One time or another, you may have experienced emergencies in your life, but the one that you are never prepared for is an arrest. The situation can be mentally devastating, especially when trying to put together funds to post bail. Considering the challenging economic times where people struggle to meet their basic needs, raising money to pay bail might seem impossible. Luckily, posting bail should be the least of your worries if you are in Mission Viejo because, at Bail Bonds, we are available to help you obtain freedom as you await trial.
Bail Bond Basics
A bail bond is a formal contract between a defendant, a bail agency, a cosigner, and the court to release a defendant from jail awaiting the scheduled court date. The agreement declares that the cosigner and bail bonds company will do their best to ensure the defendant appears in court and abides by all other conditions set by the court. Additional requirements of the formal document require you, as the defendant, to pay a particular amount of the bail money, which is often a premium. Your Mission Viejo bail bonds agency clears the remaining amount.
In California, if you cannot afford cash bail, you are allowed to seek the services of a bail agency. However, if you do this, you must be willing to pay a nonrefundable 10% premium fee. Still, the bail agencies have the discretion to offer discounts to their clients, mainly those working with experienced defense attorneys.
Bail Bonds and the 8th Amendment
Bail bonds have a relationship with the United States Constitution’s 8th amendment. Under this amendment, every citizen, including the accused, has a right to be freed from jail pending trial. By obtaining an early release, as an accused, you can continue with your activities before the case is closed. And because of the release, you must pay a fee which is often 10% of the set bail. The bail money is established using the bail schedule, and it depends on the severity of the offense that resulted in the arrest.
The 8th amendment provides all the accused with a chance to an appropriate pretrial release. As a result, the court setting the bail must come up with a reasonable bail amount to ensure your appearance in court and still be within your financial capacity. It’s illegal for the court to set an excessive bond you cannot afford because they will deny you a constitutional right. The money should be reasonable and based on your resources.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you have been accused of a severe offense like murder, your bail money will be set low because you are poor. Serious crimes attract hefty bail, and in some cases, some crimes aren’t eligible for bail. You remain in custody until the issue is concluded, and you can only be released if the court finds you innocent.
Similarly, the court will deny you an early release on bail if they feel you are a threat to your safety or the safety of the public. Besides, the court will reject your bail request if they consider you a flight risk and are afraid you will skip town upon your release.
Setting the Bail Money
If it’s your first time behind bars, you are probably confused about the formula to establish the money you should post as bail? A crucial factor the court considers when setting the bail money is the bail schedule. The schedule is a list of various crimes in California and their respective bail money. The arresting officer recommends a bail amount in their report, and the court is left to decide whether to increase or reduce the funds.
Additionally, the severity of your criminal record will affect the amount set as bail. If you have been convicted of crimes in the past, the court will set a higher bail compared to a first-time offender. Also, if you have strong community ties and positively influence the community, the court will set a lower amount or even release you on your own recognizance.
Furthermore, the court might consider the bail algorithm, an advanced mathematical formula enacted in October 2019 to help determine the bail amount defendants should pay. It offers an objective analysis of your chances to repay the bail or skip town upon release. The algorithm does this by evaluating detailed information about you, producing a scientific and objective assessment. That way, it creates a score regarding your risk of not showing up in court or breaking the law when you secure freedom.
The algorithm relies on your age, criminal history, a record of skipping court, and the current charges to determine the bail amount. Therefore, the judge in control of your case might utilize the bail algorithm score to set the bail you should pay.
Reasons for Using a Bail Bond
Recall, if you decide to secure freedom through bail bonds, the law is clear that you must pay an incentive of 10% of the bail money. You can negotiate for a rate reduction, although anything less than 8% will be unlawful and might result in the cancellation of your bail.
Also, if you miss court against the initial agreement before your release, your co-signer will be responsible for repaying the whole bond. However, there are valid reasons for missing court, and if you present them, the judge has the discretion to restore the forfeited bond if you finally show up. Skipping court is a huge mistake because your bail agency will send a bounty hunter after you to capture and return you to court. Remember, after your release, you become the responsibility of the bail agency, and therefore they are the ones to hire a bounty hunter for your re-arrest.
Like the bail agency, bounty hunters are paid 10% to 20% of the total bond. They are paid the money once they locate, track and re-arrest you.
