No one wants to find themselves in jail. However, facing an arrest and criminal charges can happen to anyone. You want to secure a fast release if you find yourself or a loved one in that position. Unless you are released on a citation or recognizance, you must post bail before a release.
Bail money discourages the defendant from fleeing and assures the court that you will return to court and face your trial. Although you can post your bail in cash, the amounts may need to be lowered to rain on short notice. For this reason, most defendants and their families opt to enlist the help of a bail bonds service. Posting a bail bond is more convenient since you will receive assistance from the surety company.
The choice of a bail bonds company could impact your bail posting experience. You will benefit from the expert legal guidance we offer at Justice Bail Bonds if you seek bail for a loved one facing criminal charges in Ranchita, CA.
An Overview of Bail in California
After your arrest and booking into jail, the court schedules a bail hearing where the judge determines the amount you need for your release. The court bases its bail calculations on the following factors:
County Bail Schedules
A bail schedule is a standardized risk that puts down the amount of bail necessary for different crimes under the California Penal Code, Health and Safety Code, and Vehicle Code. The crimes in the schedules are classified according to severity. For this reason, you may need a higher nail amount for a misdemeanor charge than a felony. In cases where your bail is attached to an arrest warrant, you will likely post the exact amount written on the schedules.
Having bail schedules ensures that defendants do not take bail as a form of punishment but only as an encouragement to follow through with the trial or other proceedings regarding their criminal case. Often, the calculation of your bail will begin with the amount on the bail schedules.
A bail algorithm is a formula that uses statistics to assess a person’s risk before a release on bail. The algorithm will take selected information about you to provide a scientifically based assessment. The information used in the algorithm includes your age, seriousness, and criminal history.
Potential Flight Risk
The main reason why bail money is required is to discourage defendants from fleeing jurisdiction while their case hasn’t ended. Therefore, the flight is a significant factor when setting bail. Their community ties determine a person’s flight risk. A defendant strongly attached to the community through a stable job or close family is less likely to flee.
Every defendant claims to be a low flight. Therefore, you must prove this fact to the court at the bail hearing. You can present evidence of your employment and bring family members to testify for you. If you successfully prove that you will not flee, the judge could lower the amount in the bail schedule.
Perception of Threat to Others
Unless you have committed severe crimes like murder, manslaughter, or rape, you are entitled to a bail release. Some people released on bail have a violent history and are dangerous to others. Before setting your bail, the judge will assess this risk. Defendants who are a flight risk require a higher amount for bail. In addition to the high bail amount, the court may impose a restraining order against people you are likely to hurt. Losing the bail money in a forfeiture will deter the defendant from hurting others and breaking bail conditions.
Income and Assets
Bail helps defendants secure an early release and is refundable when the case ends. However, if you fail to go to court for the scheduled proceedings, you will lose the money in a forfeiture. A person with a high income and many assets will be fearless in losing a small amount of money through bail forfeiture. Therefore, if the court assesses your financial matters and finds that you have a high income, your bail may be higher than a lower-income defendant.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bail Bonds in California
The moments following an arrest are challenging for the defendants and their loved ones. The uncertainty of the case outcome and the financial burden of posting bail can be overwhelming. The following are some frequently asked questions on bail bonds in California:
1. What happens if you fail to post bail?
While posting bail helps many defendants avoid jail time, the action is optional. Some people imagine the financial burden and decide not to enter the bail agreement. Failure to post bail means you will remain behind bars until your criminal proceedings end and the court decides to set you free. While remaining in jail may seem beneficial in avoiding the financial strain of bail, it has many disadvantages, including the following:
- Miss time with family. Facing an arrest is emotionally traumatizing. At this challenging time, you want to be close to family and friends who can encourage you and ease the situation. If you do not post bail, you cannot spend time with them since visitations are limited at this stage of the case.
- You could lose your job. Securing bail requires a financial commitment. Additionally, you will need more money to navigate your case and find a defense. Therefore, retaining your job is critical. When you contact a Ranchita bail bondsman, they can process your release a few hours after the arrest, which ensures you do not miss any time out of work. However, when you choose to remain in jail, you could lose employment and your livelihood for a crime you did not commit.
- You cannot meet up with your lawyer. After an arrest, posting bail is only the first step towards fighting for your freedom. You must hire a criminal lawyer and plan a defense against your charges. In most cases, your attorney is the only person you can trust with the details of the alleged offense. Unfortunately, jail cells are filled with surveillance cameras which prevent you from having private conversations with the lawyer.
2. How does a bail bond work?
There are many options for posting bail in California. However, a bail bond is a most commonly used alternative. California courts are known for their high bail amounts, which makes it challenging for defendants and their families to raise. With a bail bond, you contact a Ranchita bail bonds company that provides the money you need for the release.
The bail bond process is when you discover that your loved one or someone close to you is in jail. You must contact the surety company if you need the full bail amount or valuable property to buy their release. The bail bonds service then sends a bondsman to help you with the bail posting.
When seeking bail bonds, you need to have all information about the defendant and their case. This makes it easier to locate the defendant and speed up their release process. The Ranchita bail bondsman will investigate the defendants to check their flight risk. Another factor that must be cleared up is your ability to pay for the bail bond service.
If you meet the criteria, the company will draft a contract you must sign before taking your loved one home. The bail bond contract indicates the responsibility of each party through and after the bail process. The defendant must only follow the court requirements and show up when necessary.
The bail bondsman takes up the responsibility of going to court to present the bail money and have your loved one come home. Additionally, they help the defendant understand what the court requires from them.
