Facing an arrest for a crime in California is an overwhelming experience. While facing the uncertainty of your case outcome, you must figure out how to secure your release from jail. Unless you are lucky to secure a release on your recognizance, the court expects you to pay a certain amount in exchange for the temporary release. Sitting behind bars will not do you any good. You can miss out on spending time with family or even lose your job.
Unfortunately, not all defendants can pay cash bail, which is the fastest and easiest way to secure a release. If you do not have the financial capacity or enough property to use for a bond, your only option is to seek bail bond services. Bail bond companies often pay bail for you or your loved one at a fee of 10% of the total bail. This lowers your financial burden.
Additionally, bail bond companies will send a bail bond agent to guide you or your loved one through the bail process until the case ends. At the Bail Bonds Company, we understand how devastating it must be to watch your loved one sit behind bars. We offer affordable bail bond services to all our clients in Lancaster, CA.
What is Bail?
Bail is a monetary commitment that defendants make to the court in exchange for a release before trial. Instead of sitting behind bars as you wait weeks or months for your hearing, you can go home and move on with your life. Not all individuals who face an arrest are guilty of the alleged offense. Therefore, remaining in jail may be greatly inconvenient if you win the case or your charges are dismissed.
Bail is not part of your penalties for violating the law. Therefore, when you pay the money, you can recover it after the case ends. Although the outcome of your criminal case may not affect your ability to recover bail money, how a defendant acts while out on bail is crucial. When the court releases a defendant on bail, they impose conditions that must be followed.
One critical bail condition is that the defendant must return to court for all the scheduled proceedings. Failure to return to the court will result in a bail forfeiture. If the court forfeits the bail, the defendant can face a re-arrest and still lose the amount used to post bail.
Rules for Bail Setting in California
If your bail is attached to your arrest warrant, you can pay it immediately after arriving at the police station. However, most defendants must attend a bail hearing where the judge determines the appropriate amount to secure their release. Some of the factors that the judge will consider when setting your bail include:
- Bail schedules. The first guideline for setting bail is the bail schedule. A bail schedule indicates the recommended bail amounts for different offenses under the California Penal Code, Vehicle Code, Health and Safety Code, or Business Code. In most cases, the court will start your bail hearing with the amount on the schedule and adjust it depending on other factors in your case.
- Judicial discretion. Sometimes, the judge can increase, reduce, or waive your bail amount. You can be released without monetary commitment if the court waives your bail. A release on personal recognizance is done by signing a promise to return to court for scheduled proceedings. You must understand that even after a release on your recognizance, the court could attach some conditions to your release.
- Crime severity. Although the bail schedules categorize bail amounts depending on the type of offense, the court may increase or reduce them depending on the circumstances surrounding your crime. For example, if two defendants face criminal charges for robbery, their bail amounts in the schedule may be the same. However, if one of the defendants has aggravating factors like using violence or shooting a gun while committing the offense, their bail will be higher.
- Bail algorithms. With bail algorithms, the judge inputs different aspects of your life into a computer formula to generate an appropriate amount to secure your release from jail. Many courts in California use the bail algorithm to ensure uniformity and fairness in the bail setting process.
- Perception of a threat to the community. While the court allows most defendants to be released on bail, the safety of other individuals is critical when releasing a defendant on bail. In cases where you have committed a violent crime, the court will set a bail amount depending on the threat you pose to the community. Sometimes, the judge will attach a restraining or protective order to your release.
- Your criminal record. Bail is lower for first-time offenders compared to repeat offenders. Being a repeat offender may be an indication of disregard for the laws. Your record of obeying court orders and skipping bail is essential to the bail the judge sets. Sometimes, the court may hold a repeat offender without bail.
- Flight risk. The primary purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant doesn’t flee after the temporary release. The court determines your flight risk by assessing the strength of your community ties and what you have to lose by skipping bail. During your bail hearing, you are responsible for demonstrating your community ties to convince the court that a small bail amount is enough to make you appear for trial.
Lancaster Bail Bonds
You can post bail in cash or property with the availability of resources. When you decide to post the bail in cash, the court mandates that you present the full bail amount to a court clerk before your loved one can be offered for release. Cash bail is convenient since you don’t need to enter an agreement with a third party. Unfortunately, bail amounts in California are very high, and paying in cash becomes challenging for most defendants.
You can explore other bail options, like using the property. The court will place a lien on the property you provide in exchange for your loved one’s release. However, posting a property bond requires a separate hearing where you must prove the ownership of the property. California courts stipulate the property value that can be accepted for a property bond.
When you lack valuable property or full bail, your best bet is to contact a bail bond company. Bail bond companies have the financial capacity to help you post bail. A Lancaster bail bond agent will post bail for your loved one after assessing a defendant’s flight risk and your ability to cover the bail bond fees.
The bail bond company expects that you pay a 10% premium in exchange for bail bond services. You can pay the premium at one time or through a repayment plan. The main benefit you accrue from hiring a bail bond agent to process your loved one’s release is that you have a lower financial responsibility. Additionally, the bail bondsman takes responsibility for the bail process and ensures that a defendant doesn’t skip bail. Unlike cash bail or property bond, where the court scrutinizes the source of the funds or property ownership, the bail bond process is smooth.
Qualifying for a Bail Bonds Payment Plan in California
In California, bail amounts are determined by crime severity and case circumstances. If you post a bail bond, you must pay a premium, which acts as the fee for the bail bond services. The standard bail bond premium in the state is 10% of the total bail amount. While the 10% premium is small compared to paying the full bail amount, some defendants may find it challenging to cover it.
