Bail bonds enable individuals arrested and charged with a crime to secure their release from jail while awaiting trial. When a person is arrested, a judge could grant them bail. This bail represents a financial pledge, ensuring that you, the accused individual, will attend all scheduled court hearings and adhere to any other conditions mandated by the court.
In the criminal justice system, bail bonds assume a pivotal role by affording you, as an individual, the opportunity to maintain your liberty as your legal case progresses. Nevertheless, they also raise concerns about fairness and affordability since not everyone possesses the financial means to post bail or cover the associated fees. Bail bonds come into play to tackle the affordability challenge. These bonds offer a solution for those unable to immediately cover the entire bail amount. When an individual encounters bail they cannot pay in full, a bail bondsman assists. Call the Justice Bail Bonds if you are in need of bail bond services in El Cajon.
Ways You Can Post Bail
If you or a family member has been arrested and received bail from a judge, there are multiple avenues through which you can secure release:
Cash bail involves submitting the entire bail amount, usually in cash or an accepted payment method, directly to the court. If the courts grant you bail, you can pay the full amount upfront to secure your release from jail. If you comply with all court requirements and conditions, the bail money is typically refunded minus any applicable administrative fees. This method of posting bail provides a straightforward and immediate way to regain your freedom while you await trial.
The bail set by the court can be extremely high, rendering it impossible for many people to post cash bail. This situation can result in financial difficulties and obstacles to securing your release from jail while you await trial. Consequently, individuals who cannot afford the entire bail amount upfront often contemplate alternative methods of obtaining bail. These include using an El Cajon bail bondsman or investigating other pretrial release possibilities.
A property bond is a bail option that allows you, if you have been granted bail, to use your valuable real estate, for example, a house or land, as collateral for your release from jail until trial.
The court will first assess the value of the property you wish to use as collateral for the bond. Typically, your property should have enough equity to cover the entire bail amount. This is calculated as the property's value minus any outstanding mortgages or liens. To support your property bond application, you must provide essential documents, including property deeds and proof of ownership. You will be released from jail if the court approves the property bond. However, it is crucial to fulfill all court obligations to prevent the loss of the property used as collateral.
Note: Failure to meet court appearances or violating court-mandated conditions can result in the property being seized or foreclosed upon to cover the bail. Additionally, If you decide to act as a co-signer or offer your property for someone else's bail, you could be held responsible for their actions. If the defendant fails to fulfill their obligations, you could face the resulting consequences, including the potential loss of your property.
Considering these substantial risks, thoughtfully evaluate whether utilizing a property bond aligns with your circumstances.
El Cajon Bail Bonds
Bail bonds often become the preferred choice for posting bail in many situations, mainly due to their affordability, quick release process, and expertise of bail bondsmen.
For many individuals, paying the full bail amount in cash or posting their property as a bond can pose significant financial challenges. Bail bonds offer a practical solution by allowing you to secure your release with a non-refundable fee, typically around 10% of the total bail amount.
Obtaining a bail bond is a relatively swift and straightforward process, involving less paperwork and administrative hassle than other forms of bail, like property bonds. Experienced El Cajon bail bondsmen guide you through the process. At Justice Bail Bonds, we ensure you understand the requirements and procedures.
Furthermore, opting for a bail bond can help protect valuable assets, like property, which could otherwise be used as collateral, especially when the bail amount is substantial. By choosing a bail bond, the bondsman also assumes the risk and responsibility for ensuring the defendant's appearance in court. The bondsman is held accountable if the defendant fails to meet court obligations.
Note: The fee paid to the bondsman is non-refundable, and specific conditions and requirements are associated with the bond.
Who is a Co-signer?
In a bail bond agreement, a co-signer plays a crucial role by assuming specific responsibilities and financial obligations to facilitate the release of a defendant from custody.
First and foremost, the co-signer agrees to take on the financial responsibility for the defendant's bail. If the defendant fails to fulfill his/her court obligations, for example, appearing in court as required, the co-signer commits to covering the entire bail amount. This financial commitment ensures the court receives the bail funds, even if the defendant does not meet their legal responsibilities.
