How Do Bail Bonds Work in California?

What is Bail?

Bail is when a court decides how much money a criminal defendant will need to get out of jail before trial. Bail bonds are commonly requested by defendants who do not have the money to pay the bail themselves. In these cases, the bail bondsman (who works for the bail bond company) charges the defendant a fee in return for the payment. Bail is mainly based on the principle that an accused person is deemed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

How Is Bail Set in California?

The amount of bail is normally set at the person’s initial court appearance, often known as the arraignment stage. A judge can either release a person on their own recognizance (OR) with a promise to appear in court at a later date or deny their OR and impose bail.

If the charge is small—such as a DUI with no accident injuries or significant property damage— the person will usually be released without bail after being arrested.

You must pay the bail amount or post a bail bond if your offense is put on the bail schedule by the jail. An arresting officer might ask for a higher bail amount than what the bail schedule suggests.

The California Bail Process

Rules For Setting Bail

It is possible for a law enforcement officer to propose that bail be set at a higher level than the bail schedule specifies. Bond is set at the arraignment, which is your initial court appearance after your arrest. The judge will either continue the bail or alter it at an amount that is thought appropriate for the situation. Within two days after your arraignment, you have the right to dispute your bond.

The bond amount can be left unchanged, increased, decreased, or released on your own recognizance at the bail hearing.

Can I Be Released Without Bail?

You may be released from custody by the court if your case is deemed not to be severe, you have strong ties to your community, or the evidence is shaky.

If the court determines that you are a flight risk or a danger to public safety, it may refuse to release you on bond unless you can show that posting bail will ensure that you appear in court in the future.

Can the Judge Deny Bail?

In the event that your bond is decreased or you are granted bail, the court has the option of imposing conditions. When attempting to convince a court to establish bail or reduce it, your defense attorney can also propose conditions.

It’s common for bail conditions to be imposed as a condition of your release or reduction in bail. Some of these may be more appropriate in your situation. Conditions may include:

  • Electronic monitoring and house arrest.
  • Making you wear a SCRAM, or Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, to prove your sobriety.
  • Passport and driving license surrender.
  • Being unable to exit the state since your passport has expired.
  • Isolating oneself from the afflicted person.
  • If you have any amount of alcohol in your system, do not go behind the wheel at all.

How Bail Bonds Work in California

Bail bondsmen in California often charge a fee of 7-10% of the entire bail (the premium). In return for your payment to the bondsman, he will deliver the bond to the court and obtain the defendant’s release. Pay attention to the fact that the bail fee is non-refundable.

The agreement between a bail bondsman and a client is formalized upon receipt of the premium (or bail agency). If the court sets bail, the defendant can hire a bail bond firm in California to get out of jail before their trial unfolds.

Types of Bail in California

Cash Bond

Defendant, family member, or friend posts the entire bond amount in US dollars as “cash bail” (cash bond).

Property Bond

A property bond is one in which the defendant’s, a family member’s, or a friend’s home is pledged as security for the bail. The property’s worth must be significantly more than the bail amount for the judge to approve.

Bail Bond

Posting bail is most commonly accomplished through the use of a Bail Bond. Unless you have a large amount of money or a large amount of property, most people cannot post bail. This system has been in effect for many decades all around the world, including in California.

How to Post Bail in California

You must deposit the entire bail sum with the clerk of the court or the arresting agency in order to be released on cash bail. You may pay with cash, a traveler’s check, a money order, a personal check, or a bank cashier’s check, depending on the policies of the particular court.

How Much of a Bail Needs to Be Paid?

Bail in California can run anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the specifics of your case. Many offenders prefer to post bail through a bondsman rather than posting their own money because most people do not have this amount of money readily available at short notice.

What Happens If I Fail to Show Up at Court?

A misdemeanor or a felony crime can be committed if you fail to appear in court for the original court dates. Your legal case may suffer as a result, and you should not expect a second opportunity to be released on bail. Once you’ve been re-arrested, you’ll most likely be held in jail until your upcoming court appearances.

A failure to appear after posting cash bail results in forfeiture of both the cash and any collateral you utilized.

Failure to show up in court after posting a bail bond results in forfeiture of the bond posted by your bondsman. To recoup their investment, the bondsman has 6 months to return you to custody. Bail fugitive recovery agents (bounty hunters) are often hired to find and bring back fugitives.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Bail Bonds?

Your bondsman has the right to sue you in civil court if you fail to pay your bail on time. If your case is still pending, your bond will be revoked.

