How Bail Bonds Work

If you’re like many of our customers, this could very well be your first time attempting to free a loved one from jail. However, regardless of how many times you have needed to call on a bail bondsmen, these frequently asked questions will give you a play by play that you can reference as you move forward in the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Bonds:

los-angeles-orange-county-bail-bondsWe provide you with free bail bond information and bail assistance 24 Hours a day. Let us share our know-how with you! It isn’t uncommon for us to receive calls from customers who are simply at a loss since it’s the first time they or a loved one has been arrested. Understandably, they’re unfamiliar with the legal system and are unclear how to process out with a California bail bond. We are especially sensitive to family members or friends attempting to secure the release of a loved one on their behalf.

About Bail Bondsman

If you can’t pay it in full, the bail agent is the key to your loved one’s release from jail. The bail bondsman takes on the responsibility of your bail amount as set by a judge during a bail hearing.

To speak with one of our licensed and knowledgeable bail bond agents call Angels Bail Bonds toll free: (800) 224-5911. You can also immediately reach a bail bonds agent by sending us an email at

There’s no straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question, because each State has the right to lay down its own rules for this particular situation, some states will assist and cooperate while other states will not. However, there are some examples you can rely on. If you get pulled over for speeding, the officer will see your outstanding warrant. Bondsman or bounty hunters can follow you, so if they are able to determine your whereabouts out of state, it is more than likely that they will be able to make a legal arrest but again dependent not only on the state, but the county or even specific law enforcement organization.

The defendant must pay the entire amount of the bail in cash if it’s a cash bond, which is different from a surety bond. The prisoner is only released from the custody for cash-only bonds after the entire sum has been paid. By using real money or a safe payment form—for example a debit or credit card—you can usually make it. In other jurisdictions, the exact amount is only accepted and the adjustment will not be given if you pay in cash.  Also, any fines or fees incurred will be directly deducted from the cash bail often without notice.  As well, if a case goes for a longer period of time like multiple years, that large sum of cash may be tied up without earning any interest or return causing a larger opportunity cost.

Yes, a bail bondsman can refuse to bail a defendant out. It’s a common thing to happen in the industry. When a bail bondsman declines to bail the incarcerated, he has already undertaken a deliberate risk assessment process. Some variables used in this determination are severity of charges, financial strength of indemnitors to pay back the bail bond in case of forfeiture, level of stakeholder status in the community, has the indemnitor and/or defendant lived in same home or worked at same business for a large number of years.

If the defendant does not appear in court and is not cooperative in satisfying their pledged obligation of a court appearance and/or unwilling to sign any legal motions to help remove that financial obligation than a home used for  collateral to bail someone out, can be foreclosed upon to reimburse the surety company and/or bail bonds company for any expenses.

Bounty hunters are qualified officials and are licensed to bear weapons for self-defense. In general, each jurisdiction has its own firearms operations laws and rules. Bounty hunters are required to carry weapons if the law permits it, as this will help them perform their duties more efficiently as they go searching for bail jumpers. Federal legislation gives bounty hunters the power and privilege they may not otherwise have in the police department. Registered bounty hunters can access a fugitive’s home without a search warrant – and for security purposes, they can do so while being armed with weapons. They can not, however, enter anyone else’s home, besides the fugitive’s, without a warrant.

To put it simply, a bondsman is not always needed to post bail.

For a friend or relative to post bail you simply need the total bail amount as set by the judge. Yet this amount is always very high, like $25,000 or more. However, the jail or court may not accept your initial attempt at payment and may direct or require you to pay in the method and process they would recommend which may delay the defendant’s release.

Yes, bounty hunting is legal, but the laws of the State differ with respect to bounty hunters rights. They have more powers to prosecute, in general, than even local police.

Bail bondsmen provide the funds needed before their sentencing to release an accused offender; this is typically backed by property collateral or a co-signer. Bail recovery officers are typically responsible for monitoring, arresting, and returning their court date to a fugitive defendant.