Additionally, by co-signing the bail bond, the co-signer essentially assumes the risk associated with the defendant's release. If the defendant does not comply with court orders or attempts to evade the legal process, the co-signer could find themselves accountable for the full bail amount.
Co-signers also play an active role in monitoring the defendant's adherence to court appearances and other conditions of their release. They could be asked to help ensure the defendant attends all scheduled court hearings and follows any court-imposed restrictions.
It is worth pointing out that El Cajon bail bondsmen also rely on co-signers. They assess the financial eligibility and credibility of co-signers before agreeing to provide the bail bond. Co-signers should have the financial means to cover the bail amount if the situation necessitates it.
In most cases, co-signers are individuals closely connected to the defendant. These include family members or friends willing to assist in securing the defendant's release from jail. If the defendant successfully fulfills their court obligations, the co-signer's financial responsibility is limited to any fees or premiums paid to the bail bond company. However, should the defendant fail to appear in court, the co-signer could be obligated to pay the entire bail amount to the court. Additionally, the co-signer risks losing his/her property if it is used as collateral in a bail bond agreement.
Release on Your Own Recognizance (ROR)
Release on own recognizance (ROR), commonly called an OR release, is another pretrial release option that does not financially burden the defendant. ROR grants individuals release from custody without paying bail or posting a bond. Instead, it relies on their commitment and recognizance to attend all scheduled court hearings and adhere to court-established conditions.
This release option is extended to low-risk individuals, those expected to fulfill their court obligations without the incentive of financial obligations. Judges consider factors like the defendant's community ties, criminal history, and the nature of the charges when making this determination.
Although ROR does not involve financial commitments, it does require adherence to specific court-imposed conditions. These conditions include attending all court hearings, complying with restraining orders, or participating in drug testing or counseling activities.
Failure to comply with these conditions, for example, failing to appear in court as mandated, can result in repercussions, including the courts issuing a warrant for your arrest and the potential for re-arrest.
If there are suspicions that your bail was acquired unlawfully, the court will take specific actions to address this matter. Initially, your release will be put on hold, meaning you will not be released from custody until this issue is resolved. This is especially the case with cash bails.
A crucial step in resolving this matter is scheduling a hearing. During this hearing, both the prosecution and your defense will present evidence and arguments regarding the source of the bail funds. In this context, "feloniously obtained" means that the bail was secured through an unlawful act, transaction, or occurrence amounting to a felony.
The responsibility of proving the funds' legality falls on you. You must provide evidence that convincingly establishes the lawful source of the money used for your bail.
Subsequently, based on the hearing's outcome and the evidence presented, the court will decide whether to accept or reject your bail. Successfully demonstrating that the funds were legally obtained will lead to the court accepting your bail, resulting in your release. However, failure to prove the legality of the funds will lead to the court rejecting your bail and, in some cases, increasing it as a consequence.
This issue is taken seriously because the primary purpose of bail is to secure a defendant's future court appearances. Suspicion of unlawfully acquired bail funds or viewing bail as a business expense for a more extensive criminal operation could diminish the defendant's incentive to appear in court.
Failure to Appear
Penal Code 1320 deals with the act of willfully failing to appear in court as required. The law requires prosecutors to prove the following to secure your conviction.
- You must have been charged with or convicted of a California crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony.
- You should have been released from custody on your own recognizance, meaning you were not required to post bail or bond for your release.
- You must have intentionally and deliberately missed your scheduled court appearance.
- Your failure to appear should have been with the intent to evade the court's legal proceedings — You do not necessarily need to have intended to break any laws. What matters is that you knowingly chose not to attend your court date.
In this context, "willfully" signifies an intentional action, not necessarily an intention to violate the law.
In contrast, Penal Code 1320.5 specifically addresses felony cases where:
- You are facing felony charges or have already been convicted of a felony offense.
- You have been released from custody after posting bail.
Violating PC 1320.5 is considered a felony offense and carries significant penalties, including:
- An imprisonment sentence of up to three years.
