Facing an arrest for allegedly committing a crime is a scary ordeal, and being arrested for a crime you did not commit can be traumatic for you and your family. After your arrest, you are booked in jail and the judge sets a bail amount that you must pay to secure your release. Many defendants do not have the funds readily available to post the entire bail amount. That is why you will need the services of a bail bond company.
At 24 Hour Online bail bonds, we will provide the financial assistance you need to post bail at a 10% fee. Working with us will help give you and your family peace of mind during the complex bail bond process. Our Palos Verdes bail bonds agents have networks with the local jails, courts, and systems in the bail industry and can provide the guidance you need when securing the release of your loved one from jail.
Overview of Bail in California
Bail is the money set up by a criminal defendant to buy their freedom before trial. At your first appearance, before the judge, they will assess your case and set a bail amount that you or your loved one must pay before releasing you with a pending case. If you cannot afford a bail bond, it would be wise to seek the services of a bail bond agent. The bail bond agent plays a significant role in the process of posting your bail:
Bail Bond Assessment
Often the first step when you contact a bail bond company is the bail bond assessment. During this stage, the bail bonds agents will assess your qualifications and those of the defendants for the bond. The agent will investigate the defendant’s background to determine whether or not they are a flight risk. Also, they can determine the defendant’s eligibility for bail bonds by checking your ability to cover the bail bond premium. As the cosigner, you will take responsibility for the bail bonds. Therefore, the nature of your employment and your credit score plays a significant role in the bail bonds process.
The bail bond agent will decide to offer you the bail bonds services when they are comfortable that the defendant will not flee and that the company will recover the payment for their services.
Filing the Necessary Paperwork
When the bail bond agent agrees to work with you and the defendant, they will complete the necessary paperwork. The common legal document you sign is a power of attorney, which turns over the right to represent the defendant to the agency. A bail bond is a contract between you and the bail bond company. Therefore, you will need to sign some documents promising to pay the premium required. Also, if the bail bond agent needs collateral for the bail bonds, the bail bondsman will be in charge of verifying the property ownership documentation. After filing the necessary documents, the bail bond agent will post the full bail amount, allowing you to be released from jail.
Intermediary between the Defendant, the Agency, and the Court
The work of a bail bondsman does not end when your loved one is released on bail. The agent must guide the defendant throughout the process until the bail is exonerated or forfeited. The agent will ensure that the defendant follows all the bail conditions. The bail bond agent acts as a means of communication between the court, the bail bond agency, and the defendant. When the judge sets your bail conditions, the bail bond agent can explain what the court requires of you to avoid a violation.
Apprehension of Defendants
The role of a bail bond agent that many people are familiar with is clients’ apprehension. If a defendant is released on bail bonds and flees or fails to appear in court, they risk a bail forfeiture which could mean a loss of the bail bond. Since the bail bond company doesn’t want to lose their money, they will enlist the services of a bounty hunter who can arrest the defendant and return them to court to face their charges.
There are two primary bail outcomes when your criminal case ends. When you fail to appear for the hearing or violate other court orders while out on bail, the court will forfeit your bail. In this case, you will not be receiving a refund of the amount you paid as your bail. If you posted bail through a bail bond agent, they would lose the total amount to the court. In California, bail forfeiture can be either voluntary or involuntary.
The voluntary forfeiture is when you release the bail you paid on the court. You can opt for voluntary forfeiture if you want to use the bail money to cover costs, legal fees, and court fines. However, the bail money will not be used to pay the victims if you cause serious injury or losses. More often than not, victims who suffer due to your crime commission must file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation.
On the other hand, involuntary forfeiture occurs when you fail to appear for a court hearing, and in this case, the court will not refund your bail money. However, if you have a valid reason for failing to appear for your hearing, you can still receive your money back.
Exoneration of Bail
A bail bond is exonerated when your case ends and the judge pronounces the final verdict. The outcome of your criminal case will not affect your bail. If you attended all your court proceedings and followed through with your bail conditions, the court will release the bail money to the payer. If you posted cash bail, you would receive the money within ninety days of concluding your case.
For defendants who post a property bond, the court will lift the lien on the property. If you use the services of a Palos Verdes bail bond agent, the agent will recover the money from the court and, in return, release your collateral. Even after the dismissal of bail, you cannot recover your collateral unless you have completed all your premium obligations.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bail
Many people are not familiar with the bail bond process until their loved ones or friend faces an arrest. The bail process can be very challenging, especially when your loved one sits behind bars. The following are some frequently asked questions that will give you a better understanding of the bail process:
What happens if I can’t pay my bail amount?
After an arrest and booking, the judge can release you on recognizance. This means that you will not need to post any money to secure a release, and you will only need to promise the court that you will show up when the judge needs you. However, a recognizance release is not available for all defendants, and you will only have such an opportunity when you don’t have a history of a severe or violent crime. Also, it would be best if you had a low flight risk to secure a recognizance release.
Most criminal defendants need to post bail that the judge sets. If a defendant fails to post bail, they must remain in jail awaiting trial. When your loved one is stuck in jail for lack of bail money, the best thing you can do is work with a Palos Verdes bail bonds agent. The agent will provide the expert support you need through the bail process, which can be very challenging.
