How Do Bail Bonds Work in California?

How Does Bail Work in California?

How Do Bail Bonds Work in California?

After a person is arrested for a crime or misdemeanor, he or she becomes a defendant in a legal process that involves jail time and then a day in court for a trial. Bail is the money a court asks from a defendant in order for he or she to be set free from jail while they await a trial date. It’s a way for the court to make a defendant appear at their trial. It can be in cash or in the form of a bond secured from a bail bondsman. However, this doesn’t mean that bail, in general, is imposed on every criminal offense, as it depends on the severity and nature of the crime or misdemeanor. 

When it comes to how to determine the amount of set bail, then you must know that this is lowered and increased by a judge depending on the circumstances of the offense, as well as the character of the defendant.

The rules and amounts for a California bail bond are determined by each county, which has a local bail schedule for certain types of offenses, and once an accused is arrested, a loved one or a bail bondsman can review the bail schedule to determine the amount needed. Most bail bond agencies handle minor offenses (although they’re capable of handling every type of bail), like DUI’s with no accident injuries or substantial property damage. 

How to Post Bail?

You can easily post bail by paying the full cash amount, a common step in case the bail is a low figure such as $500 or $1500, why? Because it’s money that can be paid instantly if having it at hand. These funds are returned to the defendant once the proceedings are over and only if the defendant didn’t fail to appear at court. 

If you pay with cash:

Paying with cash can also be done by producing a certified or cashier’s check, as well as a money order or even a traveler’s checks. In these cases, a court clerk, or an arresting agency, are in charge of accepting personal checks. 

If the court doesn’t accept the bail due to suspicious funds origin then it will mainly be because the money is emanating from a criminal enterprise and it may be a large amount of deposited cash. When this happens, you have the burden of proving that the source of the funds is legitimate. If not, the court can refuse to accept the cash. For this reason, it is best to secure a bond and avoid this scenario.

What do you do if you need bail bonds?

This is the most common method of posting bail that amounts to at least several thousands of dollars. When defendants don’t have that kind of money, they obtain it through a licensed bail bond agency or bail bondsman. With bail bonds, you pay the bondsman up to 10% of the bail amount. Once you paid the bond amount, the bondsman will deliver it to the court to secure the defendant’s release. The premium paid to the bondsman is non-refundable.

The California Bail Process

All suspects arrested for committing a crime can be released from jail through three options: released on a citation, on their own recognizance, or through a bail. Bail can be paid with cash or an equivalent payment in the form of a pledge of personal property, which is intended to ensure that the defendant makes all required court appearances before or after a conviction

The amount of bail is set for particular cases by the county, and it will be held until the case is completed. If the defendant doesn’t attend to all the required court cases, then the person who posted the bail may not be able to get it back. 

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