If you abide by the conditions set by the court and appear in court as ordered, you will have a chance to stay out of jail during your trial, hire an experienced and profound legal team and build a solid defense to prevent a conviction. The conditions for your pretrial release are:
- Being a law-abiding citizen
- Observing curfew hours
- House arrest
- Adhering to travel restrictions
- Inform your Mission Viejo bail bonds about your change of physical address or contact info
- Notify your bail bond whenever you are leaving the country
- Keep off particular locations or individuals
- Look for and maintain employment
- No firearm possession
However, a violation of these court requirements will result in contempt of court charges, bond revocation, a court warning, or an increase in the bond money. For instance, when the court releases you after a domestic violence arrest and issues a protective order, but you violate it and go ahead to contact the victim, it will revoke your bail, denying you freedom until the case is concluded.
Apart from bail bonds, you can obtain early freedom pending trial through O.R. and property bonds. In Mission Viejo, if you are posting a property bond, the property’s value must be double the bond amount. The court doesn’t consider the property’s market value but rather the equity. Unfortunately, property bonds are not preferred by many accused because the posting process is often tedious and slow, but it can save you vast sums of money if not forfeited.
Nevertheless, the court grants an O.R. release if it finds you an upstanding citizen with solid community ties. It means that the court trusts you to release you without requiring you to post bail. However, an O.R. release is a rare event because to be eligible, you must have a clean criminal history, an extended residence and employment in your community, and individuals in the society who can testify on your good character.
The Bail Application Process
The bail application process for many Californians is a foreign one and usually results in confusion and uncertainty. Bail Bonds understands this, which is why we do our best to help you understand the bail application process.
The first step you need to take is calling a bondsman. If it’s your first arrest, you probably don’t have in mind any bail agencies you can call. Therefore, you will need to find a bail bond company of your preference from the many in the market. Finding a bail agency is not a minor issue because the wrong choice might incur unnecessary costs and spend more time behind bars. A reputable bail agent will give you peace of mind and see you out of jail as soon as possible.
You could start by calling family, friends, colleagues, or relatives for recommendations if any of them had been previously arrested and secured release by posting a bail bond. Besides, you can speak to your criminal attorney for suggestions because they have worked with these bail agencies in the past and know the most reliable and reputable.
Alternatively, you could reach out to the local chamber of commerce to find reputable bondsmen to help you with your case. Once you have found the new names, you can call their offices and ask a few questions about the bail services provided. You should begin by finding out if the agency has experience handling defendants with charges like yours. If, for instance, you are arrested and charged with domestic violence, you want a bail agency with experience bailing out domestic violence offenders. That way, you will be sure you are working with professionals who understand your needs and will tackle every obstacle on their way to set you free.
Similarly, you could visit the bail company’s website and read reviews from previous clients. Positive reviews are indications of happy and satisfied customers. Also, you must ensure that the bail agency provides a detailed bail schedule listing all the costs you will incur in the process to avoid increased costs due to hidden charges.
After you have found the right Mission Viejo bail agency, you need to ask questions regarding the time the bailout process will take, the cost of the process, the necessary collateral to secure the bond, and the cosigner’s obligations.
You can apply for the bail over the phone, electronically, or request a family member to visit your bail agency’s office to fill out the forms. The agency will then prepare the necessary paperwork, post the bail, and have you released from jail within thirty minutes or less.
Once you are free, your bondsman will explain your rights and obligations and provide you with your court schedule. Criminal charges can be overwhelming, and this is why you need a bail agency that will help you understand what is required of you after the early release so that you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law again.
It’s worth noting that if you are the one bailing someone else out, you must understand your obligations. These responsibilities are:
- You must provide evidence of residency and employment
- You can cancel bail if you are afraid the defendant will miss court
- You must be clear that the defendant adheres to all conditions, like attending a drug treatment program.
- You must keep track of all court proceedings and ensure the defendant appears in all hearings until the case ends.
- Keep the defendant from breaking the law or release conditions.
Your bail payment is deposited with a jail clerk, cashier, or courthouse. The person depositing the money must have your name, booking number, and the bail money imposed by the court. Customarily, the person receiving the deposit will have this info; therefore, you should not lie about the bail money you should deposit.
Once your payment goes through, the correctional officers in the jail you are held will be notified, and you will be freed. The release process will be more straightforward if the correctional facility is not busy or the clerk is located in the detention facility.
Central Jail Complex
Superior Court Service Center
Find a Bail Bondsman Near me
Even for a level-headed person, detention, an attempt to secure an early release, and the subsequent court dates can be overwhelming. At Bail Bonds, we understand your situation and are willing to help you out without any judgment. Therefore, if you are looking for bail services in Mission Viejo, we invite you to contact us at 323-579-1415 for a zero-obligation consultation.