No one plans to be arrested. However, it happens, and it could be at the most unexpected time. Being arrested is stressful, especially if you’ve never experienced that before. The thought of being locked up and not seeing your family and loved ones for an extended period can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, there is a way to be with your loved ones pending trial for your case. That’s being released on bail. However, navigating the process to make bail can be an uphill task if you don’t have any experience of how it works. You would need to seek help for you to be successful. There’s no better place you can seek assistance than a bail bonds company.
At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we understand the anxiety that comes with an arrest, and we’re readily available to assist regardless of the time. We’ll walk through the procedure and help you reunite with your family within a short period. As the leading bail bond company operating in Los Angeles County, we have only employed expert and licensed agents who boast years of experience bailing arrestees out. Contact us today to talk to our staff, who will respond to all your concerns.
The Arrest and Booking Process in Los Angeles County
If the police have probable cause to believe you've violated the law, they’ll arrest you and take you to the nearest jail. It could be Men’s Central Jail, Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Century Regional Detention Facility, etc. While there, you’ll go through the booking process. Booking involves the arresting officer recording your basic personal info, including your name, date of birth, address, and a DNA sample. They will also take a mugshot of you, capture your fingerprints, run a background check, conduct a body search, and take away your personal belongings. Usually, booking doesn’t last beyond two hours.
Once you’ve been booked, the arresting officer will refer your case to the D.A’s office. The D.A then decides whether or not to press charges against you, and if so, what kind of charges. In the meantime, the police will either release you on your own recognizance or detain you in a holding cell. Own recognizance release means you don’t have to post bail—you’ll only need to sign a written promise to appear in court as required. The D.A has 48 hours to press charges.
After you’ve been charged, you are set to make your first court appearance, known as the arraignment. Arraignment should happen within 48 to 72 hours of your arrest if you are in custody and ‘without unnecessary delay’ if you were released. During this proceeding, the judge reads to you the charges you’re being accused of, to which you’ll respond by entering a plea.
If you’re in custody at the time of arraignment, the judge makes one of the following decision after you’ve entered a plea:
- Orders an own recognizance release
- Set bail, then have you returned to the cell until after you post the amount.
- Refuse to grant bail and have you returned to jail
If the judge releases you on your own recognizance, he/she may still require you to adhere to one or several of these rules as a requirement of walking free pending your trial:
- Home detention
- GPS/electronic monitoring
- SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring)
- Home relocation during home dependency
- Residential treatment program
- Alcohol and drug testing
- Treatment for drug abuse
- Treatment for alcohol abuse
- Treatment for mental health
- Ignition interlock device (IID)
- Condition to surrender any weapons to the police
- Attending NA/AA meetings
- Stay away order
- Driving restrictions or prohibitions
- Travel restrictions— condition to not travel out of the state. The judge may need you to surrender your passport.
- Release to a family member, partner, friend, or community member with the promise that they will accompany you to court
Bail means the money you post with the court to secure your release from jail after you’ve been arrested. The court will return this money to you after your case ends, provided you made all court appearances as required. Therefore, bail is not some kind of punishment. It’s a means of ensuring you’ll show up in court when required to do so. Bail is not guaranteed for everybody. A judge has the discretion to deny it under given circumstances. If the judge believes you will commit other crimes once released or are likely to flee from the country, they will likely deny you bail.
The total bail amount varies based on the offense of which you’ve been arrested. More severe crimes have higher bail amounts. When determining what amount of money to set as bail, a judge is governed by a bail schedule— this is a list of bail amount recommendations for different charges. He/she has the discretion to set a higher or lower amount than what’s indicated on the bail schedule. Each county has its bail schedule. The following are examples of crimes and their bail amount per the Los Angeles County bail schedule:
- Elder Abuse: $50,000
- Indecent exposure: $35,000
- Perjury: $25,000
- Forgery: $20,000
- Arson during State of emergency: $350,000
- Stalking $50,000
- Public Intoxication: $250
- Petty Theft With Prior Conviction: $5,000
- Reckless Driving without aggravating circumstances: $5,000
- Driving Under Influence Causing Injury: $20,000
Apart from looking at the bail schedule, the judge also considers several other factors when setting bail, including your criminal record, ties to your community, and the specific facts surrounding your case.
Ways to Post Bail in Los Angeles County
You can post bail through three primary ways: cash bail, property bond, and bail bond. For cash bail, you’ll need to raise the total bail amount in cash, which you’ll deposit with the court clerk. Some courts allow you to post cash bail using a personal check, bank cashier’s check, traveler’s check money order, or credit/debit card. Cash is the easiest and quickest way to make bail. However, bail amounts are typically so high that most arrestees don’t have that much money in cash and are readily available, so they opt for other ways of posting bail.
Another way of posting bail is a property bond. A property bond is whereby you give the court your property to hold on to it until you make all the required court appearances. If you make all the court appearances, the court will return your property to you. The kind of property you can post as bail includes real estate, vehicles, jewelry, precious metals, firearms, etc. The process of posting a property bond is long and complex; thus, many people don’t like this option.
Bail Bonds Overview in Los Angeles County
A bail bond is the third way to make bail. Whereas cash bail may be the easiest and direct means of securing someone’s release from jail, most people cannot afford the high amount of money within a short period. On the other hand, people don’t like posting a property bond because the process to secure it is long and complex, and they want to be out of jail as soon as possible. Therefore, most people choose to bail themselves or their loved ones out of jail through a bond. It’s relatively quick and accomplishes the same results as a property bond or cash bail at a lower price.
Therefore, instead of struggling to raise money for cash bail, you can use the money to pay your defense team and use a bond to secure your release. There are several other reasons why a bail bond is the most prevalent way of making bail in the United States.
