Receiving a call from a loved one or friend from jail can be a daunting experience. The situation is even worse when you are the person sitting behind bars after being arrested for committing a crime. Unless you are lucky enough to be released on recognizance, you must post a specific amount with the court. The amount you pay for bail assures the court that you will follow through with your trial.
You can post your bail in several ways, including cash, property, or bail bonds. Defendants who lack enough money or valuable property for bond opt for a bail bond. A bail bond company provides the financial assistance you need to secure the release. Additionally, the bail bonds agent will be responsible for ensuring that the defendant adheres to all bail conditions. At Bail Bonds Company, we offer top-notch services for all clients seeking bail bond services in Rolling Hills Estates.
An Overview of Bail
Bail is the money a defendant must pay to the court for release before trial. The bail money guarantees the court that you will return when the trial begins. All defendants, except those facing charges for capital offenses, can secure a release on bail. In California, the judge will set your bail as soon as you are booked into a jail cell. The court will consider the specific factors of your case when setting your bail. Additionally, the court may attach any of the following conditions to your release:
- Travel restrictions. The court ensures that you will not leave the country while out on bail by imposing travel restrictions on your release. The court ensures you will not travel out of the jurisdiction by asking you to surrender your passport and other travel restrictions.
- Mandatory check-ins. The court keeps track of defendants out on bail by asking that you regularly check-ins with your pretrial officers. These appointments help assure the court that you are adhering to all your release conditions.
- Employment requirements. While out on bail, the court will require you to seek and obtain meaningful employment. Having a job means you have a commitment that keeps you around and prevents you from fleeing.
- Avoid alcohol and drug use. The court may order that you stay sober from drugs or alcohol while free on bond.
- Court mandated classes. Often the judge orders you to attend anger management, drug counseling, and other behavioral courses.
- No contact orders. If you secure a release on bail after an arrest for domestic violence or other violent offenses, the court may require that you stay away from the alleged victim of your actions.
Failure to adhere to all the bail conditions can result in re-arrest and incarceration. You can post bail for a loved one in cash, property, or using the services of a bail bond company. Regardless of how you post bail, a defendant’s failure to show up in court will result in a loss of the bail money.
When you post cash bail, you must have the total bail money to present to the court before the defendant is processed out of jail. Individuals who choose to post a property bond hand over their property equity to the court. Since most defendants and their families do not have the money to post bail, using the services of a Rolling Hills Estates bail bonds agent becomes the only way to ensure that the defendant does not sit behind bars.
With a bail bond, the bail bond agency sends an agent to guide you through the bail process and provide the financial assistance you need. In California, a bail bond can cost up to 10% of the original bond amount. For example, if the judge sets your loved one’s bail at $10,000, the bail bond agency will charge you $1,000 for their services. Unlike the bail money, it is vital to understand that this premium fee is non-refundable.
Role of a Rolling Hills Estate Bail Bonds Agent
When you seek the services of a bail bonds company, a bail bondsman plays a significant role in securing your loved one’s release. The responsibilities of the bail bonds agent include:
1) Assessing Your Eligibility for a Bail Bond
Not all defendants are eligible for a bail bond. When you contact a bail bond agency to bail your loved one out of jail, you act as the cosigner for their bail bond. A cosigner has the responsibility t to ensure that the defendant appears in court. Additionally, you are responsible for paying the premium fees. The bail bond agent will assess both you and the defendant to determine your qualifications for the bail bond. If you are capable of paying the full premium fee and the defendant has a low flight risk, you can receive the bail bond services.
2) Process the Bail Bond Paperwork
After the bail bond is approved, the Rolling Hills Estates bail bond agent will begin to fill out the paperwork that shows the agreement between you and the agency. The agent fills out all the legal paperwork needed by the bail bond company and the court.
3) Communication between the Defendant and the Bail Bond Company
Since the bail bond company provides the amount needed for bail, you must be in constant communication with them. Information regarding the bail is relayed to the company by the bail bondsman. Additionally, they act as the middleman between a defendant and the court.
4) Ensure that a Defendant Appears for trial
When the bail bond company agrees to post bail for your loved one, they take up the responsibility of ensuring that you or your loved one shows up for all the court proceedings. If the court imposes conditions on your bail, the bail agent must help you understand them to avoid a violation.
5) Legally Arrest Defendants who Skip Bail
Skipping bail means that you risk forfeiture. When the court forfeits your bail, the bond company will lose the amount they put up as bail. However, the court allows the agents some time to find you and take you back to court. The bail bond agents enlist the services of bounty hunters who can arrest you.
Ways to Reduce or Eliminate your Bail
The amount of bail the judge sets can mean the difference between detention and walking free. A high bail amount makes it difficult for you to raise the money or even afford the bail bond premium. Therefore, reducing the bail or seeking a recognizance release is crucial. The court can release you without bail if you are a first-time offender facing charges for a minor offense. Some of the ways through which you can seek a bail reduction include:
Attorney Application at Arraignment
The arraignment is your first court appearance. During this hearing, the prosecution reads your charges, and you enter a plea. Your attorney can raise the issue of OR release or reduced bail by presenting evidence of:
- Your strong ties to the community
- Record of your past court appearances
- Testimonies showing that you are not a threat to the safety of others
The motion of Bail Reduction
Every defendant in California has a right to a reasonable bail amount. Therefore, when the judge sets a high amount you cannot afford, you can file a motion to reduce it. There is no exact rule on what makes bail excessive. Therefore, you will have to battle it out in court.
