When you commit a crime in California, a law enforcement officer will arrest you and take you to a police station for booking. The prosecutor or district attorney will file your charges, and the court will give you a trial date. The jail conditions in the state are not always very conducive, and remaining there could take a toll on your life. Fortunately, you can buy your way out of jail with a pending trial by posting bail.
Bail is the amount you deposit to the court for a defendant's release before their trial date. The bail money assures the court that the defendant will appear for their trial and other proceedings. Often bail amounts vary according to the seriousness of your charges and other factors of the case.
You can post your bail in cash, property, or bond. Bail bonds are the most common form of bail offered by surety companies. At Justice bail bonds, we offer affordable and convenient bail bond services to all our clients in Spring Valley, CA.
Understanding Bail in California
Bail is a security given to the court by a criminal defendant to guarantee that they will appear for case proceedings after a release before trial. Unless you face charges for a crime punishable by life imprisonment or you are a threat to public safety, most defendants are entitled to a release on bail in California.
During your arraignment, the judge determines the specific amount of money you need to present to the court in exchange for a release. Often bail amounts are indicated in the bail schedules. If bail is attached to your arrest warrant, you can pay the exact amount on the bail schedules. However, if you appear before the court, the judge will increase or reduce your bail based on these factors:
Likelihood of flight
The sole purpose of posting bail is to ensure that a person doesn’t escape justice. Therefore, your likelihood of returning to the court after release is critical. The judge can deny your bail or set a high amount if you exhibit signs of flight. During your arraignment, you are responsible for proving to the court that you have connections to the community that will keep you in the jurisdiction while out on bail.
Posting bail benefits defendants by allowing them to remain out of custody. However, before the judge releases you from the jail cell, they will consider the safety of other people. If you have committed violent crimes, the judge considers the level of threat you pose to the victims of your actions. Defendants facing charges for violent felonies and domestic violence must pay a high bail amount.
Income and Resources
The fear of losing the money presented as bail keeps many defendants from skipping bail. Therefore, when a person with a high income and multiple assets pays a low bail amount, they would not lose anything by fleeing. Thus, the judge will set a high bail for a person with a high income compared to their low-income counterparts.
Even in the bail schedules, the bail amounts vary depending on the seriousness of the crime. Defendants facing serious criminal charges may be more tempted to flee and avoid the harsh consequences of a potential conviction. If you face charges for a serious felony punishable by life imprisonment or death, the judge court orders your detention with no bail.
Types of Bail
There are several bail types you can use to ensure your loved one’s release from jail, including:
An own recognizance release is the most desirable release form for defendants in California. The OR release allows defendants to secure a release without a monetary commitment. Unfortunately, an own recognizance release is only available for some. California courts allow a release without bail for first-time offenders who face charges for minor offenses.
The judge can release you on OR even when the county nail schedules list the amount required for your release. For an OR release, you must sign a promise to return to court on the date scheduled for your trial. The judge will inform you about what is expected while you are out on the OR release.
Cash is the easiest and quickest way to post bail for a loved one. However, the high bail amounts in California make it impossible for most defendants to post this type of bail. Before a release on cash bail, you must present a check or money order in the total amount determined by the court.
The main benefit of cash bail is that there is no involvement of a third party. Additionally, you can recover the total amount from the court when the defendant’s case ends. However, you must remember that if you post cash bail for a defendant and they fail to appear in court, you risk losing the entire amount in a forfeiture.
Another setback of posting cash bail is that it could attract scrutiny from the court. If the prosecutor, police, or judge suspects that the money used for a cash bail was obtained illegally, the bail process is delayed for financial investigations.
Your priority after an arrest or learning of a loved one’s arrest is to regain freedom. If you lack the financial capacity to post a cash bond, California courts accept the property in exchange for a defendant’s release. Posting a property bond means you will pledge the real property value to the court. In most cases, the value of the property you provide as a bond must be equal to or more than 150% of the bail amount.
If the defendant appears in court and follows through with all the court rules, you can recover your property from the court. Before the Judge accepts property as a bond in your case, you must prove property ownership. Therefore, the court will schedule a property bond hearing where you present all the documents to support a claim of property ownership. Some documents necessary for this hearing include the following:
- Original or certified copy of the property title deed.
- Current lot book guarantee.
- History of property lines.
- Current property appraisals.
- Affidavit of bail justification.
In addition to presenting these documents, individuals whose names appear on the property deed must appear for the property bond hearing.
No one plans to be arrested or spend time in jail. However, if you fail to post the bail money mandated by the court, your loved one will remain in jail until the outcome of their case is determined. Arrests occur each day in California. Therefore, the courts are crowded with criminal cases, and a defendant may have to wait weeks or months to go to trial.
Unfortunately, many people lack the money or property equity to post bail. This makes bail bonds the most popular way to secure a release from custody. A bail bond is an agreement between the court, a defendant, and a bail bonds agency. The surety company agrees to post bail for your loved one at a fee.
When you contact a Spring Valley bail bonds company, they send an agent to assess your case to determine your eligibility for a bail bond. An individual who seeks bail bonds for another person in jail is known as the cosigner. The bail bondsman will determine eligibility by checking the defendant's criminal record and a flight risk. Another factor that is key in deciding bail bond eligibility is a co-signer's ability to cover the bail bond premium.