In addition to providing financial support to pay a defendant’s bail, the bail bond agent ensures that the defendant does not flee the jurisdiction. When you are looking for a bail bond company to help you post bail, you will need an accountable agent for the defendant’s conduct. This will help keep the defendant in line to avoid bail forfeiture.
Will community ties affect my bail?
When a person faces an arrest in California, the judges have the discretion to set bail. The court will need an assurance that you will appear in court every time you have a court proceeding or trial. Even with the recent reforms on bail in California, you may still need to pay a high fee so you can go home and continue with your life and work on your defense. However, the court considers several factors when setting your bail: your community ties.
Community ties is a term used to refer to a defendant’s relationship with the community. Strong community ties could convince the judge that you are not a flight risk and thus set low bail for you. Some examples of community ties that could be useful in lowering your bail include:
Having close family that lives in the jurisdiction
Owning property in the area where the trial is scheduled to take place
Having a permanent job
If you are arrested while on vacation where you do not have family or a job, the court will consider you a flight risk, and the judge can set a high bail or deny it. You need to prove that you have strong community ties during your bail hearing.
Does bankruptcy apply to bail debts?
Bankruptcy is a legal and financial process where individuals or businesses can forgive their debts by the federal government. Bankruptcy is often a last resort and can significantly impact your credit score, and this will make it difficult for you to apply for a loan or a new line of credit. How bankruptcy will affect your bail bond debt will significantly depend on the nature of the bond you post.
When you cosign a bail bond for a defendant without providing collateral, the bail bond is considered an unsecured bond. Unsecured bonds are treated as standard forms of debt when dealing with bankruptcy, which means that these debts can be partially or entirely wiped out when you declare bankruptcy. Bail bond debt is always paid last when you file for liquidation bankruptcy, and all your assets are liquidated.
If you declare bankruptcy within ninety days of acquiring the bail bond, the bail bond company can argue that you were aware that filing for bankruptcy could eliminate your liability to the debt. If you put up collateral for bail bonds, filing for bankruptcy may not be a good option. When the bail bond agent asks you to provide collateral, they will put a lien on the property, and the lien cannot be wiped off through bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy should be the last option to deal with your debts. If you find it difficult to pay your bail bond premium, you should speak with your Palos Verdes Bail bond agent about your payment plan. A bail bond payment plan is an agreement you make with a bail bond company, and the agent will allow you to make a down payment for the 10% premium and cover the rest in monthly installments. When making a bail bond repayment plan, you need to cover the monthly installments.
What is the relationship between a defendant’s criminal record and bail?
It is hard to say what exact impact a prior arrest or conviction will have on your bail. This is because the judge has the discretion to determine the amount you must pay as your bail. Within forty-eight hours of an arrest and booking, you can be released on bail. However, the bail process involves the judge reviewing several factors of your case and your past. Your bail will be higher if the crime you are charged is serious. Additionally, your criminal history will play a significant role in setting your bail.
If you have been convicted for a similar or related charge to the one you currently face, the judge may increase your bail. Being a repeat offender may mean that the past rehabilitation attempts were unsuccessful, and you do not respect the law. Also, if you have a history of skipping or violating other court orders, the court may deny your bail or raise it at an amount that won’t be easy to leave behind.
How much do bail bonds cost?
One of the first questions that will run in your mind when you seek the services of a Palos Verdes bail bonds agent is how much it costs. Bailing someone out of jail is not something that you do daily. However, when you decide to cosign a bail bond for a defendant, you will be taking financial responsibility for the bail bonds. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with the costs you will be shouldering when you cosign a bail bond for a loved one or friend.
By posting bail for you or your loved one, the bail bond agent will be taking a substantial financial risk. You must pay a bail bonds premium as payment for their services and compensation for the risk. Although the cost of bail bonds could vary from one company to another, California’s standard bail bond premium is 10% of the total bail amount. Even though the court will refund the full bail amount to the bail bond agent when your case ends, the bail bond premium is not refundable.
If you do not have enough money to post cash bail, the court allows you to use the property as a bond. When you post a property bond or put up property as collateral for bail bonds, the court or bail bond company will put a lien on the property. Failure to appear for trial will prompt the judge or bail Bond Company to auction your property to recover the amount they lost in bail forfeiture. It would be best if you considered the risk involved before using your property as a bond or putting it up as collateral.
An arrest and in Palos Verdes, CA, could result in incarceration in the following jails:
Torrance City Jail
Redondo Beach Jail
Some of the courts serving Palos Verdes, CA include:
Superior Court Docs
Find a Palos Verdes Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
Receiving information that your loved one or friend has been arrested can be traumatizing, and the situation becomes more challenging when they have to remain in jail due to the lack of money to post cash bail. After an arrest, the court requires that you post a particular bail amount before securing a defendant’s release. If you or a loved one cannot afford to post cash bail and needs bail bond services, 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds is here to help you.
We will connect you with a skilled Palos Verdes bail bond agent to post your bail and ensure a faster release when you contact our office. In addition to offering bail bond services, the bail bond agent assesses your case and provides expert guidance for the defendant to ensure a smooth bail process. Contact us today at 800-930-8999 and allow us to guide you through the challenging times.