Prove Change in Circumstances
A criminal court judge sets your bail by considering different circumstances of your case, including the arrest and nature of your charges. If the circumstances of your case change, you can file a motion to reduce the bail amount. For example, your bail could be high when you face multiple charges. If the prosecution drops one of the charges or the court dismisses it, you may have a right to lower bail.
Defendants who have lost a criminal case have a right to appeal the decision. In the court of appeal, the judge will assess the case and determine whether you deserve the previous outcome. If you want to prevent a person from collecting from the judgment, you must post the appeal bond. After a criminal case ends, you have likely gone bankrupt from all the costs associated with the case.
The criminal court seeks to enforce the judgment as soon as your case ends, so the appeal bond amount must equal or be more than the amount you owe on the judgment. Like with other forms of bond, defendants who lack enough money to post their appeal bond can seek the services of a bail bond company. However, the premium for this type of bond does not depend on your credit score. A Rolling Hills Estates bail bonds agent will charge 1-2% of the total as a premium for their services.
Bail Denial in California
Most defendants are allowed to go home on bail with a pending criminal case. However, bail is a privilege and not a right. While you have various rights when a police officer arrests you for an offense, some of these rights are taken away when you are booked into a jail cell. At a bail hearing, the judge awards or denies bail. Some of the reasons for a bail denial include:
- Serious crimes. The severity of your charges plays a significant role in bail setting. If you face criminal charges for a serious offense punishable by life imprisonment or capital punishment. The judge can decide to hold you without bail.
- Threat to public safety. Another common reason why a criminal court judge can deny you bail is if you are determined to be a dangerous person. Bail is meant to reduce crowding in jail cells and allow you to move on with your life before the court determines the outcome of your criminal case. However, the judges want to ensure the safety of other people in society. You may have to remain in jail if you have committed serious offenses involving violence against other people.
- Flight risk. Bail is aimed at keeping you in the jurisdiction until you are called back for court proceedings and trial. Being a flight risk means you are likely to flee to avoid the consequences of your crimes. In numerous cases, defendants flee the country, and the court finds it challenging to track them down. You risk a bail denial if you have a history of skipping bail or missing court dates.
- You are a repeat offender. California law is harsh on people who commit crimes after punishment and rehabilitation from previous crimes. Repeating a crime is often a sign that you haven’t learned from your mistakes and do not respect the court system. When awarding bail, the judge always considers the best interests of justice. Therefore, repeat offenders will find it hard to secure a release on bail.
- Being a noncitizen. An illegal immigrant is always eligible for deportation, even for the slightest offenses. If you face an arrest and the court determines that you are an illegal immigrant, they will hold you without bail. This ensures you do not leave the country before your immigration hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bail in California
When you are faced with the challenge of bailing a loved one out of jail, you may have many questions on your mind. Some of the frequently asked questions about bail include:
1) What do I need to post for another person’s bail?
The requirements for posting someone else’s bail are simple. First, you must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. When you appear before the court clerk to post the bond, you must carry the following documents:
- A valid driver's license or identification
- A recent paycheck or pay stub to prove your income
- Proof of residency
When you seek bail bond services for a defendant, you must provide the following information to your Rolling Hills Estates bail bonds agent:
- The full and official names of the defendant
- The jail cell where the defendant is held
- The charges that a defendant's faces
- The amount required for their bail
2) How long must I wait for my loved one’s release after posting bail?
Posting bail and securing a release from jail in California takes anywhere between one and eight hours. The time you must wait depends significantly on the traffic in the jail cell where they are held. You may spend more time if the jail is crowded and they need to process many defendants for release. Therefore, contacting a bail bond company immediately after an arrest is vital to ensure that the defendant doesn’t spend unnecessary time behind bars.
3) What rights do I have as a cosigner for a bail bond?
You have numerous responsibilities when you co-sign a bail bond for a loved one or friend. However, you still have some rights, including the right to cancel the bail bond. You can cancel the bail bond if you feel that the defendant may fail to return to court for trial. This causes the defendant to be arrested and taken back to a jail cell. Additionally, you have a right to understand what being a cosigner entails before agreeing.
4) What happens to the amount I post as bail?
There are two primary outcomes in the bail payment process. If the defendant meets all the bail conditions and the case ends, you can recover the total amount you paid. If you used a bail bond, the bail bond company could collect their money from the court. However, if a defendant violates bail conditions, the court forfeits the bail. A bail forfeiture results in a loss of the amount used for bail. In cases where the Rolling Hills Estates bail bonds company loses their money, they seize the property or item you placed as collateral for the bail bond.
An arrest in Rolling Hills Estates results in detention at these jails:
Torrance City Jail
Redondo Beach Jail
RRM Long Beach
Courts around Rolling Hills Estates, CA include:
Superior Court Docs
Find a Reliable Bail Bonds Agency Near Me
Bail allows a defendant to secure a release from jail and avoid spending weeks or months behind bars awaiting trial. In California, the court sets your bail, and you must pay it in full before they allow you out of jail. Posting bail is not mandatory. However, without bail, your loved one must stay in prison, which is a traumatizing experience.
Not all criminal defendants can afford to post cash bail. Therefore, most people opt to post a bail bond, which is cheaper and more convenient. In addition to the high bail amounts in California, the legal process of securing a defendant’s release from jail on bail is overwhelming. Therefore, seeking the services of a knowledgeable bail bonds agent is critical. Your bail bondsman will work to ensure the defendant’s release and guide them throughout the bail process until the case ends. At Bail Bonds Company, we understand that arrests are challenging for defendants and their families. Our Rolling Hills Estates bail bonds agents offer fast and affordable bail bond services for all our clients. Contact us today at 323-579-1415.