Facing an arrest for engaging in criminal activity can be devastating. In California, you will be booked into a jail cell, where you can remain until your case is determined. However, the time between the arrest and the outcome of your criminal case can be months or weeks, depending on the specific facts of your case. This can be a long time to be out of work and sitting in a jail cell.
Fortunately, you can secure an early release by posting bail. Bail is the amount of money paid to the court by the defendant to guarantee a return after a release with a pending trial. Bail amounts vary with the severity of your case and other factors. When you appear before the judge for arraignment, the judge sets your bail amount.
Unless you have the total amount mandated by the court, the easiest and fastest way to secure a release is through a bail bond. At Bail Bonds Company, we offer the financial assistance and expert guidance you need. Our Manhattan Beach bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to handle your bail.
What is Bail?
Bail is a monetary commitment made with the court to have an inmate released before trial in California's criminal justice system. Typically, inmates are expected to remain in police custody until the court sets a trial date and the case outcome is determined. However, staying in jail will do more harm than good to your life.
Although this option can save you from losing money in a bail forfeiture, failure to post bail has the following disadvantages:
- Emotional trauma. Spending time in jail is not on anyone’s wish list. The trauma caused by incarceration and the uncertainty of your case outcome can take a toll on your life.
- Miss family time. Facing an arrest is traumatizing. While you battle your criminal charges, being surrounded by people who love and support you would be best. Being in jail without support can break you down and cause you to give incriminating evidence.
- Lose your job. Most employers can allow you to miss work for a few days for illness or other personal matters. However, this is not always true for individuals arrested for violating the law. When your employer learns of your arrest they may terminate your employment. Losing your job while facing criminal charges will reduce the income you need to seek legal guidance.
- No free meetings with your lawyer. It is no secret that calling a lawyer is one of the first steps you need to take after learning of a loved one’s arrest. Surveillance cameras cover jail cells, making it challenging to discuss confidential details of your case with your legal team.
The court sets your bail at the first arraignment by checking the bail schedules. These schedules indicate each crime from the Penal Code, Health and Safety Code, Business and Professions Code, and Vehicle Code. The required amounts are divided into misdemeanors and felonies. After checking the schedules, your bail will be adjusted based on these factors:
- The severity of your criminal charges. Your bail amount will be higher when your case is serious and the potential consequences of a conviction are severe. Additionally, the specific circumstances of your case could affect the bail amount. For example, if there are aggravating circumstances in your case, your bail amount could be higher than that of a person facing a similar charge.
- Flight risk. A person’s flight risk is their likelihood of fleeing after a release on bail. The court requires bail to guarantee your return. Therefore, your bail amount will likely be higher if you have a high flight risk. The court determines your flight risk by checking your community ties and conduct in past bail release instances.
- Criminal history. The judge will increase the amount of bail you need for a release if you are a repeat offender. Having other convictions on your record indicates your disregard for court orders.
- The risk you pose to the community. The court seeks to maintain the safety and integrity of community members when granting bail. Therefore, if you are a risk to the safety of other people, the court can set a high bail amount.
- Income and resources. The bail amount works to discourage defendants from fleeing. If you fail to appear for trial, you could lose the full bail amount in a forfeiture. A low bail amount cannot discourage a person with a high income from fleeing bail.
Ways of Posting Bails
There are numerous options for posting bail in California. For first-time offenders facing low-level criminal charges, there is a likelihood of securing a release without bail. You can request a personal recognizance (PR) release, where you sign a notice agreeing to return for your court hearings when necessary.
However, you must understand that the OR release will come with similar terms as a bail release. If you are ineligible for a recognizance release, you can explore the following bail posting options:
Ash bail is the faster and more convenient option for defendants with the financial capacity to present the total amount required for the release. The benefit of posting cash bail is that you will not need a third party to post the bail. Additionally, you will recover the full bail amount when the defendant appears for trial. Posting a cash bail involves presenting a cashier’s check for the total bail.
If you do not have enough cash for bail but have some equity in valuable property, you can present the property to the court in exchange for a release. In California, the court will only accept property that is up to 150% of the total bail amount. Like cash bail, your ability to recover the property used for the bond depends on the defendant’s ability to appear for trial and follow through with bail conditions.
If you choose to post a property bond, the court will schedule a property bond hearing. You must prove to the court that you own the property at this hearing. You can do this by presenting the property deed, appraisals, and documents indicating the balance on loans for the property. Additionally, all people whose names are indicated on the property deed must appear for the hearing.
Most people opt for a bail bond for lack of sufficient funds and property to post bail. Your first step in posting a bail bond is contacting a surety company. The company then sends a bondsman to help assess the situation and guide you through the bail process. A Manhattan Beach Bail Bondsman will check your ability to pay for their services and a defendant’s flight risk to determine your eligibility for the bail bonds.
By posting a bail bond, you will have a lower financial burden ensuring a loved one’s release. This is because you will only pay up to 10% of the original bail for the service. Additionally, you can protect your assets from liquidation and avoid financial scrutiny from the court.
When you contact a bail bonds service, you should ensure that you have all the information about the defendant’s arrests. The identification and jail information allow the bail bondsman to locate your loved one and process their release quickly.
Co-signing Bail Bonds in California
It can be challenging to watch a loved one sit in jail. If you do not have enough money to post a cash bail for the defendant, you could contact a bail bond service to help you post their bail. You are a co-signer if you seek a bail bond for a loved one. A surety company will allow you to co-sign a bail bond for a defendant if you meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You must have a good credit score. Co-signing bail bonds means you are liable for the financial obligations of posting bail. Therefore, having a good credit score indicates your ability to make regular payments for the bail bonds service.
