If your loved one is arrested and detained in a jail cell, you want to ensure they spend time behind bars. You can do this by posting their bail. California courts set high bail amounts even for individuals facing minor charges. This makes it challenging for some people to post a cash bail.
Fortunately, other bail payment options exist, including property and bail bonds. Bail bonds are the most popular form of bail. Posting a bail bond will involve contacting and seeking the services of a bail bonds company. The surety companies post bail for defendants at an affordable fee. This gives all defendants an equal chance of being released from jail before trial.
Finding the right surety company to help you navigate the bail process is critical to ensuring a fast release for your loved one. At Bail Bonds, we understand the devastation you must feel watching your loved one sit behind bars. Our Palm Desert bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to offer the financial help and expert guidance you need to secure your loved one’s release from jail.
What is Bail?
Bail is the money that a criminal defendant pays to the court in exchange for a release before trial. After an arrest for violating California law, a defendant is booked into jail, where they can only be released after posting bail. Bail money is a way to discourage a person from fleeing a jurisdiction to avoid criminal consequences.
After posting bail, a defendant is released to go home and move on with their life as they wait for court proceedings and a trial to be scheduled. When the court case has ended, the defendant is convicted, or their case is dismissed, the bail money is refunded.
Factors Affecting Bail Amounts
The court will set you on bail at the bail hearing. Often, this hearing is held on the first court appearance after an arrest and booking. The judge at your hearing will set your bail while considering the following factors:
A bail schedule lists all criminal offenses and the amount of bail needed for each offense. Offenses in the bail schedule are classified into misdemeanors and felonies. The judges in each county are responsible for determining the bail amounts for each offense. After an arrest, your attorney can help you review the bail schedules to determine the amount you will likely pay.
You can pay the amount indicated in the bail schedules if a warrant is attached to your arrest. However, when your bail hearing is set, the judge will use the amount on the bail schedules as a base and adjust it depending on different factors in your case.
The Seriousness of Your Offense
Different offenses attract different bail amounts under state and federal regulations. Posting bail can discourage a defendant from fleeing after a release. Most people could skip bail if they risk facing severe penalties after a criminal conviction. For this reason, the seriousness of your crime can impact the amount of bail you need for a release.
In the bail schedules, the bail amount for misdemeanors is often higher than that for low-level misdemeanors. However, the judge can still increase it if the circumstances of your case make your offense more serious.
For example, if you are charged with robbery, the judge will use the bail amount for the offense from the schedules as a base. If you used violence to commit the crime, your charge becomes more serious, and your bail may be higher. You may be held without bail if you are charged with a violent felony punishable by life imprisonment or capital punishment.
The main purpose of posting bail is to assure the court that you will follow through with your case proceedings by attending the trial. When setting your bail, the judge will consider your flight risk, which is your likelihood of skipping bail. In this case, your flight risk will be determined using your past records. You will be considered a high-flight risk if you have a history of skipping bail or violating court orders.
Some of the factors used to determine flight risk when setting bail include:
- Family ties. If you have family or dependents in the jurisdiction of your arrest, the court will consider you a low-flight risk. This is because you may not be tempted to abandon your family.
- Employment. A defendant with stable employment may not flee for fear of losing their job. The judge could set a lower bail amount for you in this case.
At the bail hearing, you can present evidence showing that you will not escape after a release. This could give you a chance at a reduced bail amount.
When setting your bail, the judge will look into your criminal history. The court often sets low bail amounts for first-time offenders. If you have an extensive criminal history, your bail could be high, or the judge can order that you be held without bail.
Income and Resources
Most people avoid skipping bail for fear of losing the money and property presented to the court as bail. A person with a high income and resources may be required to pay a higher bail amount than a low-income defendant facing similar charges. This is because a person with many resources may not lose much in bail forfeiture after fleeing.
When setting your bail, the court will consider the threats you pose to the community. This could be determined by the severity of your crime and the presence of victims. If you have a violent history, the court will seek to safeguard the victims of your crimes by setting a high bail amount or denying you a bail release. Even after paying a high bail amount, the judge may impose strict rules for you to avoid contact with the victims of your offense.
Facing an arrest and criminal charges can be a devastating experience. Although it is important to fight your charges and avoid a conviction, posting bail is the first thing you must do to achieve your goal of walking free. Bail can be paid through cash or property. When posting cash bail, you must present the total bail amount to the court before a defendant’s release. This also comes with a significant risk of losing the money if the defendant skips bail.
