Once you are accused of commissioning a crime, you will be arrested and remain in custody ahead of the arraignment. Depending on the nature of your transgression, you may qualify for bail in order to stay home until you are convicted. A judge determines how much bail is needed for every defendant and the conditions of your temporary release.
The cash bail system has been heavily criticized for the inequalities where people with less economic means are left to wallow in jail as those with means are released. In August 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 10 to end the cash bail system. Critics, however, argue that ending bail is detrimental to the state's congested criminal justice system.
As the debate on cash bail soldiers on, Pasadena Bail Bonds understands that many clients lack the financial capacity to pay these fees on a moment's notice. Our service is catered to helping clients like you avail the required bail amounts, so your loved one doesn't have to stay in jail. The criminal justice system in California is overwhelmed as it is, which means there is a real possibility of spending months in jail before a court date.
Misdemeanor charges don't usually require bail unless there are aggravating factors, but felony charges do, and this is where working with a bail bond service company helps. We post a surety bond on your behalf so you can resume normalcy like going to work, so you are not fired and you can take care of your family. Also, we help you avoid spending time in jail and the stigma that comes with being in custody, such as employers discriminating against you.
Who Are Bail Bond Agents?
A bond dealer is a company or agency that acts as a surety and promises to pay money or present collateral as bail to assure the court that a defendant will come for a hearing. These commercial bond agents post the required bail after receiving a 10 – 20% nonrefundable fee from the defendant or their family.
Pasadena Bail Bonds allows for flexible payment so defendants and their families can have ample time to raise the fees. We accept payments with Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and other major credit cards. If you choose to go this route, find a co-signer with an impressive credit rating or at least owns a house in Pasadena or another part of the state.
The bond agent agrees to pay the balance to the court should the defendant refuse to come for arraignment. Once you settle this amount, you will not pay additional fees to the bail bond agent as long as the defendant goes to the specified court dates.
Presenting Collateral for Bonds
If paying in cash is proving difficult, Pasadena Bail Bonds can take a guarantee to ensure the defendant comes in for their hearing. To this end, the company can accept collateral in the form of appliances, jewelry, real estate, securities, or other valuables to secure the bond. They may require you to sign a security interest in an expensive asset they can take if the defendant does not appear in court.
Posting bail is a risky business, and the agent must issue a surety bond to safeguard themselves from paying the full amount if the defendant skips bail. The surety protects them if the missing defendant is not pinned down in a reasonable time for the court appearance.
Agents also ask for collateral when the bond is set too high, such as amounts over $150,000 and when dealing with international clients as there is a higher risk of them fleeing. When clients pose a flight risk, these bonds are known as high-risk bonds.
Once the case is litigated and done with, the bail bond service is required to give back collateral, but for cash clients, the 10 – 15 percent fees are withheld. This money is used to reimburse the bond agent for their excellent job of saving you from a jail experience before and during court proceedings.
Am I Eligible for Bail?
As mentioned previously, not all defendants are eligible for bail. The presiding judge will make this decision based on the alleged criminal activity and other factors as listed below:
Ability to post bond
Criminal history – are you a perpetual offender?
Physical and mental well-being
The supposed risk to the community
Flight risk or not
Substance abuse and dependency
If the judge sees you worthy of bail, they may impose additional requirements as you wait for arraignment. For example, they may ask you go for substance abuse treatment, attend counseling sessions, turn in your gun, live with a court-appointed relative, don't own or use a firearm, don't travel outside California, etc. The court may also mandate you check in every so often pretrial and get a job.
Apart from posting bail before arraignment, posting bail is helpful before the execution of a sentence and before appealing to overturn a conviction. Pasadena Bail Bonds is highly experienced in intervening on behalf of defendants at any stage of court proceedings, so you don't have to remain behind bars.
Bail agents appreciate the risk of helping clients as they can refuse to honor court dates. When this happens, the only recourse is finding such defendants and bringing them to court. Pasadena Bail Bond service works with experienced bounty hunters to locate missing defendants within California and other jurisdictions.
Please note, the job of bounty hunters is arduous, and it is in everyone's best interests – including the family and friends of defendants – to have the client captured. Failure to appear in court could be deemed as being in contempt of court, and this citation only exacerbates things for the accused.
If the defendant is not located in good time, they (or you for that matter) forfeit the bail and co-signers are on the hook for the bond amount. Your primary residence is arguably your most valuable asset and having it pegged as collateral exposes you to the risk of foreclosure. We have measures in place to ensure helping out a friend or relative make bail does not leave you in financial ruin.
What are the Qualifying Criteria for Bond Agents?
Bond services are a booming business, but not everyone is allowed to offer these services. The California Department of Insurance must license bail agents in California not just for giving these services but for casualty and property insurance. Also, the person must meet these requirements:
Must be at least 18 years or older
Must have lived in California for at least two years
Pass a criminal background check (no felony or misdemeanor convictions)
Complete a pre-licensing course and pass the Commissioner exam
Get sponsorship from an insurance company
The 20- hour pre-licensing course typically entails licensing, bail laws and regulations, ethics, and the constitutional rights of defendants. Upon fulfilling the above requirements, the next step is applying for a California license by presenting a Bail Application for an Insurance License and paying $468 fee to the California Department of Insurance. Aspiring bond agents must then provide supporting documentation attesting to their training and insurance sponsorship.
As you may have gleaned by now, a commercial bail bond service is a financial management job. Therefore, professionals in this line of work usually have academic backgrounds in business or finance. Pasadena Bail Bond agents are academically and professionally qualified to execute their jobs, and they have met the required criteria in the state of California. We also undergo refresher training before the licensure period lapses every two years.
The Posting Bail Process
Once you have found a reputable bond service like Pasadena Bail Bonds, the next step is letting us know where the defendant is being held. We also need their full legal name and booking number, if possible. It is imperative that you know how much bail is requested or we can retrieve this information at the courthouse.
Our attending agent will then calculate the amount of bail needed to get your friend out of jail and present the various payment options. We understand that raising hefty amounts right away is not always practical, especially when payday is a little further out. Our agents are ready to discuss flexible payment methods for clients who are unable to raise bail fees on a moment's notice.
After the bail is posted, we remain available to clients by sharing useful information such as what to wear for the bail hearing, what happens next, and much more. Preparing for a legal battle is emotionally draining as you have to hire a defense lawyer, pay legal bills, and other preparations. We appreciate these are tumultuous times for clients, and while we cannot give legal counsel, we assist with everything in our power as a commercial bail bond agency.
What is the Downside of Bail Bonds?
Bail is a suitable option to keep the accused out of jail and living their lives for the duration of their case. However, there are disadvantages of enlisting a commercial bail bond services, and you must beware of the following issues:
A nonrefundable premium of 10 – 15 percent of the total bail figure
Skipping bail triggers a chase by bounty hunters
Co-signers must give collateral for the entire bond
Find a Commercial Bail Bond Service Near Me
Pasadena Bail Bonds is a commercial bail service that caters to clients who qualify for bail but are unable to raise the required amount. Instead of scrambling for money, we intervene to give the court a surety that if the defendant skips a court date, we shall pay the full amount. We have helped many clients in your position and will be more than happy to render our services to you as well. Reach us at 323-579-1415 so we can help you in this time of need.