Essentially, a bail bond is a contract that you or your family and a bail bondsman who works for a bail bonds agency sign. Through this agreement, you pay a percentage of the total bail amount to the bail bonds agency, and in exchange, the bondsman deposits the full bail amount with the court to secure your release. Per California law governing bail, the highest percentage you’re required to pay the bail bonds agency is 10% of your bail amount. For instance, if the judge sets your bail at $100,000 and you’re using a bail bonds company to secure your release, you’ll be required to pay $10,000 to the company first before the process commences. The law sets the percentage at 10% to prevent companies from coming up with unfair prices that will rip clients off their money.
As part of the contract you’ll sign, you promise to present yourself in court as the judge would require and comply with any rules ordered by the court as the condition for your release. Failure to present yourself in court on the required dates, the bail bondsman will forfeit the entire bail amount. Therefore, bail bond agents are obligated to ensure their clients make court appearances as promised.
Most bail bond agents require their clients to provide collateral to cover the likelihood that their clients might fail to appear in court. Collateral can be property like a house, car, jewelry, or anything you own whose value can cover the amount of bail. The procedure to obtain a bond is generally quick. It usually takes a few hours to complete. After securing a bail bond, it will take between one to four hours to have you released from custody.
Even after the California government set the premium at 10%, there are still cases where that percentage is more money than an arrestee can raise. At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we understand this, and that’s why we offer a wide array of bail bond financing options, including no money down upon approved credit. Regardless of your financial situation, we can help you find a way to secure your freedom for no or little down payment.
The Process in Detail
The initial step towards securing a bond is contacting a reputable bail bonds agency, where you’ll talk with a bondsman. You may acquire the bond yourself or let someone on the outside, who will be your co-signer, do it for you. The latter is the most common. The bail bondsman will need to note down your personal information, info about the offense you’re being accused of, where you are held, etc. This information helps them draw up the contract. Apart from signing the contract, your co-signer is also supposed to complete a bail application form. Once the contract signing and bail application are over, the co-signer then makes the 10% payment to the bail bond company and provides collateral (if required).
Usually, all these procedures require that the co-signer travels to the bail bond agency office to complete. However, some companies bail online or by the phone, taking the burden of traveling to the office off your co-signer’s shoulder, especially if they can’t reach the office for several reasons.
After verifying the application and processing of the payment, the bail bond agent will travel to the jail where you’re held to deposit the bail amount with the court and secure your release. Once the bail bond agent has paid the whole bail amount, you’ll be released after a short period, usually a few hours, depending on how busy the jail is.
Note that bail in California can be posted any time, be it during the day, at night, during holidays, or on weekends. Therefore, if you’re arrested at odd hours, you don’t need to wait until it's convenient to reach out to a bail bondsman. At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we understand that most of the arrests occur at the most inconveniencing time. Therefore we offer 24-hour services so our clients can reach any time they’re in trouble with the law.
What Happens When You Don’t Make Court Appearances?
It’s worth repeating that you’re required to comply with all the court-imposed conditions once you’re out on bail, including showing up in court. If you don’t appear, the judge will issue an arrest warrant against you, and upon being caught, you may face criminal charges under Penal Code 1320.5.
You also risk losing the money you posted as bail should you fail to present yourself in court. In case you made cash bail, you risk losing the whole bail amount to the court. For property bonds, the court converts the property to the bail amount by selling it. And for a bond, the agency will forfeit the total bail amount they deposited. However, the company will seek to recover its money. If you had provided collateral, the company will sell it and recover the amount it lost. If you didn’t give any collateral, the company might use a bounty hunter to find you.
A bounty hunter is paid a part of the bail amount, but only if they apprehend you. They have the power to arrest and take you back to the police. Usually, the court allows the bond agency 180 days to find someone who failed to appear before forfeiting the bail amount.
However, the court may vacate its forfeiture order and exonerate the bond if you show up within 180 days and give a valid reason for your failure to appear. The reasons include:
- You have a mental illness.
- You were arrested and detained in another jurisdiction
- You’re disabled or became disabled and couldn’t attend
- An illness. Carry with you a medical statement or report to corroborate your story
Apart from the failure to appear having severe financial and criminal consequences, it could also impact your subsequent cases as it may be a reason for the judge to increase or deny bail.
Where Will the Money Go After the Case?
As long as you appear in court as the judge required, they will return your bail money to you. Exoneration occurs when:
- Your case ends
- The judge orders that you enroll in a diversion program
- The judge declares that you’re incompetent to stand trial
- You’re found guilty and taken into custody
If you’ve been convicted and the court directs you to pay a fine, penalty assessments, or restitution, the bail money will be used for that.
Information for Los Angeles County Police Stations, Local Jails, and Courts
The 77th Street Regional Jail
7600 South Broadway St
Los Angeles, CA 90003
LAPD Foothill Jail and Station
12760 Osborne Street
Pacoima, CA 91331
LAPD Hollywood Jail and Station
1358 North Wilcox Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
11701 S. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90045
300 East Olive,
Burbank, CA 91502
Beverly Hills Courthouse
9355 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Contact a Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
If you’ve been detained in Los Angeles County and need to post bail to secure your release as fast as possible, contact 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds. Our agents aren’t only speedy and efficient but also discreet. We guarantee that the process to post bail for you will be entirely confidential, and we’ll secure any info you give us. We also offer lower fees than other companies and several payment options to make the bail process as affordable as possible. Even better, we provide easy payment plans that can be modified to fit your budget. We promise to be by your side all through the bond process to ensure it’s as tension-free as possible. Call us soon after your arrest at 800-930-8999, and we’ll attend to you without delay.