The defendant, or any other person, may deposit the total sum mentioned in the bail order usually determined by the bail schedule. It is the practice of each jail to adopt a written policy permitting acceptance of cash, checks, cashier’s checks and money orders, upon conditions that tend to assure their validity.

Most jails have a maximum amount over which a personal check will not be accepted.

Bond Payment Methods

A bail bond is a contract between the Courts, the bail bondsman, and the indemnitor. Paying a bail bond secures the release of an accused person, who is usually referred to as the defendant.

The indemnitor is the person who physically signs the contract for the release of the defendant. After this, he or she is referred to as the signer or guarantor.

The Bail bondsman is the court’s assurance a defendant will be present for each subsequent court appearance. If the defendant misses a designated court appearance, Angels Bail Bonds will help the indemnitor locate and return the defendant to court.

The cost for a Bail Bond is usually 10% of the amount ordered by the court. To get this initial amount a judge will weigh a variety of factors, including the nature and severity of the crime, if there are any previous convictions, assessment of a defendant\’s ties to his or her community, and employment status.

Cash, check, and credit cards are all accepted methods of payment when posting bail. However, if we are unable to get the money together we do offer low monthly payment options.

At we work with customers to write large bonds for little or *no money down. While the 10% cost of the original bond won’t change, we can approve customers to put no money down and make small monthly payments depending on their credit. Be sure to call and ask about our rebate program.

You can pay a bail bondsman with a credit card, yes, but not use a credit card in California to pay the court your bail. It can only be through cash, a cash bond or property bond.

They will usually post bail for you at a charge of about 10 percent of the bail sum. (So a $10,000 bail would cost you $1,000.) You could most probably put that balance on your credit card.

After a defendant’s release has been secured, the bail bond fee is fully earned regardless of whether he or she may have been improperly taken into custody, the bail was reduced, or had their case dismissed. While the 10% premium paid to your bail bondsman is a non-refundable surcharge but won’t be assessed until your loved one is successfully out of jail.

You can bail someone out of jail without having to pay any money. This is done by something called a “O.R.” or an “O.R.” release, short for the word Own Recognizance or citing out which means you are recognizing your own liability and promise to appear in court.

You can pay a bail bondsman with a credit card, yes, but not use a credit card in California to pay the court your bail. It can only be through cash, a cash bond or property bond.

In general, they will post bail for you, for a fee of about 10% of the bail amount. (So a $10,000 bail would cost you $1,000). Most likely, you can put that amount on your credit card.

Yes, because it’s another form of cash. Bail Bonds firms usually take cash as a form of payment up front before bailing out the defendant. But using a credit card to pay a bail bond could be the most expedient method of payment for the consumer and the bail bondsman. Paying by credit card is the easiest way to speed up the bail process and, in doing so, get the prisoner out of jail quicker. Payments and documentation can be completed by fax or email with the Bail Bond firm.

The benefit of posting bail yourself — with cash or property — is that, by the end of the trial, you will get a full refund minus fees and/or court costs. Generally Bail bondsmen require a premium of 10 percent. And if your bail is $10,000 then you’ll probably pay the bondsman a $1,000 non-refundable charge.  This charge becomes non-refundable once the defendant is released from jail as the obligation to the court of the defendant’s appearance transfers upon release from the jail to the bail bondsperson.

Yes, you will still have to pay bondsman if the charges are dropped or you’re found not guilty.  Again, the purpose of bail is to guarantee the court of the appearance of the defendant, consider a bail bond to also be known as an appearance bond.

You can use real or personal property to secure the bail bond. You can sign on your house or rental property to secure the bail bond, the same way you would secure money borrowed from the bank. The main difference is that our paperwork is immediate, with no waiting and no documentation needed.

You do not need to provide your deed of ownership. We have state-of-the-art data services that provide instant proof of ownership. We also can use any personal property items such as bonds, credit cards, boats, airplanes, helicopters, motorcycles, expensive cars and other high-priced items.

One time we even took a winning lottery ticket for collateral! This story was written on the front page of the local newspaper.

