Bail Bonds And How They Work
Most people go through their entire lives without ever needing to have the slightest understanding as to what a bail bond is or how the bail bonds process works. If you have never been arrested, or have never received a call from a friend requesting help get out of jail, there really isn’t much of a need for you familiarize yourself with what bail is.
Simply put, a bail bond is a legally binding contract that serves as a promise a defendant will attend necessary court proceedings related to the charges filed against them and, in turn, will be free from jail while awaiting court.
Arrested In California
When a person is arrested in California, they are taken to a local jail to be booked and processed. At that time, the crime he or she has been charged with is referenced against that county’s bail schedule, and bail will be set based on the charges. From that point the defendant has two options in terms of getting out of jail: either post the full bail amount with the court or hire a bail bondsman. If a bondsman is used, the defendant can get out of jail by paying just 10% of the full amount of their bail to a bondsman. That money, however, is a fee charged by the company for their services and is not refundable.
Working With a Bondsman
Working with a bail bonds company in a situation like this is more common than not. The reason behind that is simple: bail in California is the highest in the nation. If someone’s bail has been set at $50,000, which is quite common, most people do not have that full amount on hand to post with the court. Putting $5,000 on a credit card, however, may be feasible.
If a defendant’s friend or family member helps secure the bail bond, that person becomes the bond’s indemnitor, meaning they agree to ensure the defendant will appear for his or her court dates. Helping someone secure a bail bond is a lot less complicated than you might think, but you’ll want to keep in mind that you are assuming some responsibility by signing the bail bonds contract. If you have further questions about what a bail bond is, how the bail bonds process works or what it means to become an indemnitor, be sure to ask the bail bondsman you’re working with prior to moving forward.
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- Pam in Santa Barbara