Feeling intimidated, scared, and confused when you or a loved one has been arrested is natural. Your first move should be to ensure you secure a release as soon as possible by posting bail. The most effective and fastest way to do so is to work with a bail bond agent. It is particularly true if you do not have the entire bail amount or are unfamiliar with the California judicial system. Bail Bonds Company, a seasoned LA Habra Heights bondsman, offers different types of bail bonds and can help you promptly return to what matters to you. Below is a guide on bail and bail bonds. Read through to learn what they are and how they work.
What are La Habra Heights Bail Bonds?
Most people use the terms bail and bail bonds interchangeably. While they are similar, they have significant differences.
Bail is the money a defendant pays to the court to secure their release. The judge sets the bail amount based on numerous factors, including:
- Whether the defendant is a flight risk
- Whether the accused poses a threat to their community
- The accused criminal history
- The severity of the alleged criminal charges
- Whether the accused has a history of skipping bail
- The defendant’s community ties (whether they reside, own property, work, or run a business in the community and have family members there)
When determining the severity of the alleged criminal activity, the judge considers:
- The alleged victim’s injuries
- Whether the defendant made threats to a witness or victim
- Use of deadly weapons or firearms when committing the crime
- Possession or use of controlled substances
The set bail amount can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands. You can post the entire amount upfront. Once the case is closed, the court will refund the amount to whoever paid it, provided you comply with all your release conditions.
However, if you cannot raise the amount in full, you can turn to a La Habra Heights bail bonds agency. Bonds are the amount posted on your behalf. The bondsman assumes responsibility if you fail to appear in court. Generally, the defendant or their cosigner pays ten percent of the total bail amount and put-up collateral to obtain the services of a bondsman.
It is a common myth that when you are released on bail, all you should do is show up in court when required. However, this is not the case; you should adhere to bail terms. The court sets other rules to ensure you do not get into more trouble with the law following your release.
The judge determines the bail conditions based on the defendant’s circumstances. Some of the typical bail terms include:
- Compulsory check-ins — These are meetings that occur alongside mandatory court hearings. They aim to ensure the defendant complies with their bail conditions.
- Travel restrictions — Being released on bail does not mean you have the freedom to travel anywhere. The judge can require you to surrender your passport and driver’s license and stay in California to ensure you do not flee. However, the judge can allow travel under exceptional circumstances like visiting an ailing relative.
- The court might require you to refrain from alcohol or drug abuse while on bail. It is particularly true if you are charged with a drug-related crime.
- No contract order — The order prevents the accused from visiting places where criminal activity is prevalent or interacting with certain people. Additionally, the defendant may be banned from contacting the alleged victim. It is common in domestic violence cases.
- Employment — The judge requires you to uphold your current job. In other words, you should not neglect your job duties while awaiting the court hearings. If the defendant is not employed, they should look for work.
- The defendant should not possess, own, or purchase a firearm.
- Finally, the defendant can be required to engage in self-improvement programs like domestic violence education, counseling, parenting classes, substance abuse classes, and anger management.
When Bail is Unavailable
The law guarantees all defendants the entitlement to bail, except in specific circumstances. Generally, bail is unavailable in the following cases:
- Capital offenses — If you are charged with an offense that carries a death penalty, the court will deny bail if the facts are evident or the presumption is great. The standard is met when proof points to the accused and induces the belief that they committed the crime.
- Felonies and threats — The court will deny bail if clear and persuading evidence exists that the accused threatened another with great bodily injuries and is likely to execute the threat.
- Parole hold — If you are arrested for an offense while on parole, your parole officer can place a parole hold, making bail unavailable.
- Extradition warrant — You do not qualify for bail if arrested for criminal activity committed in another state.
- Immigration hold — You are not eligible for bail if the federal government places an immigration hold on you, believing that you are in the U.S. illegally.
- Violent felonies and felony sexual assault
How to Reduce the Bail Amount
Your bail amount can mean the difference between your freedom and detention while awaiting your trial. Consequently, reducing bail is a crucial part of your defense strategy. Discussed below are ways to lower or eliminate your bail.
