Being locked up after an arrest can be traumatic. When you’re detained, it’s virtually impossible to be with your family. You may also be incapable of figuring out what’s going on with your case. What you would want most is to secure your release to reunite with your family. Additionally, you’ll be more capable of gathering as much proof to prove your innocence when you are free than when locked up.
You can be set free from jail while your case is ongoing by posting bail. There are several ways to post bail, one of them being having a bail bond agency do it for you. If it’s a bail bond company to bail you out, you need to ensure you receive reputable services.
At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we’re always available to help whenever you or your loved one needs assistance securing their release after an arrest. Our expert bail bondsmen can help you secure your release within hours. Even better, we offer 24-hour services so you can reach us any time, be it during the day, night, holidays, or weekends. If you’ve been arrested within Santa Barbara County, call us to retain our services. You’ll talk with one of our customer service agents who will answer all your questions and address your concerns.
Defining Bail in Santa Barbara County
Bail refers to the amount of money you deposit with the court to secure your release from a jail/prison cell. It’s a way of ensuring you’ll make future court appearances as required by the judge. In most cases, judges release arrestees on their own recognizance (O.R release). This means they don’t need to make bail. They simply promise to appear in court as required.
Sometimes, under given circumstances and for certain offenses, the judge may deny you bail. But in most cases, bail is required, even if you can’t afford it. It’s unconstitutional to be detained on bail only because you can’t afford to pay. In Santa Barbara County, individuals arrested for violent or serious crimes may be denied bail.
The Bail Process in Santa Barbara County
When a police officer arrests you within Santa Barbara, they’ll likely take you to Santa Barbara County jail. When here, you’ll be booked and processed to create an official arrest record. Booking is whereby the police officer:
- Takes your personal information, your photograph, fingerprints,
- Records info about the supposed crime,
- Conducts a record search of your criminal background, and
- Searches you and confiscates any personal property you carried, i.e., purse, keys, etc.
After the booking process, the police officer will place you in a holding cell awaiting arraignment. But if your crime is a minor one, he/she might release you on your own recognizance, that is, after signing a citation promising to make all court appearances as required. For the police to release you on your own recognizance, they’ll consider numerous factors, including the nature of your crime and criminal history.
The booking process could last for hours. How long it lasts is based on the number of arrestees undergoing booking, law enforcement officers involved in the booking process, and what’s involved in the standard booking procedure.
The state has up to 72 hours to arraign you in court. During the arraignment, the judge will read you your charges and ask how you plead. After which, the judge will either release you on your own recognizance based on your criminal history and the accusations against you, set bail and send you back to holding cell until you post it, or decline to set bail and send you back to the cell.
Bail amounts vary from one county to another and are based on the offense. A bail schedule is what guides the judge on what amount of money they will set as bail. All counties in California have their bail schedules which set forth the bail amount for every criminal act. Examples of bail amounts in the Santa Barbara County bail schedule are as follows:
- Voluntary Manslaughter— $100,000
- Involuntary Manslaughter— $10,000
- Aggravated mayhem— $1000,000
- Campaign violations— $50,000
- Selling or manufacturing a false resident alien or citizenship documents— 75,000
- Threatening an officer/resisting arrest— $25,000
- Kidnapping for felony sexual offense purposes— $1000,000
- Kidnapping a minor below 14 years to deprive custody— $150,000
- Human trafficking— $100,000
- Human trafficking if the victim is below 18 years old— $200,000
- Criminal threats— $50,000
The judge has the discretion to modify the bail amount indicated on the bail schedule by increasing or reducing it. When deciding whether or not to modify the bail amount, the judge will consider:
- Your capability to pay
- The severity of the supposed crime
- Your past criminal history
- Public safety
- The possibility of appearing in court
When you’ve been charged with a violent or serious felony, the judge can’t reduce the bail amount below what’s on the bail schedule except if they find a good cause or unusual circumstances. Good cause/ unusual circumstances don’t include the fact that you’ve made all court appearances in the past or have not committed any new crimes. Instead, they include the fact that circumstances have changed due to the discovery of new evidence.
Types of Bail
There are three ways of posting bail in San Barbara County— cash bail, bail bond, and property bond.