If your home, car or other large property object is provided as collateral, the court or bail agent will have you sign and/or transfer the necessary paperwork which will most likely be notarized and recorded with the county recorder. Whether it’s a smaller object like jewelry, they can take care of it physically and hold it in a safe position until the case is settled.

If you can’t afford bail then you’re going to simply stay in jail until your court date and if considered a risk by the Judge until trial. One benefit is if convicted you will get the benefit of time served while incarcerated, however, if found not guilty, than you’ve spent time in jail needlessly.

If you pay the court cash bail, if you pay the entire bail amount, then after the defendant completes the necessary court appearances, you’ll get the money returned to you minus fees or court costs.

With easy approval, you may qualify for a signature bond. A signature bond is where you sign on the bail bond agreement to secure the release of the defendant. This is done when a person has high credit scores and has shown that he has been responsible to his creditors in the past.

The bail conditions a judge would normally enforce would depend on the facts of the case. But some of the more common provisions require offenders to: obey all laws and refrain from drug and alcohol use and/or engage in monitoring to assure they do not possess any guns and stay away from certain locations, or that people maintain or pursue jobs despite a curfew and comply with unique travel restrictions.

A judge should usually weigh a variety of factors when determining which conditions are reasonable. Such considerations may include: the criminal history of the defendant, the severity of the physical and mental state of the defendant and the nature of the offense the defendant is accused of having committed, the probability that the defendant may leave the jurisdiction, and whether the defendant has a history of drug abuse.

In order for the bail bond service to post bail on your behalf, an agent is usually expected to post some sort of collateral. This can be your own home, car or something of interest. If you fail to appear in court, the collateral will be used to cover the bail sum forfeiture.

The collateral is returned once the bail agent receives a Bail Bond Exoneration or a Bail Bond discharge from the court. A “Bond Discharge” or “Bail Exoneration” is the document that officially releases the bail bondsman from further responsibility on the bond.

A bond is a kind of check you send to a relative, telling him or her not to cash it before you think it’s okay. The bond’s selling price is usually around 10 percent of the interest. So if your bail is set at $5000 you should expect to pay around $500 to buy a bail bond.  If you have a AAA bail bonds certificate up to $1,000. See link

To receive a bail bond, most bail companies need some form of collateral as evidence of being able to pay if the bail conditions are violated. The bail service may allow you to use your house as security, depending on the size of the bail. Also if you have other assets that could pay off the bail, a lot of bail firms tend to use real estate protection as collateral. Proceed with caution though when setting up a house for bail. The bail bond firm will foreclose on the house if the defendant fails a trial date.

You won’t be able to get released from jail if you can’t afford the bail the court has set. Therefore, before the date the court has set for your appeal, you’ll need to stay in prison. This means you may have to remain in prison for months from the time of your arrest and the start of your trial.

Known as a bail bond or cash bail, a amount of money is deposited to free the suspect from pre-trial custody. If the defendant makes all of the court appearances they need, this deposit will be refunded.

Yes, most bail bond agencies take payments; this means, you can make a down payment and then monthly installment payments later on if you can’t pay for the full down payment. There are many ways to pay for the bond premium.

Bail Bonds in California

In California, there are three ways that you can post bail if you’re accused of a crime:

  • Cash (California Penal Code – Section 1269)
  • Bail bond (California Penal Code – Section 1276)
  • Property bond (California Penal Code – Section 1276.5)

No, not yet and it’s possible that it won’t. There was new legislation in California that planned on getting rid of bail — and replacing it with pre-trial tests that assess the likelihood of accused people. People who are at “low” risk are released. Jurisdictions may choose whether to release “medium” risk people. Anyone who is at “substantial” risk will be jailed until arraigned. The new law was postponed by gathering enough signatures and submitting it to the November 2020 balot.

You pay the bondsman up to 10 percent of the bail sum using bail bonds. After you have paid the balance of the bond, the bondsman must deliver it to the court to ensure release of the defendant. The bonus owed to the bondman is non-refundable.

