When a person faces an arrest for violating the law in California, they are placed in jail to wait for their court proceedings. The judge informs the defendants of their rights, one of which is the right to secure a temporary release by posting bail. Depending on the specific factors of your case, the court sets an exact amount needed for the release. The court accepts a personal check, travelers' check, or money orders if you have enough money to post bail for the defendant. However, the court accepts property or a bail bond for release for individuals who lack the total bail amount.
With a property bond, you present your equity to the property before the court in exchange for the release. A bail bond, on the other hand, is provided by a bail bond company that pays bail for your loved one and shoulders the responsibility of ensuring they return to court. If your loved one is in jail waiting for their trial and you lack enough money to post their bail, you will require the services of a reliable bail bonds company. At the Bail Bonds Company, our Burbank bail bonds agents have extensive experience securing your loved one’s release from jail.
How Bail Works in California
According to the California judicial system, bail is the amount of money or property you give to the court in exchange for a release from jail before knowing the outcome of your case. After an arrest and booking into a jail cell, you can either remain in jail or post bail and go home.
Although choosing to remain in jail eliminates the requirement to come up with the bail money or worry about skipping court dates, it is not the right option. Jail cells are not the best place to spend your time. In addition to the emotional trauma, remaining in jail takes away from the time with your family.
When you post bail and secure a release, you can return to your work and earn enough money to pay for legal representation. Additionally, you can meet with your legal team to plan a defense for your case. Unless you are released in a citation or an own recognizance, most defendants must pay bail money for a pretrial release.
Own Recognizance Release
Most defendants must post bail to secure a release. However, there are times when the court can release you without a monetary commitment. An own recognizance release is when a criminal defendant is released without bail but must abide by various conditions. Unless you face charges for a crime punishable by dear or are unlikely to appear for trial, you may be eligible for an OR release.
During your arraignment, you have the opportunity to convince the judge to release you on your own recognizance. Arraignment is a court hearing where you enter the plea for your charges. You can receive your own recognizance release by convincing the court that you will return for your trial following the OR release. Additionally, it must be clear that your release will not risk other people's safety. Other factors that the court may consider when issuing an own recognizance release include:
- Existence of felony warrants against you. Mostly, an own recognizance release is reserved for defendants facing charges for low-level criminal offenses. If there is an outstanding warrant against you for a felony, the court may require you to post bail or hold you without bail.
- Information from the prosecutor and OR investigative staff. When considering your OR release, the judge could ask for input from the prosecutor. Prosecutors are not always in favor of a release without bail. Therefore, they could give reasons and present evidence to prevent a release without bail.
Many California courts have OR officers who investigate different details of your life to determine your eligibility for the OR release. During the investigation, the OR staff could contact your employers, family members, and other people who know you to find out about your character. Additionally, they can assess the nature and strength of your community ties.
Since bail amounts can run up to tens of thousands of dollars, the main benefit of the OR release is that you will not need to present any money for the release. However, you must understand that requesting this type of release could trigger an investigation into your personal life. If you are out on probation or parole during your arrest, it would be best to post bail and avoid the OR release. This is because facing an arrest while on probation is a violation, and the court could hold you without bail.
Conditions of OR Release
Before a release on own recognizance, the judge will require you to sign a release agreement promising to abide by the following conditions:
- Appear for your court proceedings. Defendants who secure a release on OR must appear for all their court proceedings and trial to avoid a re-arrest.
- Avoid leaving the state without permission from the court
- Acknowledge that you know the consequences of failing to appear in court as scheduled
- Avoid consumption of alcohol or drugs while out on own recognizance
- Agree to electronic monitoring through GPS-fitted ankle bracelets
Bail Schedules in California
The judge sets your bail amount if you are not fortunate enough to secure an OR release. Although the judge has the discretion to set the amount they find fit depending on your crime and other factors of your case, the court relies significantly on the bail schedules to determine your bail amount.
A bail schedule is a document by the superior court for each county indicating the exact bail amount needed for different criminal charges. All misdemeanors and felonies charged under the penal, insurance, or health and safety codes have their bail amount on the schedule. In most cases, you can only post the amount on the schedule if you do not go before a judge or your bail is attached to a warrant. However, in most cases, the court can modify this amount.
The calculation of your bail begins with the amount on the schedule. If you face charges for multiple offenses, the judge will start the calculation of your bail amounts by taking the base for the most severe violation. If you commit a crime involving numerous victims, the court could add the amounts in the schedule instead of picking the highest amount.
After determining the amount on the bail schedule, the judge will check out any advancements in the bail amount. If you have committed a crime to enhance street gang activities or you use a weapon to commit the crime, the judge will increase your bail amount.
The judge goes beyond the nature of your crime when determining the exact amount you must pay in exchange for a release. In addition to the seriousness of your charges, the court will determine your likelihood of continuing with criminal activity and skipping bail. Bail algorithms are a simple way of making the bail determination process more transparent.
Bail algorithms guide the judges by providing statistical analysis. A bail algorithm will add up to a specific score. Some of the factors that are key to the bail algorithms include:
- Current charges
- Age of the defendant
- History of failing to appear for court proceedings
- Defendant’s criminal history
Most courts have adopted the use of bail algorithms as a way to avoid the inconsistency and bias associated with the bail setting process. Bail algorithms are not a perfect solution since the factors considered in this bail setting are limited. Sometimes, the algorithms place too much importance on past offenses and fail to focus on the current offense.
How do I pay my bail in California?