For this reason, most people opt to secure a jail release through a bail bond. In California, a bail bond is an agreement between a defendant, the court, and the surety company. In the agreement, the surety company pays bail for the defendant, allowing the court to release them from jail. In exchange for posting bail, the defendant and their co-signer will be responsible for 10% of the entire bail amount, which acts as a service fee.
When you contact a surety company for assistance in the bail posting process, they will send a Palm Desert bail bondsman to investigate your case and determine your suitability for a bail bond. The surety company will offer their assistance if you can pay the bail bond premium and provide collateral. Additionally, they may look into the defendant’s criminal record before offering the bail bond.
When you sign a bail bond for a loved one or friend, you may be legally responsible for the defendant’s appearance for trial. Failure to do this could result in losing your bail money or property provided as collateral. One of the most critical reasons why people opt for a bail bond is because it is affordable.
Your financial burden will be lower since you will be responsible for a fraction of the total bail. This protects you from the temptation to liquidate assets for bail money. While California's standard bail bond premium is 10%, you can negotiate a discount with your Palm Desert bail bond company.
If you cannot cover the premium amount in one installment, the surety company can allow you to enter a repayment plan. This allows you to make a down payment and cover the balance of your premium in installments. The repayment plan will be accepted depending on the amount you can provide as a down payment.
The Fate of Bail Money in California
Bail is not one of the penalties for your criminal conviction. Therefore, the outcome of your case cannot impact the bail money. The fate of your bail money will depend on your ability to appear for court proceedings and follow the bail conditions.
When you post bail in California, you expect to recover the money when the case ends. However, this depends on whether the defendant will follow all court instructions on the bail release. A bail forfeiture occurs when the court fails to return the bail amount to the payer. This could be an outcome of your situation if you post bail for a loved one and they flee jurisdiction without going to trial.
You will lose the entire amount presented to the court clerk when a cash bail is forfeited. The court seizes the property if your loved one is released on a property bond. The court has more leniency toward bail bond companies. Therefore, if a defendant flees after posting a bail bond, they will give the bail bondsman some time to find the defendant.
In this case, a Palm Desert bail bondsman can seek bounty-hunting services. Bounty hunters are licensed professionals who can find and arrest a defendant. If the defendant is not found even with bounty hunting services, the bail bond company must pay the full bail amount to the court. Surety companies protect themselves from bail bond forfeitures by seeking collateral for the bail bond.
If the company loses money in the forfeiture, the sale of the collateral can help it recover the money. Following a bail forfeiture, the defendant will be taken back to jail. When you post bail for another person, you can avoid the financial losses associated with a forfeiture by ensuring the defendant is present for all court proceedings.
Bail exoneration is the termination of the bail obligation. An exoneration is the most desirable fate for your bail money because the payer can receive their money or property back. For defendants who post a bail bond, the surety company can recover their money and release the property or item presented as collateral.
In California, bail will be exonerated under the following circumstances:
- The defendant is mentally incapable of undergoing a criminal trial.
- The criminal case is dismissed after a successful motion to suppress evidence.
- The defendant is surrendered to the court by the bail bondsman.
- A defendant is sent to drug diversion.
- The defendant is found guilty of their charges and convicted.
- The defendant is acquitted after a criminal trial.
Jails in Palm Desert, CA, include:
Riverside County Sheriff Department
Palm Springs Jail
Riverside County Sheriff Department
Courts serving Palm Desert, CA:
Superior Court of California County of Riverside
Find a Reliable Palm Desert Bail Bondsman Near Me
For defendants facing arrest and criminal charges in California, posting bail may be the only way to be released before the trial. Posting bail is optional. This means defendants who do not post bail or lack enough money for bail could remain behind bars until the case is resolved. Since bail is not punishment for a criminal offense, the court refunds the money to the payer when the case ends.
Securing a bail release for a loved one or friend allows them to continue working and spend time with family during difficult times. Due to the significant financial commitment of posting bail, most defendants and their families seek bail bond services. If you are eligible for a bail bond, the surety company will send a bail bondsman to pay the full bail amount to the court and fill out the paperwork for the defendant to be released.
A bail bond is an affordable and convenient option. However, you will need a reliable bail bonds company to guide you through a fast and stress-free process. If you learn of a loved one’s arrest in Palm Desert, CA, you will benefit from our expertise at Bail Bonds. Call us at 323-579-1415 and allow us to guide you through the challenging process.