No, not yet and it’s possible that it won’t. There was new legislation in California that planned on getting rid of bail — and replacing it with pre-trial tests that assess the likelihood of accused people. People who are at “low” risk are released. Jurisdictions may choose whether to release “medium” risk people. Anyone who is at “substantial” risk will be jailed until arraigned. The new law was postponed by gathering enough signatures and submitting it to the November 2020 balot.

There have always been many examples of people with money convicted of crimes and willing to bounce out of prison straight after having been arraigned in a bondsman call. This was viewed as unfair to the less fortunate defendants whose crimes were too serious for the courts to grant O R (Own Recognizance), and who have no money to pay a bondsman.

Bail can be denied in some cases that do not involve a capital offense (murder, espionage, etc.) if the court finds it likely the defendant will do harm to his/her accusers. Based on sufficient facts or strong presumption, bail may be denied in the following instances:

  • In felony cases involving extreme acts of violence
  • Felony sexual assault offenses on another person
  • If the court finds that there is a substantial likelihood that the defendant would cause harm to others upon being released
  • If a court finds after reviewing available evidence that the accused has threatened another with great bodily harm or death, and there is a strong likelihood the accused would carry out that threat if released

The requirement of findings based on clear and convincing evidence implies that a hearing will be held on the issue. The likelihood a defendant would cause public harm would be determined on review of the circumstances of the case, and the history of the defendant. The decision to grant or deny bail is subject to review on petition by the defendant.

The amount of the bail is primarily within the discretion of the judge or magistrate, with only two general limitations:

  • First: The purpose of bail is not to punish, but only to secure the appearance of the defendant, and it should be fixed with that in mind.
  • Second: Excessive bail, not warranted by the circumstances is not only improper, but a violation of constitutional rights. In fixing the amount of the bail, the court takes into consideration the seriousness of the charge, the defendant\’s previous criminal record, and the probability of the defendant appearing at the trial or hearing.
  • Additionally: If public safety is an issue, the court may make an inquiry where it may consider allegations of injury to the victim, threats to the victim or a witness, the use of a deadly weapon, and the defendant\’s use or possession of controlled substances.

A judge or magistrate setting bail, other than the amount called for in the bail schedule, must state on the record the reasons and address the issue of threats made against a victim or a witness. The court must also consider evidence offered by the detained person regarding ties to the community and ability to post bond.

How Bail Bonds Work

If the court has given you bail conditions, then the court can alter the conditions. The police cannot alter bail conditions given at court. If you want to give it a try, then you will need to get in touch with a solicitor who will arrange a court hearing to vary your conditions.

It can take up to 7 days to completely cancel the bonding contract and delete your name. It is necessary to note that the person will return to prison once the bond is canceled. Before making any decision you should seriously think of reasons for backing out of the bail bond contract.

Getting released from jail depends on where the person is being held. Some jurisdictions like city jails, take an hour or so to release someone from jail. Other jurisdictions, like the county jails, run by the local sheriff, can average 2-8 hours for release. But it can take as long as 12-24 hours to be released from jail. Federal facilities generally take 2-3 hours for release.

You may be released immediately after a California arrest, or held before your arraignment. Before being arraigned you can also be released from prison if the prosecutor chooses not to press charges. When you are held in prison until your arraignment, normally you can wait no longer than two days.

In order for the bail bond service to post bail on your behalf, an agent is usually expected to post some sort of collateral. This can be your own home, car or something of interest. If you fail to appear in court, the collateral will be used to cover the bail sum forfeiture.

A bail bond would, in no way, change your credit score. Nevertheless, bail bond firms will perform a background check before authorizing you to get a bail bond to make sure you are a trustworthy co-signer.

California law also requires courts to reduce bail if conditions alter. Specifically, the § 1289 of the Penal Code authorizes a court to lower the bail if there is good cause. Successfully withdrawing several charges, he or she is able to reduce the bail as well.

