Perhaps you have heard that you cannot get released from custody without bail. Although that is true, when you cannot cover your full bail amount, you can turn to Exit Bail Bonds. Read on to learn how the bail system and Fairfield bail bonds work. It will help you make an informed decision before posting your bail.
What is Bail?
Bail describes the release of an arrestee or defendant after their arrest before the end of their case. It goes beyond the defendant paying money to the court. It makes sure the defendant returns in court for their hearing. In other words, bail is not a punishment given to the accused before they are convicted, but a method to make sure the defendant shows up in court without the need to detain them the entire time.
A bail schedule is a list of the bail amount that applies to every offense in a given jurisdiction. In California, every county has its bail schedule.
Bearing that in mind, the judge ultimately sets bail. The California law gives the judge the discretion and lets them depart from a bail schedule liable on:
- Whether you are a flight risk. If you are facing a sentence that can attract more extended incarceration periods, chances are you are likely to run away than a defendant facing less severe consequences.
- Community connection. A defendant with community connections may not fail to show up in court compared to a person who is visiting.
- The odds are the judge will impose less bail amount if you are responsible for your family members' well-being
- Typically, a less severe offense will attract less bail amount than a more severe offense
- If the release poses a risk to the safety and health of your community, the judge will not grant bail
- Persons with criminal histories that involve skipping bail will receive high bail amount
Posting bail strains your finances, and that is the reason it is crucial to ask for a bail hearing to lower the financial strain.
A bail hearing permits the accused to appeal to a court of law to either get rid of the bail and release them on their own recognizance or lower their bail amount.
Lowering the Bail Amount
California law gives the judge the power to set, disregard, or modify bail. When deciding on whether to lower your bail amount, the judge will consider public safety, criminal history, whether you can afford the bail, and how serious the offense is.
In case you are accused of a felony, your bail amount will not be reduced below the scheduled bail amount unless the judge gets a good cause.
Please note, good cause doesn't take into consideration that:
- The defendant attended court proceedings, and he/she has not committed a new offense, but rather
- There has been a change in circumstances, shown by another proof
Change in circumstances doesn't imply the judge did not evaluate the case properly when determining your bail amount. Instead, it means an alteration in your situation, proceeding, or case's circumstances.
If you are still in police custody because you haven't paid bail, you can have your bail review hearing before five (5) days from when your bail amount was set elapses.
If you were arrested due to a violent felony, serious felony, domestic violence or violation of restriction orders, you're obligated to notify the prosecution of the plan to appeal for reduction of bail at least two days before. It allows the prosecutor to object the matter.
When requesting a reduction of bail, the prosecution might offer evidence that the court is not aware of like a probation violation.
Any experienced Fairfield bail bonds company will advise their client to pay bail as fast as they can without starting any hearing if they are on parole. Every so often, the judge will stop the release when they realize that you're on parole before paying bail.
Nonetheless, if you are released from detention before the judge acquires the information, the parole officer will let you enjoy your freedom, pending your case's outcome.
Releasing You on Own Recognizance
In place of paying bail, you can appeal to a court of law to release you on your own recognizance (OR). Provided you were not arrested for a crime which is punishable by a death penalty, you are entitled to OR unless your release will:
- Jeopardize the safety of the public, or
- Not guarantee appearance for your court hearings.
The Court Could Reduce the Bail Amount Should You Accept Bail Terms
A proficient defense attorney knows that suggesting bail conditions is an effective strategy to get released through own recognizance or have a bail reduction from a judge.
Some of the bail conditions imposed include the following:
- Regular pretrial reports to a probation or parole officer. The officer will monitor you to ensure you are adhering to all terms
- If you are charged with domestic violence, stalking, or making a criminal threat, the judge could enact a no-contact order. The no-contact order requires you to stop contacting the victim
- If charged with drug possession, driving under the influence, or any other substance-abuse related crime, you are supposed to stop using alcohol or drugs
- You will be required to maintain your job while out on bail
- Surrendering your driver's license or passport and limiting your travel
- Putting you on house arrest through electronic monitoring
It is worth noting that a judge can't impose bail conditions that violate the Constitutional Due Process rights.
Posting Your Bail
Generally, there are 3 (three) methods you use to pay your bail:
Through a Property or Secured Bond
A property bail is a bail where you give the court a security interest in an asset worth your total bail amount. The security interest is a lawful entitlement to take or possess the property you have given the secured party.
In case you skip bail, the court will seize the asset used as your collateral to recover the bail.
Through a Fairfield Bail Bondsman
Because many persons are not in a position to post cash bail, bail bonds are commonly used. The process of acquiring the bail bond takes about twenty minutes. However, after securing your bail bond, it can take thirty minutes or longer before your release.
Also referred to as a bail bondsman, a bail bondsman will post bail in return for a ten percent premium. In other words, if your bail amount is fifty thousand dollars, you'll pay the bail bondsman five thousand dollars.
Additionally, most Fairfield bail bondsmen require collateral. The term "collateral" means a valuable commodity that you provide the bondsman as a promise you will appear in court. Should you jump bail, the bondsman will either dispose of or retain the collateral.
