California law makes it possible for an arrested person to be released and fight their case while out of jail. It does this by allowing the arrestee to post bail. Sometimes the bail amount needed is quite high that you can’t afford to pay in a lump sum. This is where a bail bonds company comes to your rescue. For residents of Santa Clarita, CA, Bail Bonds is the ideal company that can help you post bail and get you out immediately.
The Definition of Bail and How It Works
The legal system of California employs the presumption of innocence against an individual accused of an offense. This means the accused has a right to challenge the charges against him/her in court. He/she can do this while out of jail. However, the law has a way to make sure that the accused doesn’t fail to show up in court or doesn’t flee from their legal responsibility.
The law requires that the accused leaves a certain amount of money or collateral with the court to guarantee that he/she will avail him/herself in court on the scheduled dates. This money is what we call bail. Bail acts as insurance in case the accused opts not to appear in court. The bail amount varies considerably depending on the offense committed, criminal record, and the probability that you will appear in court.
Bail Bonds and How They Work
Although many people use the term bail and bond interchangeably when talking of jail release, the two are not the same. Bail bonds work differently from bail. A bail bond is a contract made between the person who wants to post bail and the company issuing the bail. After creating an agreement with a Santa Clarita Bail Bonds Company, a bail bondsman goes to post the entire amount required to secure the defendant’s release. Part of the agreement is that the person seeking to secure bail agrees to pay a non-refundable fee of 10% of the bail amount and ensure the defendant will appear in court on the assigned dates.
Typically, 10% is the maximum percentage California law allows bail bond companies to deduct their clients. Thus, no Santa Clarita Bail Bonds services should charge more than 10% of the bail amount. Because the company posting the bail on your behalf will permanently forfeit the money in case the defendant fails to appear in court, they charge 10% as insurance. Additionally, the company may need you to provide security. For instance, property, which they can seize and sell to recover their money in case the defendant doesn’t appear in court.
Bail bonds are the most common method that people use to post bail for their loved ones in California. The reason for this is that a bail bond makes it easy for you to secure a person’s release without having to risk your property or spend a lot of money. Additionally, it simplifies the process of posting bail for several people since it’s the bail bonds company that handles the complicated paperwork and all the requirements of the bond process.
There are different types of bail bonds that Santa Clarita Bail Bonds companies can offer. They include weapons bonds for offenders that have violated weapons law and immigrant bail bonds secured for non-United States citizens.
Note that bail or bail bond isn’t a permanent payment to the court. Instead, the amount is returned to you or the company that posted the bond once you make all the court appearances. Therefore, bail is not meant to be an additional punishment for a crime. It is instead a means of ensuring an offender lives up to the end of the deal of appearing in court as ordered by the judge.
Arrest and Booking
When you get arrested in California, you have to undergo a specific process known as booking. Thus, you are taken to a police station, sheriff’s office, or jail to complete this process. Booking is a mandatory process so the California legal system can have a record of your arrest. In this process, your identity will be verified, your fingerprints recorded, and your photograph is taken. Additionally, a background check will be conducted to see if you have any criminal record. Sometimes, you may be requested to record a statement, although it is not a requirement by law.
After booking, your case will be taken to the county prosecuting attorney. The attorney then decides whether or not to file charges. Usually, the decision should be made within 48 hours, during which you will be in a holding cell. Before being taken to a holding cell, you will be allowed the right to a phone call. You may directly call a Santa Clarita Bail Bonds company to start bond arrangements or a family member and have them obtain a bond for you.
The firm you or your family member reaches out to would want to know specific information about you so it can create the bond contract. The info includes your name, address, employment, date of birth, and conditions of your arrest, etc. The company’s bail bondsman will also conduct a background check to determine whether you will appear in court as the judge would require. If the results are positive, the contract will be finalized. The person securing bond on your behalf will then pay the bail bonds agent a certain percentage of the bail amount as we mentioned above before the agent can deposit the whole amount.
Note that if arrested for a minor crime, you may be set free immediately after the booking process. You may only be required to sign a citation agreeing to present yourself in court on the scheduled dates. This is referred to as release on your own recognizance. However, before the release, the judge will look at your criminal history.
Bail Hearing and How It’s Determined
It’s not guaranteed that after an arrest the court will release you on bail. First, it has to hold a hearing in which it will determine whether or not to grant bail, and the amount if granted. The amount of bond depends on the nature of the crime you committed and the circumstances surrounding the offense. It’s more likely that misdemeanor offenses will have a lower bail amount than felony offenses.
In Santa Clarita, most jails are guided by a predetermined bail schedule, which helps them decide the bail amount a defendant will need to post to secure their release. Thus, in certain cases, a hearing may not be conducted since the amount of bail is already predetermined. For instance, a misdemeanor violation of a protective order would attract a $20,000 bond as per the bail schedule while a felony voluntary manslaughter will attract a bail amount of $100,000.
Bail amounts that range from $1,000 to $5,000 could be posted in cash whereby a person posts the cash in person and in a lump sum to secure the defendant’s release. Bail amounts that are over $5,000 can be classified as surety bonds. To obtain a surety bond, in Santa Clarita, you have to seek the services of a Santa Clarita Bail Bonds company.
In serious cases, a jury has the discretion to deny bail. The main factors a jury looks at to determine whether to grant or deny bail include:
- Family relations
- Whether you pose a threat to the community
- Your criminal record
- Any substance abuse problem
- Your financial capability
- Flight risk/the probability that you will appear in court
- Your mental and physical condition
- The period you have lived in your community
Also, apart from the condition that you have to avail yourself in court, a judge may need you to agree to other terms upon being released on bail. These conditions include:
- A restriction to travel from the city
- Regular check-ins with a probation officer
- You must not contact a specific individual or group of people
- Regular drug/alcohol or psychological tests or treatment
Failing to Show Up In Court After a Bail Release Has Consequences
Failing to avail yourself in court as per the deal of the bail could attract a failure to appear charge against you. Also, you may forfeit the entire bail amount permanently, and a judge could issue an arrest warrant against you.
In case it’s a bail bonds company that posted your bail, it will be allowed up to 180 days to find you. Mostly, the company hires a bounty hunter who does the work of locating you. If the company finds you, it will call law enforcement to arrest you. Moreover, if the 180 days elapse and you haven’t been located, the company will lose the entire bail amount to the court permanently.
If you surface before the 180 days and have an authentic reason as to why you were absent, you may recover your money. Authentic reasons include:
- You suffered a severe injury or illness that made you hospitalized
- You have a disability
- You had been arrested in another jurisdiction
Any of the reasons above should be accompanied with valid and relevant documentation to show you were not neglecting your legal responsibility.
Get Bail Bonds Services Near Me
If you are looking for bail bond services in Santa Clarita to help your loved one out of jail, Bail Bonds is here to help. Call us at 323-579-1415, and we will help you secure a bond as soon as possible. Our services are recognized all over the city since we operate expediently and have fair pricing. We also will answer any question you have about bail bonds. Call us now!