If you are the one who wants to get out of the bond, the first thing you need to do is contact the bonding company. Fill out the correct paperwork and arrange a date to meet them. They’re going to want a good explanation why you want to back out of the bond so get that ready. If you go with the bond company, be honest, as you will need to show that you are the person who signed the bond first, and will need to provide documents and identification.

If you are the one that wants to be out of the bond, it is highly recommended that you contact the bonding company first. Fill out the correct paperwork and schedule a meeting date. They’ll want a clear answer of why you need to back out of bond, so be ready. Once in the bond firm, be honest, because you’ll need to prove you’re the first person to sign the bond, and you’ll need to provide paperwork and identification.

Section 825 of the California Penal Code mandates that a person in custody for an offense or a felony be brought before a judge “without undue delay,” and within 48 hours of his arrest, except Sundays and holidays.

48 hours

In California, police are allowed to detain/ hold a person for 48 hours without charge. If no charges are filed after 48 hours, then that person must be released by the police.

Since suspects have the right to a fair trial, the prosecutor usually needs to file charges within 48 hours of the arrest while the suspect is in custody (in prison). Weekends, court holidays and mandatory days of court closure do not count against the 48 hours.

30 minutes to 12 hours

The lawyer will post the bond until the paperwork has been done and the bond has been paid, and the suspect will be released on bail. It can take between 30 minutes and 12 hours for the defendant to be released after the bail is issued, depending on the defendant’s prison, personnel and circumstances.

There’s no limit. However, only after some new facts and conditions have emerged since the previous bail application has been denied, will the person be accepted on merit only for the second bail application.

All bail bonds in California start out as 10 percent of the bail of the individual. It means that if the bail is set at $10,000 their bail bond would cost only $1,000. This is the regular price set by the California state, but some bail bond firms will give you a discount.

Bail on felonies (e.g., robbery) usually ranges from $1,500 to $50,000, but skyrockets to hundreds of thousands of dollars for extremely serious crimes and crimes committed in aggravating circumstances (violent offenses, etc.)

Bail bond firms act as lenders and will pay the bail for between eight and ten percent of the bail amount anywhere. This premium is the cost for the bond firm to take on the possibility of the defendant potentially not coming to court.

The most popular method of posting bail is by purchasing a bond from a licensed bail bondholder, as bail can be in tens of thousands of dollars or more. You pay the bondsman up to 10 percent of the bail amount and you can buy or receive a $5000 bond if a suspect has bail set at $50,000.

If the bond amount has been paid, the bondsman must deliver it to the court to ensure the release of the defendant. The bonus owed to the bondman is non-refundable.

This protection from jail time comes with certain strings attached: When a prisoner breaches bail terms, refuses to appear in court, or is charged again, parole is almost invariably revoked, ensuring the prisoner is taken into custody. Upon the revocation the bail money or the bond is forfeited.

Bail is cash, a bond, or a property offered to a court by an accused person to make sure he or she appears in court when required to do so. If the defendant does not appear, the court will keep the bail and issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Being on bail means the defendant is waiting for their trial.

A bail agent can surrender the defendant back into custody at any time before the forfeiture. The bail agent must prove the cause for surrender to court within 48 hours or the judge will order the returning part or all of the premium to the defendant, or other person who paid the premium.

There are four ways in which a person may be released from custody.

  • Contact a bondsman.
  • Post cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail
  • Use real property (such as a home or a lot) if the person posting the bail has no money

Bail is the defendant’s own money given to the court in cash, and a bond is the bondsman’s promise to make good on bail if the defendant does appear to court. A bond is basically a loan to the defendant.

It depends on the legal justification the court refused bail. In California, for example, a judge can refuse bail on the basis of what the court calls a hold of PC 1275. What this means is that the court needs to know where the money to pay the bail bond is coming from. The court needs to be certain that the money that was used to purchase the bond was not feloniously received. The court won’t issue bail until the judge is persuaded that the money has been lawfully collected.