If you qualify for a bail bond, the Spring Valley bail bonds agent will compile all the paperwork and draft an agreement. As a bail bonds cosigner, you have the responsibility to:
- Pay the premium fee. As a fee for the bail bonds, you must cover 10% of the bail. This amount is non-refundable and acts as a service fee for the bail bonds company. When you seek bail bonds for a loved one, you are responsible for paying this amount.
- Provide collateral. If a surety bond company requires collateral to secure a bail bond, you must provide real estate property or another valuable item.
- Ensure the defendant attends the When you seek bail bonds for a loved one or friend, you shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that the defendant does not skip bail. Additionally, you must ensure that they follow through with the bail conditions.
The bail bonds premium is payable before the defendant is released. However, you can negotiate a repayment plan with your bail bonds company if you still need to get the total amount to cover the premium. With the bail bond repayment plan, you pay a small percentage of the premium and cover the rest in installments.
Being a cosigner comes with numerous responsibilities. Therefore, you should feel free to co-sign a bond for everyone. Additionally, if you cosign a bail bond for someone and feel they will not appear for trial, you have a right to withdraw the agreement. However, this will cause the defendant to return to detention.
After signing the agreement, the bail bondsman will go to court and pay your loved one’s bail. When a Spring Valley bail bonds agent handles the release of your loved one, they are responsible for all the paperwork.
At the end of a criminal case, the surety bond company will recover the total amount used for the bond. However, the bail bond recovery depends on a defendant’s ability to follow the bail conditions, including returning for trial. If the surety company loses its money in a forfeiture, it can seize the item provided as collateral and sell it to recover its money.
Following your arrest in California, you can face criminal charges in state or federal court. Often, the cases tried in federal court involve serious offenses or crimes committed across state boards. Typical violations that could attract federal criminal charges include drug trafficking, counterfeiting, tax evasion, and sex trafficking. As you wait for your federal court hearing, you can be released on bail. However, the federal bail process is more complicated.
At your first court appearance, the federal court judge determines your bail amount depending on the seriousness of your crime. Federal bail amounts are higher than required for similar crimes at the state court. If you choose to pay cash bail for a federal case, you must attend a second bail hearing where the court determines the source of your funds. Therefore, it would be best if you sought federal bond services. A federal bail bonds company will provide you with the money needed to secure the release.
The premium fee for federal bail bonds is 15%, more than the 10% needed for a state court bail bond. The high bail bond fees are due to work required to post bail and the increased risk involved.
Whether you secure a release on bail or recognizance, the court may attach the following conditions to your release:
- Travel restrictions. While on bail, the judge may order you remain in the jurisdiction. Travel restrictions are enforced through a requirement to surrender your travel documents to the court, and it reduces a defendant’s flight risk.
- No contact orders. When you face criminal charges for domestic violence or other crimes that result in a victim’s injury, the court can impose a no-contact order against you. This order requires you to avoid contact with the victims of your crimes.
- Avoid criminal activity. Bail keeps you out of jail while your criminal case is pending. However, if you commit another crime during this period, you could face an arrest and detention without bail. Additionally, committing a crime violates bail conditions and could attract a forfeiture.
- Attend all court proceedings. The court releases you on bail with the understanding that you will follow through with your case. Therefore, the primary bail condition is a requirement to appear for all your court proceedings, including your trial.
- Surrender your firearms. Most California residents have a right to purchase and own a gun unless they are a felon. After a bail release, you must surrender all your firearms to law enforcement and can collect them when your case ends.
- Avoid drug use. The court requires you to avoid using any controlled substances while out on a bail release.
Violating one or more of your bail conditions can cause you to return to jail and lose your bail money.
Do Spring Valley Bail Bond Companies ask for Collateral?
If you post bail through the services of a Spring Valley Bail bonds agent, the surety company could request collateral for the bail bonds. Different items like real estate property, vehicles, or valuable jewelry. The bail bonds company basks for collateral to reduce the chances of losing money in a forfeiture.
When you provide real estate property as collateral, the bonds company places a lien on it until the defendant returns to trial and the case ends. Unlike the bail bonds premium, collateral is refundable once the company collects its money from the court. However, if you haven’t paid the bail bonds premium, the company could hold onto the collateral until you complete the payments.
Suppose you are arrested in Spring Valley, CA. In that case, you could be held in any of the following detention centers:
San Diego County Sheriff - Rancho San Diego
San Diego County Sheriff Department Casa De Oro Storefront
Chula Vista City Jail
The following courts serve Spring Valley, CA:
Superior Court Kearny Mesa Courthouse
San Diego Central Courthouse
Find a Spring Valley Bail Bonds Agency Near Me
When a person is arrested and placed in jail, they have a right to a phone call. Receiving a call from a loved one in jail can be very challenging to comprehend. The only way that a criminal defendant can leave a jail cell before their trial is by posting bail. The bail money guarantees the court that you will not flee to escape the consequences of your criminal actions.
Arrests are often unexpected occurrences. Therefore, presenting the total amount required for cash bail can prove challenging for most defendants and their families. Fortunately, you can post a bail bond through the help of a surety company. Most people prefer this route because it is cheap and convenient. When you contact a bail bonds company, they send an agent to post your loved one’s bail. In addition to providing financial assistance, the bail bondsman will offer the guidance you need to navigate the bail process.
At Justice Bail Bonds, we understand how emotionally challenging it can be to watch a loved one sit behind bars. Our Spring Valley bail bond agents will offer the guidance you need to ensure your loved one doesn’t spend unnecessary time in jail. Contact us today at 951-445-4155.