Arrests are common in California. If you are cited for committing an offense, the police officers can either release you with a warning or arrest you and take you to the police station. At the station, you will be booked into a jail cell from where the prosecution will file charges against you. Normally, you are meant to remain in the cell until the court decides on the outcome of your case. Sitting behind bars is challenging for a defendant and their families.
You not only miss out on spending time with your loved ones in these difficult times, but you can also lose your job. Fortunately, California law allows defendants to be released before trial. By posting bail, you assure the court of your ability to return for scheduled court dates and follow through with the case. Bail is posted to the court clerk through a check, property, or bail bond.
Since arrests are unexpected, most people opt for a bail bond that is cheaper and more convenient. At Bail Bonds Company, we offer the financial assistance and expert guidance you need to bail your loved one out of jail. Our Hawthorne bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to help you through the bail process.
Understanding California Bail Process
Bail is an agreement between the court and a defendant for a release before trial. Before your release, you must post a certain amount of money with the court clerk. Some defendants are detained until the trial to ensure they do not flee to avoid the consequences of their crimes. Often, the bail money assures the court of your return for trial or other proceedings.
Unless you are lucky enough to secure an ‘Own recognizance release, you must make a monetary commitment with the court for a release. Often, the judge determines the amount you need to pay as bail at your first arraignment. The basis for your bail setting in California is the bail schedules. The bail schedule is a list that indicates various crimes in California and the bail amounts that accompany them.
The crimes in the bail schedules are classified according to severity. The bail amounts increase with the increase in the severity of your offense. You can post the exact amount on the schedules if a warrant is attached to your arrest. Otherwise, the court will modify your bail amount based on the factors:
- Crime severity. A person who faces criminal charges for a serious offense is more tempted to flee due to the potential consequences of their actions. Therefore, the judge will review the circumstances of your case before increasing or reducing your bail amount. For serious crimes like murder, the court may deny your bail request.
- Flight risk. Bail money is meant to discourage defendants from fleeing the jurisdiction with a pending criminal case. Therefore, your likelihood of appearing for your court hearings affects the amount needed to secure your release from jail. One of the factors that may indicate a low flight risk is having strong community ties like family or employment.
- Criminal history. Being a repeat offender indicates your disregard for the law and court orders. Therefore, having a substantial criminal record could cause the judge to set a high bail amount.
- Threat to the community. Although posting bail allows a defendant to spend the time before trial out of jail, the court is keen on protecting other people. Therefore, the level of risk you pose to other community members is key in setting bail. The court assesses this risk by checking the nature of your past offenses.
Posting a loved one’s bail in cash is the easiest and most convenient way to secure their release. However, the high bail amounts make it challenging for most defendants to post cash bail. A bail bond is an agreement between a bail bonds service, a defendant, and the court. The bail bonds service agrees to post your loved one’s bail at a fee, often 10% of the original bail amount.
Securing a bail bond begins when you contact the surety company seeking their help. The company will send out one of its bail bondsmen to assess your case and determine your eligibility for the bail bond. When you decide to post a bail bond, your Hawthorne bail bondsman is responsible for posting the bail and ensuring that the defendant shows up to court.
Although bail is not a punishment for your crimes, the 10% bail bond premium you pay to the surety company is non-refundable. That amount acts as a fee for the services you receive from the company. In addition to paying a premium for the bail bonds, the Hawthorne bail bonds service may require you to provide collateral for the bail bond.
Collateral, in this case, guarantees that the surety company will not lose its money in case of bail forfeiture. Collateral for a bail bond could be real estate property, a vehicle, or other valuable items. You will recover the bail money if a defendant appears in court as scheduled. However, skipping bail will result in bail forfeiture and loss of collateral.
How to find out your loved one’s bail amount online
Learning about your loved one’s bail amount is important in ensuring their release before trial. Unfortunately, most online tools are not run by official sources and are thus unreliable. Instead of using these sources, you can use the following faster, more reliable ways to learn the amount you need to secure a defendant’s release:
- Contact the courthouse. One way to determine a defendant’s bail amount is by contacting the police or sheriff’s department, which made the arrest. Additionally, you can contact the courthouse for the records after an arraignment.
- Contact a licensed bail bondsman. Most bail bondsmen have connections to the jails and may be able to tell you the exact amount needed to bail your loved one out of jail. In addition to helping you find this information, the bail bondsman can provide financial assistance to complete the bail payment process.
- Contact a lawyer. Another way to find out about your loved one’s bail money is through a lawyer. Attorneys can access court information and may have represented a defendant with a similar case.
Bail Bonds Cosigner
No one wants to watch their loved ones or friends rot in jail. If you seek a bail bond for someone else, you act as a co-signer. As a cosigner, you guarantee that the defendant will return to court for trial after a release on a bail bond. Additionally, you must support the defendant while they are out on bail. A bail bond cosigner can be anybody from a friend to a relative to a colleague. However, the stronger your relationship with the defendant, the easier it will be for the surety company to accept you as a co-signer.
Not all individuals can co-sign a bail bond. You must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Have a good credit history. A bail bond co-signer shoulders the financial responsibility associated with a bail bond. Having a good credit history indicates that you can make regular payments when necessary. This makes it easy for you to secure a repayment plan for the bail bond premium.
- Good job history. If you have held the same job for a while, you can be secure that you will be able to cover the bail bond premium and provide the necessary collateral.
- Be responsible. In addition to the financial responsibility of co-signing a bail bond, you must ensure that the defendant follows all the bail conditions to avoid a forfeiture. If the Hawthorne bail bondsman loses money in a bail forfeiture, you can lose the collateral. Therefore, the bail bondsman can only allow you to co-sign the bond if you are responsible.