New Jersey and Alaska have implemented legislation since 2014, which have for most cases eliminated cash bail. Such states now grant the suspects a supervised release or involuntary incarceration, with a risk assessment spelling out the conditions.

Bail allows police time to collect relevant information such as witnesses, CCTV information and forensic evidence. If, for example, the work on the case cannot be done within the prescribed time limits, the appropriate bail period can be extended.

Although the right to bail has constitutional recognition in the prohibition against excessive bail, bail is not always a matter of right. However, with certain exceptions a defendant charged with a criminal offense shall be released on bail.

Persons charged with capital crimes when the facts are evident, or the presumption of guilt great, are excepted from the right to be released on bail. However, a defendant charged with a capital crime, is entitled to a bail hearing in the trial court, to determine whether the facts are evident or the presumption great.

A crime is a capital offense if the statute makes it potentially punishable by death or life imprisonment, even if the prosecutor/ government have agreed not to seek the death penalty. It is presumed that the risk of flight of the defendant is great when he or she is facing death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bail Bonds are good for 1 year. The bail bond is renewable at the end of the year if the bail bond is not exonerated. When the bond is exonerated the bail agency will release the indemnitors liability. Exoneration normally occurs when the proceedings are terminated in some way or on the return of the defendant to custody. If convicted, the defendant appears for sentencing. If sentenced to imprisonment the defendant is committed to the custody of the sheriff, and the liability of the bail bond terminates.

Traveling on Bail

You can speak to your bail bond representative if you have any current travel plans or if a need occurs, including a family emergency. When it is possible to fly, the bail bond lawyer must be able to secure court permission. It is typically legal in state travel; it is out of state travel where special permission can be necessary.

The whole aim of being out on bail is to take care of your everyday life obligations while waiting for trial. Technically, unless you have extenuating conditions, you can not leave the state. If possible, then the municipal court that manages your case and the bonding firm that drafted your bail bond will pre-approve these unusual events that would require you to leave the State. But in general, no, if you’re out on bail you shouldn’t leave the state.

No.  If you cause a commotion, they will call the police, and they will search for warrants, which then might lead you to trouble. If you’re planning on traveling out of state, then you might need special permission to board a plane to another state and another country, but airlines and airports usually don’t know when a traveler is out on bail. It’s up to you to be careful about where you can travel.

When To Bail

It depends on the crime and the circumstance. Some offences have a fixed bail amount (called the bail schedule). Usually they will be released over the weekend if the offender meets any of the conditions.

Generally speaking, it depends on the following: most jails will allow the bail money but may not be able to bail out the person until later. It depends almost entirely on the prison and on the staff present.

An individual will be released or sent to jail after the arrest. If the individual has been arrested on the weekend they will usually have to wait until the next Monday. The judge will decide the bail of the person after the arraignment.

The problem here is that most states don’t have the full mechanism to bail out somebody online. A lot of bail bondsmen allow you to make electronic payments that are very convenient and most of them have an online form that you can fill out to get the process started, but that is as close as it gets.

Bail for crimes categorized as felonies is, as a general rule, five to ten times the bail required for misdemeanors. The more serious and risky the crime, the more likely it would be hard to bail out. A jailhouse bail schedule is, in general, inflexible.

The judge or a magistrate may stay the release of a defendant if a peace officer or prosecutor files a sworn declaration demonstrating probable cause to believe the source of the consideration was feloniously obtained.

The release may also be stopped if the judge or magistrate has probable cause to believe the source was feloniously obtained. If probable cause exists, the defendant then bears the burden to prove that no part of the source was illegally obtained.

A defendant who prevails must be released on issuance of a bail bond as specified. are experts in 1275 PC motions and have a 98% success rate of having the 1275 PC hold lifted.

A defendant who is convicted and given probation is released from custody, and the bail must be exonerated.

The arrest process should, in most cases, be relatively similar to an arrest on any other day. If you’re arrested on a Friday and can’t afford to post your bail, you’re going to have to wait for the next available court date, normally a Monday. This means you’ll need to live in jail over the weekend.

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