- You should have a good employment history. A person with a steady employment history is a safe bet for the Manhattan Beach bail bonds service. If you have held a similar position for a while, the company is assured of your ability to cover the bail costs and monitor the defendant’s conduct.
- You should be responsible. Co-signing a bail bond comes with numerous responsibilities. In addition to covering the bail bond costs, you ensure the defendant appears for trial. Being responsible means that you can hold the defendant accountable and save the surety’s money from forfeiture.
When a bail bonds service agrees to help you secure a loved one’s release, you are expected to sign a contract agreeing to the following responsibilities:
Posting a bail bond
Although seeking a bail bond is cheaper than cash and property bonds, you must pay for the services. The cost of a bail bond in California ranges between 10% and 20%. If the defendant faces charges in state court, you will likely pay the bail bondsman 10% of the bail as a service fee.
The company may allow you a repayment plan if you cannot pay the premium immediately. A bail bond repayment plan involves making a down payment and covering the rest of the premium in installments. Another cost you will incur for co-signing a bail bond is offering collateral for the bail bond.
In cases where a defendant is a flight risk or has a history of skipping bail, the surety company will mandate that you guarantee the bond with collateral. Collateral could be in the form of property, a vehicle, or other valuable items. If the defendant skips bail, the surety company will lose the money they put up for bail. In return, the bail bondsman will auction the collateral you provided to recover the loss.
Ensure that the Defendant is Present for all Court Dates
When you enter a bail bond contract for another person, you are responsible for ensuring their presence on all court dates. Additionally, you must ensure that the defendant follows all the conditions accompanying the bail release. The court will impose certain conditions on the bail release depending on the case's specific circumstances. Most of these conditions are geared towards discouraging flight.
Before the Manhattan Beach Bail Bonds Service offers assistance, they could add more conditions to the defendant’s release. Ensuring the defendant follows all the rules will safeguard your interests and those of the surety company. The bail bonds service can allow you to add more stipulations to the defendant’s release.
Although co-signing a bail bond has numerous responsibilities, you have rights you must know about before entering the agreement. Even when the defendant is a close friend or member of your family, you should not feel pressured to co-sign their bail bond. You must read the bail bond contract to determine whether you are ready for the commitment.
If you feel that a defendant is likely to flee before trial, you have the right to revoke the bail bond. The bail bond agreement will be canceled, and the defendant will return to jail. This saves you from the additional costs of funding a bounty hunter and losing property used as collateral.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bail Bonds
When you are arrested or learn of your loved one’s arrest, you could be confused and uncertain of the outcome of your case. The issue of posting bail is critical during the criminal process. The following are commonly asked questions on the bail posting process:
Can a bail bond co-signer go to jail?
No. As a bail bond co-signer, you guide the defendant and ensure they do not skip bail. The only repercussion you will face from the defendant skipping bail is the loss of the property you used as collateral for their bail bond. As a co-signer, you can only go to jail if you help the defendant flee jurisdiction while out on bail or commit another crime.
How do I know that a Manhattan Beach bail bonds service is right for me?
The bail bonds industry is flooded with companies claiming to offer their clients the best services. However, not all companies are the same. Your choice of a surety company can make a difference in your bail posting experience. The following concerns will help you determine the right company:
- The company’s working schedule. A company that offers 24/7 bail bond services can handle your loved one’s case anytime you contact them. Calling a surety company and having no one receive your call is a red flag you should not ignore.
- Whether or not the company is licensed, you should always work with a bail bond service with the necessary licenses and certifications to offer its services in California. This gives you confidence in their work.
- The client service offered. In your first call with the bail bonds service, you can tell the kind of service you will receive. Posting bail comes at a difficult time in a person’s life. Therefore, the company should be able to provide more than financial assistance.
- Locality. Posting bail bonds with the help of a surety company is the best bet for a smooth and less stressful process. Local companies have an understanding of local courts and their processes.
- Company reviews. It would help if you did not settle with the first surety company that comes to mind. You should go to the website for each bail bonds service and check out the reviews. This will give you an overview of the experience that past clients have had working with the particular provider.
- The flexibility of payment. Although the premium for a bail bond is a fraction of the original amount, it can be too high for some people to afford. The right company offers a repayment plan which allows low-income defendants to secure a release.
Jails in Manhattan Beach, CA:
Federal Correctional Institution Terminal Island
Century Regional Detention Facility
Courts Around Manhattan Beach, CA:
The Los Angeles Superior Court
Find a Reliable Manhattan Beach Bail Bonds Service Near Me
When you or a loved one is arrested in California, you do not have to sit in jail while you wait for your trial. Posting bail allows you to go home and move on with your life. Additionally, you can hire legal guidance and discuss a defense for your case. The high bail amounts imposed by California courts guarantee the courts that the defendant will not flee after being released on bail.
Since posting bail is not punishment for your crimes, you will recover the total amount after attending your trial. Not all defendants can afford the amount needed for bail on short notice. Therefore, most people opt to post bail through a bail bonds service. When you contact a surety company, they assess your case and can offer the help you need by bailing your loved one out.
At Bail Bonds Company, we understand the challenges you face watching your loved one rot in jail. Our skilled Manhattan bail bondsmen will guide you through the bail process to ensure a quick and convenient release. Call us at 323-579-1415.