Various bail payment options are available for defendants in California. Individuals with enough financial resources often opt to pay cash bail. Cash bail involves presenting the amount ordered by the judge before securing the release. Although cash bail is quick and easy, posting cash bail for your loved one is risky. Failure if the defendant returns to court may result in the loss of the entire amount through bail forfeiture.
Courts are vigilant when accepting high cash bail amounts. If the prosecution or judge suspects that the source of the cash bail is a criminal activity like robbery or embezzlement, they will call for a financial investigation. While the court investigates the source of your money, the defendant will have to remain behind bars. Additionally, the financial investigation will invade your privacy.
You can avoid the hassle of dealing with a cash bail by paying a property or bail bond. A property bond involves presenting your equity to the property before the court in exchange for the release. Based on the circumstances of your case, the court determines the value of the property they accept for your bail.
While there are many ways to pay bail, many defendants in California prefer to seek bail bond services. Contacting a bail bonds company allows you to transfer the financial responsibility to the Burbank bail bonds company. Immediately you contact the agency, and they will send their agent to help you through the bail posting process. Before you consult with a Burbank bail bonds company, you must ensure to note down the following details about the defendant:
- The full names of the defendant
- The charges they face
- The jail where they are held
- The amount required for their bail
With this information, the bail bondsman can quickly go to jail and pay the defendant’s bail. The payment for bail bond services is 10%. The 10% of the bail is the only financial responsibility you must shoulder when you opt for the bail bond.
If you face an arrest and charges for a federal crime such as drug trafficking or armed bank robbery, you will be held in federal jail awaiting arraignment. While cases tried in federal court are often very serious, you can still secure a release from prison by posting a federal bail. A federal court judge sets your bail, which is often higher than the amounts set for similar crimes on a state level.
After the bail setting hearing, the federal court holds another hearing to determine the source of your funds. At the hearing, the judge will scrutinize your life and the defendants' to ensure that the amount you intend to use as bail wasn’t obtained illegally. Sometimes, the federal court will impose strict travel restrictions and mandatory drug testing as conditions of your release.
Due to the high federal bail amounts and extreme financial scrutiny, it would be best if you sought bail bond services. Posting a federal bond is a complicated process. Therefore, you must enlist the services of a Burbank bail bonds agent with experience and understanding of federal bonds. This helps you avoid delays and misinformation, which could cause your loved one to remain in detention. You must understand that if you secure a loved one’s release from federal jail on a bail bond, the premium fee is 15% of the bail amount.
What is a Bail Bond Cosigner?
A bail bond co-signer is a person who signs a bail bond agreement on behalf of a defendant. When a loved one or friend calls from a jail cell, you want to secure a fast release for them. By co-signing their bond, you shoulder responsibility for their release and vouch to support them while they are out on bail.
Responsibilities of a Cosigner
When you agree to cosign a bail bond for a friend or loved one, you must help the defendant fulfill the responsibility towards the bail bond agency. Some of the responsibilities you shoulder as a cosigner include:
- Ensuring that a defendant attends court dates. When the court passes the responsibility of a defendant’s appearance to the bail bond company, the company places this responsibility on the cosigner. You must pay for the agency's loss if the defendant doesn’t attend trial and bail is forfeited.
- Payment of the premium. Since most Burbank bail bond agents require you to pay the premium before agreeing to bail your loved one out, acting as a cosigner means you are responsible for paying this fee.
- Payment of recovery fees. When a defendant doesn’t show up for a trial, the court allows the bondsman some time to find the defendant. The bail bond agent will then employ the services of a bounty hunter to locate the defendant. If this is the case, you must pay the cost of hiring the bounty hunter.
Since the responsibilities are numerous, you must read through the bail bond agreement before signing it. You must understand that you have a right to decline to cosign a bail bond and can cancel the agreement anytime between entering the contract and ending a defendant’s criminal case. If you suspect that the defendant might skip bail and cause you a financial loss, it would be best to withdraw from the cosigner role.
Qualifications of a Bail Bond Cosigner
A Burbank bail bonds company will not allow just anyone to cosign a bail bond. Since cosigning a defendant’s bail bonds carries numerous responsibilities, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Good credit score. Seeking a bail bond is like taking a loan from a bank. A good credit score indicates that you are trustworthy and will honor your agreement with the bail bond company.
- Excellent job, The bail bond agent will look into your job history when considering your eligibility to be a co-signer. You are financially responsible for paying the bail bond premium or the total amount in case of forfeiture. Therefore, good employment history is sufficient evidence of your ability to cover these costs.
- You must be responsible. The main thing that bail bond agents look for in a cosigner is reliability. Being trustworthy makes it easy for you to obtain a bail bond for your loved one.
Detention facilities in Burbank:
Burbank City Jail
Glendale City Jail
The courts around Burbank, CA, include:
Find a Competent Burbank Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
Securing a release from jail is not easy when you face criminal charges in California. The court requires you to post bail as a guarantee of your return to court when your trial begins. With the high bail amounts imposed by California courts, most defendants cannot pay the total amount required for a cash bail release. Failure to post bail means that a defendant will remain behind bars until the court determines the outcome of their case.
Fortunately, California law allows various methods of posting bail, including using collateral and pursuing a bail bond. A bail bond is the most common form of bail that most defendants explore. Bail bond companies offer defendants financial assistance to post bail and expert guidance for a smooth and fast bail process. At Bail Bonds Company, we ensure a quick release of defendants from jail by providing expert bail bond services to our clients in Burbank, CA. Contact us at 323-579-1415.