As a bond co-signer, you will need to cover all costs associated with the bond release, which include the following:
- Premium. The cost of the bail bonds service is 10% of the amount the judge sets. Depending on the surety company you choose, you can pay the total amount upfront or enter a repayment plan. This type of plan gives an equal opportunity to defendants to be released on bail. Your bail bond repayment plan will involve a down payment and subsequent monthly installments. Unlike bail money paid to the court, you will not recover the premium fee regardless of the outcome of your case.
- Collateral. When the surety company doesn’t trust the defendant’s commitment to the bail conditions and court appearance, they can mandate that you secure the bail bond with collateral. This means providing real estate property deeds, vehicle deeds, or other valuable items in exchange for a release. Collateral is returned to you immediately after the case ends, and the bail bondsman collects their money from the court clerk.
- Bounty hunting fee.Your bail bonds service shoulders the liability of ensuring that a defendant is present every time the court schedules a proceeding. Bail bondsmen are busy posting bail and guiding other defendants through the bail process. Therefore, if the defendant fails to come to court, the bondsman employs a bounty hunter to find them and take them back to court. Bail bond co-signers are responsible for paying the bounty hunter fee.
3. How long will I wait for my bail bond to be approved?
In most cases, your request for a bail bond will be approved within minutes. However, in more complicated cases where the bail amount is high or the defendant is a flight risk, you may have to wait a while.
If the bail exceeds $300,000, the surety company will mandate that you present collateral for the bail bond. This can delay the process as you gather the documents necessary to prove property ownership.
If you want a fast release for your loved one, you must contact a Ranchita bail bondsman as soon as you learn about the arrest. The bondsman will guide you on all the information needed to enter the bail bonds agreement.
4. Can I bail myself out of jail?
YES. You can bail yourself out if you are arrested and packed in a California jail cell. However, you must be ready to pay the total bail amount in cash. Posting cash bail is quick and convenient.
Additionally, you will not need to go through a third party for a release. After the case ends, you will recover the full amount you provided as bail. The only factor which affects your ability to recover a cash bail from the court is a defendant’s appearance for trial.
Depending on the seriousness of your charges, the judge may set your bail to thousands of dollars. Since most arrests are random and not anticipated, it may be difficult to produce high amounts. In addition to the financial strain accompanying the decision to bail yourself out of jail, courts and law enforcement agencies can be suspicious of the source of funds used for bail.
In this case, the court suspends your bail release to perform an investigation. This will not only delay your loved one’s release but also invades your financial privacy. You can avoid these setbacks by contacting a Ranchita bail bonds service to help you.
5. How do I know that a Ranchita bail bonds service is right for me?
The process of posting bail is complicated. Therefore, it helps to have a good bail bondsman representing you in court and guiding your loved one through the release process. The following factors will help you know that a company is right for you:
Hours of Operation
Arrests often happen at any time and are mostly not anticipated. The faster you begin the release process, the less time your loved one will spend behind bars. You will know that a bail bonds service is right if they operate 24/7.
A company with agents ready to respond to you and stay on top of your case is essential in ensuring that your loved one secures a quick release. If you call a surety company and your call is sent to voicemail, it would be best if you move one to the next company.
Licensing and Certification
In California, a bail bonds company must be licensed to provide its services in the area. When you contact the surety company, you must ask them about their certifications. Working with a company with all the necessary documents gives you a sense of comfort that professionals are handling your bail posting process.
You may need a bail bond for all sorts of cases, including state court, federal, or immigration issues. The bail process can be long and complicated for individuals doing it for the first time. Therefore, a company with extensive knowledge and specialization in the type of bail you want to post will ensure that the process is smooth and stress-free for you and the defendant.
Cost of their Servicing
Learning of a loved one’s arrest will affect you emotionally and take a toll on your financial life. In addition to the amount needed for bail, you must save enough to seek legal guidance for the case. The standardized fee for a Ranchita bail bonds service is 10% of the bail amount set by the judge at your first court appearance.
Before settling for a particular bonds company, you must ensure you are comfortable with the fees they charge. Depending on the defendant's flight risk, some companies can raise the cost to 15%. You should always avoid companies that charge a meager premium. Low premiums may indicate a lack of experience or poor services.
The flexibility of Repayment Plans
A bail bond lowers the financial burden of posting bail in California. However, the premium becomes unaffordable for some people when the amount is very high. The right bail bonds company is the one that offers affordable repayment plans to cover your premium. This allows you to secure a release with a portion of the premium. You will then divide the balance in installments that are easier to pay.
Jails in Ranchita, CA:
John J. Benoit Detention Facility
Corrections Rehabilitation CI Department
Facility 8 Detention Facility
The following are courts around Ranchita, CA
Superior Court South County Division
Superior Court North County Division
Find an Expert Bail Bonds Company Near Me
Each criminal case presents a different set of circumstances. However, securing a release is critical when you are informed that your loved one is in jail or, worse, you are arrested. Posting bail allows defendants to go home and be with their families while their cases are pending. Cash bail is the easiest and fastest way to buy your release from jail. The amount of money required to post bail in California is often remarkably high. This makes it a challenge for many defendants to be released.
When you want to ensure another person’s release through bail, you can explore other bail posting options, including a bail bond. The bail bond companies offer to bail a defendant out at an affordable fee. At Justice Bail Bonds, we go the extra mile to ensure that you have a smooth, efficient, and affordable bail release for your loved one. Our Ranchita bail bond agents are available 24/7 to guide your loved one through the bail process. Contact us at 951-445-4155.