Pursue an Own Recognizance Release
An arraignment is the initial court appearance after your arrest. During the hearing, the judge will advise you of the charge against you and that you can enter a plea. You can also apply for an O.R. release. In acting so, you should present evidence about facts like your community ties, the seriousness of the crime, your criminal record, and that your release does not threaten your community.
If granted, you will not pay bail or obtain La Habra Heights bail bonds. Instead, you will be released after agreeing to attend all court hearings and abiding by the bail conditions discussed above.
However, the own recognizance release is not available in all criminal cases. For instance, defendants charged with capital charges and violent felonies do not qualify.
Lowering Bail by Filing a Bail Reduction Motion
If your bail is too high, you can bring a motion to lower it. The motion can be based on constitutional or statutory factors. Statutory factors are the factors discussed above.
Additionally, the United States Constitution bans excessive bails. Please note that the law does not define excessive bail. That means you stand to receive a bail reduction on a constitutional basis by hiring a defense lawyer who can develop convincing arguments.
Reducing Bail Amount by Motion After a Change in Circumstances
Additionally, California law allows courts to lower bail after a change in circumstances. PC 1289 permits judges to lower bail if good cause is proven.
Good cause means changes in circumstances associated with the proceedings or the accused person. For instance, if a defense attorney succeeds in dismissing a case, the judge can reduce the bail amount. Nevertheless, good cause does not mean a judge disagrees with another when determining the bail amount.
Bail Bonds Financing
California laws require the bail bondsman to charge a 10% premium of the total bail amount before posting your bond. Sometimes that is more than you can raise, and Bail Bonds Company understands that. As a result, we can work and discuss with you to find a flexible payment option that works for you.
You Can Use Collateral
Collateral is anything valuable used to secure debts. It is not a must you have collateral to be eligible for your bail bonds payment plan. Nevertheless, if you have something precious that can be used as collateral, it can make things easier.
Some of the items used as collateral include:
- Real estate
- Motor vehicles
A defendant can also use pink slips and car titles as their short time collateral. For instance, an individual is arrested in the wee hours on holiday for driving under the influence. The bondsman might allow the suspect to sign over their car title to act as collateral for their release until they pay the bail premium on the next business day. The car should be worth reasonable amounts of money. Typically, bail bond agents do not accept junk. They are selective of what they agree to be collateral and consider the accused’s criminal history, case facts, and vehicle type.
A practical alternative for using a car title for your bonds is a car title loan firm. It works by leveraging your vehicle’s equity to obtain money and pay the bondsman. Paying your bail bond agent a substantial down payment or the entire bail amount can lead to discounts, saving you money. Finally, ensure you factor in the title loan firm fees before making any decision.
1% Bail Bonds
1% bail bonds is an advertising term that is commonly thrown around. While it would be pleasant if defendants could secure bonds from La Habra Heights bail bonds agents for as little as 1% of the entire bail, that is illegally possible. The term means the down payment you should pay before securing your bail bond. Once you are released, you can return to work and pay the outstanding amount.
Making timely payment keeps the bail bond effective and you working and out of police custody. You can make payments using the following methods:
- Credit cards
- Bank wire transfer
- Debit cards
- Using cryptocurrency
As with any bonds, your bail bond payment plan has an interest rate. You can negotiate the rate with your agent or find a payment plan with low-interest rates.
Remember to repay the bonds timely and diligently. Otherwise, the interest rate can pile up, resulting in adverse financial effects.
Flexible Bail Bond Payment Qualifications
Highlighted below are qualifications for bail bonds payments plans:
- You should be a California resident with a valid California ID
- You should show proof of your employment history, ability to repay your bond, and credit score
- Your co-signer should show proof of residency and employment in California
- The co-signer’s annual income should be equivalent to or greater than the total bail amount
Criminal Defense Attorneys or Bail Bond Agents: Whom Should You Contact First After Your Arrest?
Being arrested can be horrifying, and you should decide who to contact for help. One of the common questions is whether to call your bondsman first or a defense attorney. The section below explains all options so you can make an informed decision.
While it is necessary to retain both a bondsman and lawyer, there are reasons why it is wise to contact a bondsman before an attorney.
