monterey, CA that have duty judges. Duty judges are available and can fix bail over a phone call (without a court hearing).
How Bail is Determined
To know the bail amount after you are arrested, you can assess the bail schedule, or request the bail bond agent to do so on your behalf.
If the crime is minor, like substantial property damage or driving under the influence with no injuries, the police will release the defendant after booking without bail.
If the crime is on the bail schedule, you will be required to pay that amount or post bail. The arresting police officer can appeal that the bail amount set exceeds the bail schedule. During the arraignment (the initial court appearance following the arrest), the court can either continue your bail or alter it to an amount that is in line with the case's circumstances.
To challenge the decision, your criminal defense lawyer can request a bail hearing within two days after the arraignment.
During the bail hearing, the judge can decide to leave the amount as it is, release you on your own recognizance, raise it, or reduce it.
Also, the judge has the discretion to deny bail in a case altogether. This can happen when another jurisdiction holds on you or has your arrest warrant, or you violated the law while out on bail. In the event you broke probation or parole, bail won't be set.
When determining whether to reduce the bail, the court puts the following into consideration:
- The capacity to pay
- How severe the alleged crime is
- Your previous criminal history
- Public safety
- Was any person injured? If so, how severe is the injury sustained?
- Did you threaten the victim?
- Do you have connections or business in your community?
- Likelihood of showing up in future court hearing
It is worth noting that if you're accused of committing a violent felony or severe California felony, the court will not reduce the bail below the scheduled amount unless they get good cause or unusual circumstances. Unusual circumstances don't include the fact that:
- You attended all your previous court hearings,
- You have not committed another crime, instead
- There is a change in circumstances, proved by new proof
The term change in circumstances means an alteration in the case's circumstances, proceedings, or your situation. It doesn't imply that the judge failed to analyze your case correctly or made a legal mistake when setting your bail.
Even if a defendant posts bail, the court has the power to order the defendant into custody after the trial kicks off.
If you have not paid bail, you have a right to a bail review hearing within five days from the date the bail was set.
If your alleged crime is considered
- A severe felony,
- A violent felony,
- Listed as a domestic violence law, or
- Listed as a violation of protective orders,
You are required to give the prosecution a 2-day notice (written) of your intention to request bail reduction. This is to provide the prosecutor with a chance to challenge the issue.
When a defendant seeks a reduction in bail, the prosecution team could give out details such as parole violation or probation violation that the judge was not aware of. It is, therefore, prudent of you to pay your bail without starting a hearing. If a court of law discovers you're currently on probation or parole before posting bail, the odds are the court will hold on the release.
Should the judge raise the bail, beyond what you can manage posting, it's within their discretion unless they have abused that discretion. The fact that the accused is not able to post bail does not mean the bail is excessive, or the judge has abused their discretion. It means the defendant will stay in police custody.
Bail Terms and Conditions
The judge may agree to lower your bail if you agree to bail terms and conditions. Experienced criminal defense lawyers use bail conditions as a way to get a lower bail from hesitant or unwilling judges. Common bail conditions include:
- Surrendering your passport or driver's license as well as limit your travel,
- Needing you to report in a medical center,
- Wearing a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor gadget),
- Putting you on house arrest via electronic monitoring, No drinking and operating a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in the blood,
- Having no contact with the alleged victim,
- Maintaining employment while on bail,
- Refraining from owning a firearm even if you aren't charged with a crime that involved the use of weapons, and
- Not permitting you to leave California.
It is essential to note that the judge cannot enact bail conditions that violate the Constitutional Due Process Rights. The conditions should also be ones that you can meet.
How Long After Paying Bail is a Defendant Released?
It is hard to tell the length of the bail process. This is because it is determined by factors like the jurisdiction you are in, the offense accused of, bail amount, and your case's length. As mentioned earlier, bail is usually set the day you are arrested. However, if the arrest happened at night or over a weekend, you will have to wait until the next business day for the judge to set bail. After the bail is set, the faster your family posts or pays the bail, the better.
Every jurisdiction in Monterey has its procedure on how bail must be paid. However, the payment process requires a person to go to jail or a courthouse. An official like a cashier or clerk will receive the payment.
You should provide the cashier with information like the accused's name, case booking number, and the total amount to be posted. Typically, the cashier can access these details and can tell how much should be paid. The next step is paying the entire bail amount to the cashier.
After the money has been paid and all paperwork signed, it will take approximately two to ten hours for you to be released. Several factors can delay your release. They include how busy the jail/prison is that day, the number of staff available at the moment, the number of defendants waiting to be released, and where you fall in the queue.
Getting Your Bail Money Back
Since bail isn't a sentence or penalty, you have a right to have the bail money refunded if you comply with the bail conditions. Typically, there are 2 outcomes when you post bail; the bail can be forfeited or refunded to you.
If released from custody, the bail is refunded to you once your case is concluded. The refund depends on the jurisdiction in which the bail was paid and the type of bail used. For instance, property bond takes longer to be refunded compared to cash bail.
Federal courts do not release bail immediately after a criminal case is over. The payer should bring a petition with the court, requiring the court to refund the money posted or release the property used as collateral.
Jumping bail in Monterey, CA, is a crime. If the primary crime is a California misdemeanor, jumping bail is deemed a misdemeanor. If a felony, you risk facing another felony. The court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest regardless of whether you should pay the bail or not.
If you are released from police custody on bail but fail to show up in court or to adhere to the conditions enacted when granting the bail, the entire bail amount will be forfeited.
For instance, if you posted a cash bail of $2,000, the entire $2,000 will be forfeited if you miss a court hearing. The same is true for the person or bondsman who paid the bail on your behalf. If you used a property bond, the court will foreclose or repossess the asset.
However, the court could vacate the forfeiture order and refund your bond as long as you appear in court within 180 days of the forfeiture date. Moreover, you should have a reasonable excuse like:
- A health condition that is proven by a medical statement or record
- You were arrested in another jurisdiction
- Suffered mental illness
- Sustained injuries
- Became disabled and couldn't appear in court
Find a Renowned Bail Bondsman Near Me
According to a research article, approximately sixty percent of people incarcerated cannot afford to pay bail. As a result, this can result in unnecessary financial strain on you and your loved ones. To avoid this scenario, you can work with a reliable bondsman like Exit Bail Bonds, who will post the bail on your behalf. For more information on how a bail bond works in Monterey, and also how we can help you, contact us at 951-788-1722.