The state of California has a bail bond system that allows an individual charged with an offense the opportunity to stay out of jail until trial and judgment. California has different bail options based on the type of offense the person was arrested for. The courts will also consider other factors such as criminal history and flight risk when setting the bail amount.
The process of getting a loved one from jail is often nerve-wracking. Bail can be set at an amount you don’t have, making the process frustrating. If you are seeking bail bonds services for you or a loved one, we invite you to get in touch with Fullerton Bail Bonds for the guidance and help you want.
Understanding the Bail System
Bail is the money paid by the defendant or a third party to guarantee the appearance of the accused in court. Bail can be either cash or a secured bond from licensed bail bonds companies such as Fullerton Bail Bonds agencies.
Bail is dependent mainly on the type and seriousness of the crime. The state provides a set bail amount that guides the judge to increase or decrease the bail amount. This decision depends on the crime and the circumstances under which it was committed. The criminal background of the accused individual is also put into consideration.
What Determines Bail and How it is Set
Orange County is similar to other counties, it has a specialized bail schedule. The judge will use this schedule when determining the required bail amount.
Upon arrest, the arresting officer usually requests for bail to be set over the amount in the schedule. During the arraignment, the judge decides to keep the amount or adjust it to an amount that is consistent with the aspects of the offense.
A defendant may request the judge to reduce the bail amount while the prosecution may seek to make it higher. For the judge to make a decision, he or she will consider the following factors:
- The seriousness of the offense based on the law
- If there were injuries during the crime and their severity
- Were there substantiated threats issued towards the victim by the defendant?
- Did the offense involve drugs or dangerous weapons?
- Is the defendant employed and what is his or her standing in society, whether the defendant owns property or business locally
- Does the defendant have a criminal history?
- Is the defendant a threat to the safety of the public?
- Is the defendant likely to be a flight risk or will he or she appear for court hearings
If the defendant is facing serious charges like PEN 187 Homicide, PEN 211 Robbery, PEN 207 Kidnapping, or a sexual assault charges, the judge may not adjust bail without establishing first the circumstances that make the offense unusual. These may include:
- The defendant becomes seriously ill
- If the defendant is arrested with a lot of money and a ticket to a different state, even a country
- Changes in the facts of the offense or case
- If the prosecution witnesses are unwilling to testify or cannot be found
- If discovery is made of incriminating evidence
The court can also decide to deny you bail under certain circumstances. If there is an arrest warrant against you from another jurisdiction, or you have committed an offense while released on bail, the court is likely to deny you bail. Should you violate probation or parole; the bail will also be denied in such circumstances. If the court thinks that you are a threat to the society according to PEN 1275(a)(1), bail will also be denied. However, the 8th Amendment provides that the bail amount should be reasonable (not excessive) and not meant to punish the defendant. If the amount is set higher than you can raise, please get in touch with our Fullerton Bail Bonds agent to help post your bail.
If you successfully get your bail reduced or you are granted bail, the court is at liberty to impose conditions. Some of these conditions are considered routine, while others are according to the case. Some of the conditions are:
- Having house arrest for the defendant with an electronic monitoring gadget
- The defendant may be required to surrender their driver’s license or passport
- The defendant is asked to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM)
- The defendant is denied contact with the victim
- The defendant is not allowed to travel out of the state
- The defendant is prohibited from driving with any alcohol level in his or her system
What is Accepted as Bail?
Cash is normally accepted as bail by the courts or jails. Cashier’s or certified checks, as well as traveler's checks, are also allowed as bail. Most people may find it challenging to raise the bail money, but may use a Fullerton Bail Bonds agent to post a secured bond for themselves or their loved ones.
The Process of Posting Bail
When the bail amount is low, and the defendant or their loved one can afford to pay it in cash, then they are allowed to post the money. The bail money is usually refunded back to them once they are done with the proceedings, and the accused had not skipped bail.
There are various ways bail can be paid which is explained below.
If the defendant or their loved one produces a cashier’s or certified check, travelers check, or money order, the clerk or arresting agency will accept it as bail.
The court can also decline bail if there is suspicion of the source of the money. If large amounts are required for bail and the court suspects they are from criminal activities, the funds may not be accepted. If a defendant is charged with drug trafficking or embezzlement of huge amounts of money, and their loved one is able to post bail of a substantial amount, the court can be wary of the origin of the money and decline it as bail.
The court expects you to prove the funds are legitimately acquired or look for other sources to post bail. Because of this, our Fullerton Bail Bonds agent can help you secure a bond and ensure your loved one is released as soon as possible.
The use of bonds to post bail is one of the most commonly used methods. If you find yourself or a loved one in need of a bond, getting in touch with a licensed bail bondsman is the best thing to do. A bail bondsman will ask you to pay 10% of the set bail total, which is usually the premium imposed under the law.
For instance, if the bail amount was set at $100,000, you are expected to buy a secure bond of $10,000. After this, the bail bondsman delivers the bond to jail or the court as security for the release of the defendant. The money given to the bondsman agency acts as fees and is not subject to refund.
There are cases that the bail is set so high, and the defendant or their loved ones can only put collateral to secure a bond. This is normally in the form of real property as opposed to personal property. However, it is important to note that should the defendant fail to appear in court and forfeit his or her bail; the particular bond agency will move to sell the collateral used.
Most bails are posted by a family member or a friend to the defendant. The person posting bail is expected to co-sign for the bond and is held to some obligations. If the defendant flees from the state or skips bail, the bonds company is mandated to locate him, and if they fail to find him or her, the bail company will search for the person that co-signed for payment or use bounty hunters to locate the defendant.
Missing Court after Bailout
Failure to present yourself for a court hearing is a punishable offense. If you were charged with a misdemeanor, failing to appear in court is charged as a misdemeanor. Equally, if the charge was a felony, missing the court proceedings is also charged as a felony. Failure to attend court results in the court issuing a warrant of arrest against the defendant.
If the defendant posted cash bail, he or she risks forfeiting the whole amount. Unfortunately, the bond agent is held responsible for the full bail amount and is expected to pay it to the court. If you had used collateral to secure your bond, the company would move to sell the property to recover the money paid in court.
In cases where no collateral was used, bail bond companies hire the services of a bounty hunter. A bounty hunter is mandated to track down the defendant and arrest him or her. Bounty hunters are typically compensated based on a percentage of the bail bond amount, but only upon apprehending the defendant.
Should the defendant appear back to court within a set period and has a valid excuse why they skipped the court proceedings, the court can vacate the forfeiture order. Some of the legitimate reasons will include:
- A sickness that is accompanied by a doctor’s report
- You were unable to attend court due to a disability
- You are certified to be suffering from a mental disease
- You got involved in an accident and sustained severe injuries
Find a Bail Bonds Company Near Me
It is not always easy to raise bail amounts set by a court. If you find yourself or a loved one in need of bail, getting a licensed bail bonds company will help you secure the release of your loved one fast. Get in touch with Fullerton Bail Bonds at 323-579-1415 to help you understand the bail process and get yourself, or a loved one out of jail as soon as possible.