Get Real Help Getting Out of Jail

How many times in your life have you been able to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars without taking any risk? That’s exactly what you’ll get when you use the ethical bail bond services at Angel Bail Bonds. If we cannot free you, your loved one, or a family member from jail, we vow to return 100% of the amount you paid us. For example, if you have acquired a $100,000 bond and have already paid us $10,000, and the defendant is not freed out of jail for any reason, we will promptly reimburse the full $10,000. You don’t have to ask a single question!

Regardless of your needs, you can count on us to meet them quickly, courteously, and professionally.

Angel Bail Bonds

No matter what charges you’re facing, our objective at Angel’s Bail Bonds is to provide swift and judgment-free assistance every day of the year, every day of the year.

If you or a loved one needs our assistance now or in the future, please contact us at any time of day or night.

Call our team at Angels Bail Bonds for assessment and guidance to get your loved one out of prison; we will help you to get through difficult times 24/7!


A judge or other court officer will establish the amount of bail and any other conditions for a person’s release from jail after they have been arrested. Flight risk and the potential of continued criminal behavior to the public are two factors to consider when deciding whether or not to grant bail. A lack of prior criminal history and ties to the community are two factors that may favor issuing bail. In a bail hearing, the following decisions may be made by:

Release on Own Recognizance

The defendant is released from custody in exchange for signing a document agreeing to appear in court and follow certain rules.

Personal Bond

The defendant is freed after signing a bond that stipulates that if they fail to appear in court, they would face criminal and, in some situations, civil consequences.

Bail and Release Conditions

The defendant may be released by posting bail in the amount established by the court, either by paying it personally or by securing a surety bond from a bail bond business.

Denial of Bail

Bail is denied when the defendant poses a significant risk of fleeing or endangering the public.

Yes, you can bail yourself out of jail to answer the question. You can do it if you have the resources. In many circumstances, however, this is quite difficult. Bail can be a considerable sum of money, and people don’t always have that much cash on hand.

In case a defendant fails to appear in court, a bail bondsman has the authority to transport the fugitive to the courthouse. They have the authority not only to convey them to the relevant authorities but also to pursue the fugitive into any residence to make the arrest.

Yes, this is a valid question. It’s possible for the bond company to remand you back into custody if you don’t meet your obligations.

The amount of bail set by a court can be the difference between incarceration and freedom while a case is pending in court. As a result, any criminal defense strategy must include lowering bail to the absolute minimum amount attainable. Here are some ways of requesting a lower bail amount:

  • At the arraignment, an attorney can request a reduction of bail.
  • By a motion to reduce the bail.
  • A change in circumstances might lead to the reduction of bail by motion.

In cases involving serious violent or sex offenses, the court has the authority to deny bail. If bail is denied, the court will base its decision on a variety of grounds.

If you are convicted of a severe crime, the judge may reject your bail if there is sufficient proof that you could injure someone if freed.

Non-violent misdemeanors and infractions are exempt from the requirement of posting bail. Being freed on your own recognizance is a term for this.

You may be released on your own recognizance even though your charges have a set bond amount if you are judged to be a low danger by the court.

In most cases, the decision to release you without bail will be based on the following factors:

  • What you owe.
  • Irrespective of whether it’s your first offense or a reoccurrence.
  • Whether or not there were any injuries or threats.
  • Whether or not you pose a public safety risk.
  • If it is determined that you are likely to run.
  • Your ties to the neighborhood.
  • Your ability to post bail or pay the premiums on a bail bond.
  • Your disciplinary history.
  • Any outstanding warrants that are still active.

A certified or cashier’s check, money order, or traveler’s check can also be used to cover the entire bail amount. In some instances, a court clerk or the agency making the arrest will accept a personal check.

Bail by cash involves posting the whole sum of bail in cash to be freed from custody. You won’t receive your money back if you don’t show up for any subsequent court appearances linked to the case. Within 2 to 3 months, your bail deposit will be reimbursed if you appear at all of your court appearances.

Cash bail can be denied if there is suspicion that the money you plan to use to pay your bond was obtained illegally; therefore you will have to show that your bail money was legitimately obtained.

If you are accused of involvement in a lucrative criminal operation, for example, any funds used to get a cash bail will be scrutinized to the fullest extent.

Has someone you know been arrested? Don’t think twice and let us be one of your options, and luckily, the only one. If you have any questions on how the bail bonds process works in California, or need to help a loved one, call Angel Bail bonds company today!

To Top