A pre-determined bail bond schedule is a list of bail bond amounts that have been approved for specific infractions by judges and magistrates within a several county area. Each infraction or charge is given an amount that is directly in line with the severity its severity. For example, simple assault may carry a bail bond of $1000, while an attempted murder charge may carry a $1 million bail bond. A bond schedule makes it possible for a person to be released without having to go in front of a judge at an arraignment hearing. It also has bail bond amounts for when a person is charged with multiple infractions or crimes.
Although being able to post a bail bond is a constitutional right, bail can be denied in certain situations. If a person is deemed to be a flight risk, the judge chooses to keep them in jail until their case goes to trial. This normally occurs when the defendant does not live locally or is from another country. Bail can also be denied due to the severity of the crime. A person who is accused of capital murder is more likely to be denied bail simply because of the seriousness of the crime. Another reason for the judge to withhold bail is the fear that the defendant will harm himself or others if they are allowed to leave the jail.
An immigration bond is used to obtain the release of a defendant who is not a resident of the United States. An immigration bond will carry stipulations that other bail bonds do not. The bond will also be much higher than a conventional bail bond. Immigration bonds are normally secured with a property bond due to the amount. If an immigration bond is posted, the defendant will have to turn over the visa or any other travel papers they have in their possession that would be needed for them to be able to leave the country
A weapons bail bond is used when the defendant is charged with a weapons violation. This can involve an armed robbery charge or any other crime in which a weapon was used or discovered on the defendant when they were arrested. With a weapons bond, the defendant must agree to turn over all of the weapons in their possession before the bond can be finalized. At the time of their release, they must agree to not be in possession of any weapons for the duration of their release. If they are convicted of the crime, the weapons may or may not be returned, depending on the judge's decision.
Bail can be posted prior to an arrest having been made. If a person finds out a warrant has been issued for his arrest, he can contact a bail bonds agent and make arrangements for bail to be posted while the arrest and booking process takes place. While the defendant is being arrested and booked, the bail bonds agent posts the bond. As soon as the booking process if finished, the release process begins. The total process can take less than twelve hours from start to finish. The defendant will be released without spending any time with the general population or being placed in a holding cell.
A domestic violence bail bond is required when the defendant is charged with a domestic violence crime. This can include child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, or any other type of infraction that involves a family member. Domestic violence charges often result in a personal protection order or restraining order being issued preventing the defendant from coming within so many yards of the victim. If the defendant violates the agreement in any way, the bond can be revoked and they will be returned to jail. A domestic violence bond may also require parenting classes or counseling if the case involves children.
A property bond involves the use of personal property to secure the financial responsibilities of the bond. In most cases, the value of the property used must be at least one and a half times the total value of the bond. For example, property valued at $150,000 would be needed to secure a bail bond of $100,000. Real estate, jewelry automobiles, boats, and certificates of deposit hold value and work well when used to secure a bail bond. The item must be owned with no liens or title holds placed on them. If the property has a title or document of ownership, it must be turned over to the bail bond agent at the time the bond contract is signed.
The entire California or Los Angeles bail bond process can take as little as 30 minutes to an hour. A property bond may take longer to complete if the value of the property must be determined. If the value is already known and can be easily verified, the process will go much smoother. In most cases, the application portion of the process can be completed over the phone as well as certain types of payment options. Once the bail bond application is complete and the bond secured, the agent can contact the jail and tell them he is on his way. As soon as the bail is posted, the release process begins and the defendant is allowed to return home.
A bail bond can be written and paid for over the phone. To complete the application over the phone, the co-signer must provide the bail bond agent with information that includes the defendant's name, date of birth, address, employment information, type of charges, amount of bail, and location of the jail where the defendant is being held. When the application has been filled out and approved, the bail bond agent can process a credit or debit card payment to complete the transaction. If the co-signer chooses to pay cash or use another form of payment, they must meet with the bail bonds agent to finalize the contract.
Bail bonds can be secured in a variety of ways. Cash, money orders, certificates of deposit, debit/credit cards, wire transfers, and personal property that holds some degree of value. Property bonds do take longer to process and require the co-signer to relinquish the title or certificate of ownership to the bail bonds agency. Many bail bonds agencies offer convenient payment plans that will fit into most budgets. For co-signers who qualify, there is no down payment and the interest rates are reasonable.
When personal property is used to secure a loan, the object being used must meet certain requirements. It must hold substantial value. For a piece of property to be considered, its value must be at worth at least one and half times the value of the total bail bond. To secure a $50,000 bail bond, the value of the property being used must be at least $75,000. The reason for this is to cover the cost of the sale of the property if the defendant does not honor their obligations and causes the bond to be forfeited.
Once a person has been arrested, they will be booked and processed. The normal Los Angeles booking and intake process can take two to four hours. During booking the defendant's identity will be verified. They will be finger printed and a mug shot will be taken. The charges will be filed and they will be put into a holding cell or released into the general population. If bond has been posted, the release process will begin. The size of the jail, number of staff on hand, time of day, and the amount of traffic through the jail will determine the amount of time it takes for a defendant to be released. This can take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours.