Bailing Out Gives the Defendant More Leverage
When you are in custody, the prosecutor will offer a plea bargain. A plea offer is when an accused person agrees to take a plea for less severe criminal charges. The rationale from the defendant’s perspective is to secure a release promptly. Nevertheless, accepting the deal can lead to a conviction for an offense you did not commit.
Arranging for bail gives you and your defense attorney adequate time to build your case defense.
Your La Habra Heights Bail Bonds Agent Can Secure Your Release Immediately
While your lawyer can visit you in detention immediately after you contact them, they cannot secure your release quickly. Generally, defendants are released thirty minutes to eight hours after their bondsman posts bail on their behalf.
Retaining an Attorney Does Not Guarantee Liberty
Legal counsel is fundamental in assisting an accused person in fighting their criminal charges. Nonetheless, there is no guarantee the attorney will be successful.
On the contrary, using a bonds agency is the quickest and most effective way to secure a release while awaiting sentencing or court proceedings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the questions our skilled La Habra Heights bail bonds agents have repeatedly answered.
1. How Do Online Bail Bonds Work?
Online bail bonds permit you to secure bail from the comfort of your home. Instead of visiting your bondsman’s office or spending hours at the jail, you can complete the bail bond paperwork via your smartphone or computer.
Using an online bail request form, Bail Bonds Company makes it fast and easy for you to obtain your loved one’s release. Once you complete filling out the form, our agents will receive your application and start processing it. We will get back to you for more information, guide you, and answer your questions. Finally, you can make your payment over the phone or online.
2. Are Bail Bonds a Public Record?
Your arrest is a public record that also highlights the name of the agency that posted your bail. However, any personal details you gave the agency are private; bondsmen should comply with a code of client confidentiality.
3. How Long is the Bail Bond Process?
Generally, the paperwork takes about 45 minutes, depending on the transaction’s complexity. The release time can be up to eight hours depending on how busy the holding jurisdiction is, your number on the line, and the time of the day. Please note that these times are not guaranteed but are general time frames.
4. What Information Should a Co-Signer Have Before Contacting a Bail Agent?
You should have the defendant’s full name, date of birth, booking number, and the name and address of the jurisdiction holding them (city and county).
If you do not have the bail amount, the agent can obtain the information when they contact the jail. The bail amount helps the agency to tell how much premium you need to pay.
5. Your Criminal Case is Closed. What Happens to the Bail Money?
The posted bail amount is refunded once the case closes, provided the defendant abided by their release terms and conditions. However, your bail payment mode determines the refund process.
- Cash bail — If you paid the set bail amount in full, you would receive a refund of the funds minus the court fees after you make all your scheduled court hearings. Please note that the bail amount is refunded regardless of the case outcome. However, the court will forfeit your bail amount if you skip bail.
- Property bail — When you post a property bail, you use an asset as a lien when paying bail. The court will seize the property if you fail to comply with your bail conditions.
- Surety bail — If you make all scheduled court appearances, the court will refund your La Habra Heights bail bonds to the individual who posted it (your bondsman). Please note that you will not receive the premium back; it is a non-refundable fee you pay the agency to post your entire bail amount.
Courthouse, Police Department, and Jail Contact Information
La Habra Police Department
Phone: (562) 383-4300
Spring Street Courthouse- Los Angeles Superior Court
Phone: (213) 3100-7000
Men’s Central Jail
Phone: (213) 974-4921
California State Prison, Los Angeles County
Phone: (661) 729-2000
Find a Seasoned and Reliable Bondsman Near Me
The process of working through a criminal charge can be time-consuming. Of course, the last thing you want is sitting in jail while awaiting trial. You have a family and work that requires your attention. At Bail Bonds Company, we understand how overwhelming the situation can be. Our team of friendly posting La Habra Heights bail bonds agents can help you secure your release fast by posting the bail. And, if you cannot afford to raise your bail premium upfront, we can work with you to develop a flexible payment plan that suits you. Our services are available round-the-clock to all jails and courts in La Habra Heights.
Do not face this difficult time alone. Feel free to call us at 323-579-1415 at any time of the day.