Although every bonding company has their standards, most will accept the following types of collateral:
- Real estate
- Credit cards
- Bank accounts
- Personal credit
Make sure you know the following information before contacting a bail bond company:
- The defendant's full names and case or booking number. The bondsman will require these details so that they can reach the jail where your loved one is. The bondsman can obtain the case or booking number for you if it is unavailable or you have forgotten.
- Where is the accused? Remember to ask the accused where they are, including the name of the jail, state, and city.
- The total bail amount. Your Fairfield bail bonds company can get this figure when they call the jail if you don't have it. Then the bondsman will tell you both the requirements to have your loved out of custody and how much it will cost to post the bond.
To be released on cash bail, the accused ought to deposit the whole amount with the law enforcement agency or court. Depending on the jurisdiction, they can pay using cash, money order, personal check, bank cashier's check, and traveler's check.
Should the judge, prosecutor, or police contemplate that you obtained your bail feloniously, your release will be held until a hearing is held to resolve the matter. The phrase "feloniously acquired'' refers to getting bail through an occurrence that is a California felony, or illegal transactions or conduct.
It is because it is believed if you obtained the bail feloniously or is a business expense for an illegal transaction, you are less likely to attend your court hearings.
In that case, you have to establish that you obtained the bail amount lawfully. Should you fail to prove, the court will not take your bail. Moreover, your bail could be raised depending on the case's facts.
Consequently, it's advisable to retain a low profile and use a bail bondsman to post your bail, even though you have adequate money to secure a cash bail. This is true, especially if you were arrested due to selling narcotics.
Paying Bail Procedure
Every jurisdiction has its rules on how bail is set, how bail payments are made, and who will be released from custody.
Generally, the process involves a person traveling to the court or jail. Officials like clerks or cashiers receive the bail payment. You ought to provide the clerk with the following information:
- The full names of the accused
- Booking or case number
- Bail amount (Often, the clerk can access the information and can see the total bail amount)
Then, you should give the clerk the full bail amount
After the official has received the payment, he/she will notify the corrections officers detaining your loved one, and they will release the accused. From time to time, the release occurs immediately, especially if the clerk is in the jail facility. In other cases, the release might take longer depending on:
- The jail's size
- How busy is the jail that day?
- How many persons are waiting in the line?
- Where your loved one falls in the waiting line
Here is What You Should Know as a Co-signer
A co-signer is an individual who enters into an indemnity contract or signs a promissory note financially compelling themselves to pay the bond should the accused fail to attend the court hearings. After co-signing the bail bond, the defendant is released pending their case outcome at the trial.
More often than not, co-signing involves pledging cash or valuable assets including, homes and motor vehicles. It makes sure that the bonding company will recover their money. Should the defendant flee and can't be apprehended within a given period, you should either:
- Surrender the collateral pledged to the bondsman, or
- Pay the bond amount in full
You have a right to ask the bondsman to withdraw the bail if:
- The defendant refuses to attend court hearings or runs away
- You are uncomfortable with the accused's conduct like additional illegal behavior
Then the bonding company will have the defendant located, arrested, and returned to jail.
Moreover, you can request certain terms before co-signing, like requiring the defendant to undergo a mental health evaluation or enroll in drug treatment classes.
It is worth noting that not every person qualifies to be a co-signer. You must:
- Be a U.S citizen
- Have a good credit history, savings, collateral and can make regular payments, if required
- Have a good job history (If you have been working in the same company for a while and get a paycheck, the bondsman will feel secure that you can pay the bail if the accused violates their bail conditions)
Getting Your Bail From the Court
As previously noted, bail isn't a punishment or sentence, and you are entitled to have all money returned as long as you comply with bail conditions. Usually, there are 2 (two) possible results when you pay bail:
Bail Refund or Release
Bail should be refunded to the accused once a criminal case is closed. However, the bail refund hinges on the jurisdiction where the defendant posted their bail and form of bail posted.
If you paid a cash bail, your bail would be released within a couple of weeks from the case closure. On the contrary, a property or secured bond takes longer.
If you skip bail (also known as failure to appear), the court will forfeit your bail and issue a warrant for the arrest. If you paid one thousand dollars as cash bail, you would lose the entire one thousand dollars. In case you used a secured bond, the court will foreclose or repossess your property. If you used a bail bond, the bonding company will first seek reimbursement from you and then from your co-signer.
Fortunately, if you go to court within six months of the bail forfeiture notice, the judge might pardon and vacate your bond. You should also have a satisfactory excuse for why you jumped bail. Perfect examples of reasonable excuses include:
- Serious illness
- Mental condition
- Being in another jail
What Takes Place if the Accused Gets Arrested Again While Out on Bail?
After you are back in detention, the bail bond may be surrendered, and the liability terminated. However, there are issues, namely:
- If you surrender the bail bond, you'll lose the premium paid
- If you get re-released on bond, you'll post two bail bonds as well as pay premium twice
Contact a Bail Bonds Company Near Me
When you get arrested and booked, you should wait in custody until your bail bond hearing. During the hearing, the judge will set your bail amount. If you cannot afford the bail amount, you should wait until your trial date. Fortunately, you have another option with a Fairfield bail bond company. At Exit Bail Bonds, we can simplify the process for you by offering professional services that make you feel like a client, rather than a criminal. Save yourself energy, money, and time and call us today at 951-788-1722 for more information.