- A fine of up to $10,000.
What Happens When You Fail to Appear?
When a defendant out on bail misses a court appearance, it can trigger significant consequences for the bail bond. Other than the risk of re-arrest and the failure to appear charges, other consequences could include the following:
A defendant's failure to appear in court creates a significant financial setback for bail bond companies. Initially, these companies paid the full bail amount to the court on behalf of the defendant. The El Cajon bail bonds company loses the entire sum if the defendant does not fulfill their court obligations.
Bail bond companies often have a financial agreement with the defendant or their co-signer. If the defendant fails to appear in court, resulting in the forfeiture of bail, the bail bond company must notify the co-signer of their financial responsibilities. The co-signer could be given an opportunity to resolve the matter by paying the forfeited bail amount.
If the co-signer cannot or chooses not to fulfill their financial obligation to cover the forfeited bail amount, the bail bond company takes steps to recover the collateral. Typically, this involves legal procedures to transfer ownership of the collateral from the co-signer to the bail bond company.
Once the bail bond company gains possession of the collateral, it could decide to sell or liquidate it. This is done to recoup the forfeited bail amount and cover related costs, including legal fees and expenses associated with capturing the defendant. In some cases, the sale or liquidation of the collateral generates more funds than are required to cover the forfeited bail and related expenses. Any surplus funds will be returned to the co-signer.
Involvement of a Bounty Hunter
A bounty hunter, a bail enforcement agent, or a fugitive recovery agent is a professional hired by a bail bondsman or bail bond company to track down and apprehend individuals who have failed to appear in court after being released on bail. Their primary objective is to ensure that these individuals are returned to custody to fulfill their legal obligations in court.
The involvement of a bounty hunter in the bail bond process can have significant financial implications for the El Cajon bail bondsman, the defendant, and the co-signer.
Bail bondsmen pay fees to bounty hunters for the hunter’s services, which can include locating and apprehending defendants who have skipped bail. These fees are usually the responsibility of the bail bondsman. Additionally, if legal issues arise during the bounty hunter's pursuit or apprehension of the defendant, the bail bondsman could incur legal expenses to address and resolve these matters.
If the defendant is re-arrested and bail must be reinstated, the bail bondsman must post a new bond. This incurs additional costs, including bond premiums and associated fees. All these will be passed down to the defendant and co-signer.
Increased Difficulty for Future Pre-trial Release
Failing to appear in court as required can have profound and long-lasting repercussions, significantly impacting your ability to secure bail in the future. When individuals choose to skip court appearances, it raises red flags in the eyes of the court. The courts could perceive these individuals as flight risks, potentially evading the legal process. In response to this perceived risk, courts often take measures to address it.
One common response from the court is to impose stricter release conditions or demand higher bail amounts for those with a history of missing court dates. This is done to minimize the chances of individuals fleeing from their legal obligations. These heightened release conditions and bail amounts can create substantial challenges for the defendant and their co-signer, making securing release while awaiting trial more difficult.
However, the consequences of failing to appear go beyond financial burdens. These actions can erode your credibility in the eyes of judges and prosecutors. When individuals have previously disregarded court mandates, it becomes increasingly challenging for the court to place trust in their promises to adhere to future legal obligations, attend hearings, and fulfill their responsibilities. Consequently, this lack of trust results in closer scrutiny of your case and the imposition of more stringent release conditions.
Furthermore, failing to appear in court can complicate your relationship with the El Cajon bail bondsman. A track record of missing court dates can limit access to traditional bail options like cash bail or bail bonds, leaving you with fewer alternatives for pretrial release. This, in turn, can intensify the challenges associated with regaining your freedom while navigating the legal process.
Jail and Court Contact Details
Find a Bail Bondman Near Me
If you or a loved one is looking for bail bond services in El Cajon, look no further than Justice Bail Bonds. Our team’s experience is what you need to secure a fast pre-trial release. We are on call 24/7 and are ready to be of assistance. Contact us today at 714-541-1155.