Bail Bonds: Breaking Down the Process
At some point in your life, likely from television or a movie, you’ve likely heard the term “bail bonds”. You may have heard that when someone is arrested, a bail bond will need to be posted on the defendant’s behalf in order to get him or her out of jail. Other than that, though, the details and actual definition of what a bail bond is may be a little bit fuzzy.When a person is arrested several things happen. They’ll be booked, processed, and they will have their bail set at an amount consistent with the severity of the crime with which they’ve been charged. In other cases, they will be “remanded”, meaning a judge has decided they’re not eligible for bail or, in rare instances, a defendant could be released on their own recognizance, meaning they will not have to pay a monetary amount in order to obtain their release.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?When bail has been set a defendant has two options when it comes to getting out of jail: post the full amount with the court or hire a California bail bondsman. If the full amount of bail is posted, that is with done cash or cashier's check. At the conclusion of the case, bail will be refunded. In using a bail bondsman, only 10% of the total amount of bail will need to be paid.
Most people will use a bondsman in California because bail amounts are amongst the highest in the nation. Most folks do not have immediate access to $10,000 or $100,000. Ultimately, a bail bond serves as a promise that the defendant will appear for all court proceedings related to the charges.
Although all bail bond companies in essence help people get out of jail; that’s not to say they all work the same. Some allow you to pay by credit card, some require payment be made in cash, some will need you to come into their office in order to have the process completed, whereas others might allow you to obtain a bail bond via phone, fax and Internet. If you find yourself in a position where you need to hire a bail bondsman, you’ll want to find someone who will be able to meet your individual needs.
Once the bail bond is prepared, an agency representative will take the bond to the jail the defendant is being held and it will be posted. The defendant processed for release.
If you find yourself in a position where you need to hire a California bail bondsman be sure to find someone who you feel is best able to handle your particular situation, who can work within your parameters (for example, a bondsman can help you with a bail bond payment plan if you need one, offers no collateral bail options and is familiar with the local jail), and who can answer your questions professionally and courteously.
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- Pam in Santa Barbara