Even with the numerous responsibilities you must shoulder as a bail bond co-signer, you have rights, including the following:
- Right not to be a co-signer. You are not obliged to cosign a bail bond for anyone. Therefore, you should only enter an agreement where you understand your responsibilities and are ready to take them. You must understand that you could lose much money from a defendant’s failure to obey bail conditions.
- Right to revoke bail. If you co-sign a loved one’s bail bond and feel they will not appear in court as scheduled, you can revoke it. Revoking a bail bond means that the defendant will return to jail and the risk of losing your money is lower.
When debating whether or not you want to co-sign a bail bond, you must consider the following factors:
- Your relationship with the defendant. Even good people make mistakes once in a while. However, you must consider your closeness with a defendant before taking up the financial and moral responsibility toward their release. If the defendant is untrustworthy or knows they are unreliable, entering the co-signer agreement is not in your best interests.
- Understand the responsibility. Before entering an agreement with the bail bond company for a relative and friend, you should ask the bail bonds representative to explain all your responsibilities as a co-signer. This allows you to make a more informed decision.
Role of a Hawthorne Bail Bondsman
A bail bondsman is a representative of the bail bonds service or acting independently to present a defendant's bail money to the court. When you cannot afford property bonds or cash bail, your best bet to secure your loved one’s release is to contact a surety company. The bail bond company will connect you with one of their bondsmen to guide you through the bail process.
Every bail bondsman must be licensed to provide its services in the state. The following are roles that a bail bondsman will play in your loved one’s release:
Assessment of Bail Bond Qualifications
Although bail bond companies are available to help you secure a loved one’s release from jail, not all defendants qualify for bail bonds. When you submit your bail bond application form to the Hawthorne bail bonds service, they will send a bail bondsman to assess your qualifications. This is by checking a defendant’s criminal history and the likelihood of flight.
The bondsman will also gather enough data to evaluate whether you have the means to cover the premium required and offer collateral for the bail bonds. A surety company may deny your request for a bail bond if the offender is a flight risk or has a history of skipping bail.
Preparing the Paperwork
Before securing a loved one’s release on a bail bond, you must agree with the bail bonds service. The judge and bail bond service must sign and hand in various documents. If you surrender the property to both bail bond companies for collateral, the bail bondsman is responsible for filing these documents. Once you have entered the agreement, the court views the surety company as your representative.
Post Bail in Court
Unlike cash bail, where you must appear to surrender the bail money, bail bondsmen take up all the responsibility of bailing the defendant out of jail. When you enter the bail bonds agreement, all the responsibility of securing the release lies on the bail bondsman. This reduces your trips to the court, making it more convenient and less time-consuming.
Act as a Middleman Between the Defendant, Court, and the Agency
The bail bondsman is the intermediary between a defendant, the court, and the surety company. As the middleman, they will ensure constant contact with the company and help the defendant understand what the court requires from them while out on bail.
Ensure the Defendant’s Appear in Court
When a surety company posts bail for a defendant in California, their bondsmen will ensure that the defendant appears in court for the scheduled proceedings. If the defendant does not appear in court or skips bail, the surety company risks losing the money it put up for bail. Therefore, your Hawthorne bail bondsman will employ the services of a bounty hunter to find the defendant and bring them back to court.
Most bounty hunters have a background in the military and law enforcement. Therefore, they can locate a defendant. If the defendant is located using the bounty hunter, you may need to cover the bounty hunting fee in addition to the bail bonds premium.
What Happens to my Bail Money?
In California, bail is not part of your criminal punishment. While posting bail for a loved one can be an overwhelming experience, bail is not permanent. When your case ends, you can recover the amount you posted for bail. The outcome of your case will not impact the ability to recover your money. Therefore, you will recover the money if the defendant's case ends in a conviction, acquittal, or dismissal of the charges.
Recovering Cash Bail
When you post bail in cash, you will recover the full bail amount from the court when the offender shows up to trial and follow all bail conditions. As the bail payer, you can expect to recover the money within several weeks after the case ends. However, if they skip bail or violate another bail condition, you will lose the entire bail amount in a forfeiture.
Recovering Bail Bonds
When you post a bail bond for another person, you will only be responsible for the 10% premium. Therefore, the surety bonds company puts up its money for the bond. When your loved one has fulfilled all court obligations associated with bail, the money is refunded to the bail bondsman. You must understand that you cannot recover the amount paid for the premium. However, if the company loses its money in a forfeiture, it could seize the property or other valuable items you placed as collateral.
Arrests in Hawthorne, CA, will result in detention at these facilities:
Torrance City Jail
Centinela Valley Juvenile Division
Courts serving Hawthorne, CA are:
Los Angeles County Superior Ct
Find a Reliable Hawthorne Bail Bonds Company Near Me
Learning that a friend or loved one is in jail is a devastating experience. The situation is when you face an arrest and sit behind bars while waiting for your case outcome. The jail conditions are not conducive for anyone. Therefore, posting bail and securing a release would be the wisest decision you can make under the circumstances. Being out of jail allows you to work and earn money needed for defense. Additionally, you can meet with your criminal lawyer to plan for a defense.
Bail is set using the bail schedules and modified depending on the nature of your charges. In most cases, the bail amounts are too high for most defendants and their families to afford. Fortunately, there are surety companies who provide the money you need for bail at an affordable fee. With a bail bond, you spend less time and money dealing with your loved one’s release. If you seek a loved one’s release through bail bonds in Hawthorne, CA, you will require our services at the Bail Bonds Company. Contact us at 323-579-1415.