To complete the bail bond application, the bail bond agent will require certain information. The defendant's name, address, birth date, contact information, place of employment, the location of the arrest, the charges (if known), and where the defendant is being held are needed. It is also important to know the bail amount as well. If for any reason, the co-signer does not have the information, the bail bond agent should be able to contact the courts or law enforcement and find missing information. The co-signer will also have to provide their personal information as well.
A bond can be revoked by the bail bond agent, the court, or the co-signer. If the co-signer or bail bond agency receives information that the defendant is considering not honoring their obligations, they may choose to revoke the bond and put the defendant back in jail. The court may also revoke the bond if the defendant is found to have violated the conditions on which the bail bond was written. Once the papers have been filed, the bail bond agent will be notified and a bench warrant sent out for the arrest of the defendant.
Anyone over the age of 18 can be a co-signer as long as they can fulfill the obligations within the bail bonds contract. In most cases, the co-signer is a family member or close friend of the defendant that can vouch for their character. The co-signer must also be capable of handling the responsibility of covering the total cost of the bail bond if the defendant does not fulfill their legal obligation to attend their scheduled court hearings.
There are certain circumstances where a defendant may be able to sign his own bail bond. If it is a situation in which the defendant will turn himself on an outstanding warrant, the bail bond agency will sometimes allow them to sign their own bond. This is normally only allowed if the person has strong ties to the community or has a very low flight risk. Each case will be different and this will often times be at the discretion of the bail bond agent writing the bond.
In most cases, the amount of the bond will be set using a pre-determined bail bond scheduled created by local judges from the area. The bail will be set according to the severity of the offense they are charged with. The use of a pre-determined bail bond schedule eliminates the need to appear in front of a judge at an arraignment hearing. If the defendant's charges include violent crime or if they are a possible flight risk, they may be required to attend an arraignment hearing and have the judge set their bail at that time. If the charge is severe enough, the defendant's bail may be set extremely high or denied altogether.
A flight risk is someone who may try to flee the jurisdiction of the court in which they are being tried. Individuals from foreign countries are the highest flight risk. If a defendant has no ties to the community or has the money to travel at will, they also may be considered a high flight risk. Individuals who are visiting the United States may be required to turn over their passports or visas to keep them from leaving the country.
Any property that is going to be used to secure a bail bond agreement must have substantial and verifiable value. The property must be owned free and clear with no financial liens or title holds of any kind. The value must be at least one and a half times the total value of the bail bond being processed. If the defendant would skip bail causing their bond to be forfeited, the property would be sold to pay off the bail bond. The co-signer would receive any funds that were left over from the sale and closing out the bail bond contract.
A bail bond will not expire. It will remain in place throughout the entire court process and will only be released after the case has been closed. Bail bonds normally do not have a time limit and will be held for as long as it takes to complete the case. Most trials take only a few months and cases are closed as soon as the defendant is either acquitted or sentenced. Once the case has been closed, the court will take the necessary steps to release the financial obligation that was placed on the co-signer and also release any funds that are owed to them.
Bail bonds agents and bounty hunters are not the same thing. Although many bail bonds agents take the extra step and become bounty hunters, many simply write the bail bonds. They are under no obligation to do both. Most bail bonds agents do have bounty hunters they can hire if they choose to go that route. For most it is a personal choice.
A cash bond is the simplest type of bond. It is often used when the bail amount is considerable small. While many people don't have an excess amount of cash on hand to cover a bail bond, some can collect one or two thousand if it will save them the fees of obtaining a surety bond. A cash bond must be paid in cash, in full, at the jail in order for the defendant to be released. With this type of bail bond, the money will be returned back to the co-signer as soon as the cases is closed, minus any fees or restitution that is owed.
A surety bond is one in which the co-signer hires a bail bond agent to post a bail bond and obtain the release of the defendant. The co-signer pays a fee plus a bail bond premium that is equal to 10% of the total bond amount. The fee is non-negotiable and non-returnable. When a surety bond is in effect, the co-signer is responsible for the entire bond amount if something happens and the defendant does not honor their obligations and appear for their court hearings or remain in compliance with the court's stipulations. Once the case is closed, the bond will be released and any monies owed to the co-signer will be returned.
In most cases, a defendant will not have more than one outstanding bail at a time. There are situations, however, in which a defendant may use two different bail bond agencies and acquire more than one bail bond obligation. Although it can happen, it is not something that normally occurs. No matter how many bail bond agreements a person may acquire, they must abide by the obligations for each one or be in jeopardy of forfeiting all of them.
Once a defendant is released from jail, the bail bond agent will discuss with them what they need to do while they are covered by the obligations of the bond and the court. If the charges are severe enough, the bail bond agent may request daily check ins. If the defendant has strong ties to the community and a stable job, the bail bonds agent may only require weekly check ins. This is something that can be negotiated between the parties involved and has no set rules or regulations.
The state mandated fee for filing a bail bond in the state of California is 10% of the total bond amount. This is non-negotiable which means it cannot be lowered or raised. It is also non-returnable. This is a fee that is required by the state to cover administration costs and any other obligations that may arise during the process. While the fee that is paid to the bail bond agency may be adjusted or negotiated, the state mandated fee will not. The state mandated fee was put in place to not only cover administrative costs, but also to prevent price gouging.
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