Fortunately, Lancaster bail bond companies offer bail repayment plans to ensure that everyone can secure a temporary release on a bail bond. Bail bond payment plans are not available for all defendants. It would be best if you met the following qualifications:
- Have a co-signer. You can only enjoy a bail bond repayment if a co-signer is willing to provide proof of residency in California.
- Your co-signer must have a minimum annual income greater than or equal to the bail amount.
Entering a bail bond repayment plan allows you to pay a portion of the premium and cover the rest in affordable monthly installments. The higher the down payment you are willing to give, the better your chances of entering the repayment plan. A typical repayment plan is a 1% down payment. With such a plan, you will pay 1% of the premium for your loved one’s release and the remaining 9% as agreed upon with the bail bond company.
In addition to being a resident of California, you qualify for the 1% down payment plan if you are a first-time offender. Therefore, defendants with prior offenses and posted bail must pay the 10% premium before securing a release. If the defendant is a repeat offender, the bail bond company may also require that you provide collateral for their bail bond.
When entering a repayment plan with your bail bond agent, you must provide bank statements and pay stubs. Additionally, you must complete a bail bond application form. If you do not have enough money to cover the bail bond premium for your loved one, you should not shy away from seeking bail bond services. A reliable bail bonds agency will work out a plan to ensure that the defendant does not remain in jail for lack of bail money.
Bail Bond Co-signer
A co-signer is an individual who agrees to take responsibility for a defendant in a bail bond. When your loved one is in jail, they cannot be able to contact the bail bond company to secure a bail bond. Therefore, if you seek the services on their behalf, you will be acting as a co-signer. Although any person can be a co-signer, a strong relationship with the defendant makes it easy for the Lancaster bail bond company to accept you as a co-signer. Before cosigning a bail bond in California, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Good credit score. Cosigning a bail bond is like signing a loan for another person. Therefore, you must have a good credit score. A good credit history indicates that you are financially responsible and will honor the bail bond agreement.
- A good job history. When you seek a bail bond for a family member or friend, the bail bond company will check your employment history. If you have a demonstrated ability to hold a job position for a significant period, you will be an excellent candidate to cosign the bail bond.
- You must be responsible. Your role does not end when you cosign the bail bond for the defendant. You are responsible for ensuring that the bail bond premium is paid and the defendant shows up in court. Therefore, you must be reliable.
Before entering the bail bond agreement, you must understand your responsibilities as a co-signer, and they include:
- Cover all costs associated with the bail bond. When you cosign a bail bond for a loved one or friend, you ensure the bail bond premium is paid on time. Additionally, you must provide collateral for the bail bond. If a defendant skips bail, you must be prepared to cover the entire bail amount lost in a forfeiture.
- Ensure a defendant appears for court proceedings. When you put your word and finances at stake to secure a loved one’s release with a bail bond, you must ensure that they attend all court proceedings.
- Payment of recovery fees. When a defendant fails to appear in court as scheduled, the court allows the Lancaster bail bonds company to find the defendant and take them back to court. Since bail bond agents are busy handling other clients, they engage bounty hunters to find the defendant. As a co-signer of the bail bond, you are responsible for paying the amount incurred by the bail bond company to hire the bounty hunter.
Cosigning a bail bond is a personal choice; you should not feel coerced to enter this agreement. If you decline to be a co-signer, your loved one or friend must remain in jail and wait for the outcome of their criminal case. Even after cosigning the bail bond, you can cancel it. This may be the case if you feel the defendant failed to go to court, causing you to lose the collateral you put up for the bail bond.
Terminating a bail bond agreement means that the defendant will return to jail.
In addition to co-signer revocation, the authorities may require that a bail bond be terminated for the following reasons:
- A defendant fails to wear their GPS tracker.
- The defendant engages in criminal activity or fails to satisfy bail bond conditions.
- Defendant has exhibited signs of flight.
Although this is a court decision, it frees you from the responsibility of ensuring that the defendant returns to court.
Under California PC 1275, a bail hold is a type of detention where the court allows the police to keep you in custody for an additional forty-eight hours to allow room for further investigation. During a bail hold, your Lancaster bail bonds agent cannot post bail, and the defendant must remain in jail until the hold expires or is lifted. Having a bail hold means your loved one stays in jail longer, even when you have the required amount to post their bail.
There are two main ways through which you can remove the bail hold include:
- Posting the defendant’s bail in cash.
- The police must clear the defendant of all charges.
Jails around Lancaster, CA:
California State Prison, Los Angeles County
Mira Loma Detention Center
Courts serving Lancaster, CA:
Los Angeles County Superior Court
All Valley Court Service
Find a Competent Lancaster Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
When you face an arrest in California, the police officers will book you into a jail cell. The judge will set a bail amount you must pay before securing a release on learning about your charges. After an arrest, you can either remain in jail or post bail and secure a temporary release. Remaining in jail means you will not make a monetary commitment to the court. However, this can cause great inconvenience in your personal and professional life.
One of the main reasons people remain in jail is the inability to raise the high bail amounts imposed in California. Fortunately, bail bond companies can help post your bail and guide you throughout the bail process. With many bail bond companies in the state, choosing the one that meets your needs and situation is not easy.
At the Bail Bonds Company, we offer 24-hour bail bond services to ensure your loved one doesn’t spend unnecessary time behind bars. Our Lancaster bail bond agents will help you post bail for your loved one stuck in jail at an affordable premium and flexible payment plan. Contact us today at 323-579-1415 to discuss your situation and receive the much-needed bail bond services.