To post cash bail, you first need to have the required bail amount at hand then deposit it with the court. You may also be permitted to use a check, debit/credit card, money order, etc., to make bail. Cash bail is generally the easiest way of posting bail. However, the amounts required are usually high, and most people do not have this kind of money readily available.
Most people opt to post bail through bail bond companies because, as we mentioned, they don’t have sufficient cash at hand for posting cash bail. A bail bond refers to an agreement between you and the bail bondsman/bail bonds agent working for a given bail bonds company. Under the agreement, you promise that you’ll make court appearances as the court would order, and the bail bondsman promises to deposit the bail amount for you.
However, you must first pay the bondsman a set-down premium. The premium is usually 10% of the amount of bail the judge has set and isn’t refundable. To be released on a bail bond, you’ll need a co-signer who will be responsible for you and the bail amount. The co-signer vouches for you to make all court appearances. If you don’t show up in court as required, the bail bonds agent will seek them to pay the bail amount.
The co-signer also pays the bond premium for you. Some bail bond agencies also require you to give collateral as security for the bond. Collateral could be a car, house, or anything valuable. After your co-signer has applied for bail and paid the 10% premium, the bail bond agent travels to where you’re being held to secure your release.
After the bondsman has deposited the bail amount with the court, the arresting officer is informed,, and the process for your release begins. The period it takes to be set free depends on numerous factors. If the jail isn’t fully staffed or big enough, you may be released within 48 hours. If it is on holidays or weekends and several cases are to be handled, or the jail isn’t fully staffed, you may be released within 12 hours.
Rather than post cash bail or pay the premium required to retain a bond dealer, you could post a property bond. A property bond entails giving the court your property to hold on it until you fulfill your promise to make all court appearances as required. However, when posting a property bond, the property’s value should be at least two times the bail amount.
For example, if the judge sets the bail at fifty thousand dollars, the court has to be content that the value of the property you’re going to hand over as bail is $100,000 at the minimum. Also, to post property as bail, the property must’ve been recently evaluated, its liens disclosed, and its equity professionally projected.
Courts accept the property as a bond and order your release if they’re satisfied it has enough equity. It can take so much time to prepare a property bond and submit an official appraisal. Consequently, people rarely seek this type of bond. But if you don’t have money for a bail bond or cash bail, it’s an alternative way of posting bail.
At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we are swift in offering our services. We know how the local jails, police stations, and courts operate; thus, we’ll be able to navigate the process much quicker. Even if your co-signer can’t visit our offices due to one reason or another, all is not lost. We bail online or by phone, meaning we’ll still serve them. All they have to do is visit our website from where they are and follow the procedure or call us, and we’ll walk you through the process.
We offer numerous lower down payment bail options and multiple ways to stay up-to-date with your bail bond payment plan. Even if you don’t have money to put on a bail bond, we’ll work with you to devise a payment plan that’ll work for you. We offer flexible bail bond financing with easy payment plans. We’ll never charge any hidden interest or fees, and we’ll work with you to establish the best payment option for your budget.
Skipping bail is the failure to appear in court as required. If you skip bail, the judge will issue an arrest warrant against you and allow some amount of time before bail forfeiture. If you used a bail bonds company to secure your release, the bail bondsman has the mandate to search for you and physically bring you before the judge when they find you. The court will allow the bond agent time to locate you (usually 180 days).
To find you, the bail bond agent may hire the services of a bounty hunter. Like bondmen, bounty hunters aren’t government employees. Thus, they don’t have the power to arrest you. However, they can arrest someone who retained their services and take them to court. The contract your co-signer signs with the bail bonds agent gives them the power to come to your home and place you under arrest or take any other action.
If you appear on your own or the bounty hunter locates you within the hundred and eighty days, the judge may reinstate the bail provided you give a valid reason why you did not initially appear. Examples of reasons you can provide for your failure to appear are severe illness, disability, insanity, and being held in custody by another jurisdiction.
And if you completely fail to show up in court, the judge will forfeit the full bail amount. If you paid cash bail, none of it would be returned to you. If you deposited a property bond, the court would place a lien on the property then foreclose on it to recover the bail amount. And if it was a bail bond, the bail bondsman will have to pay the full bail amount to the court and later collect the money from your co-signer.
To recover the money they paid to the court and what they paid the bounty hunter, the bail bond agent may auction the collateral you gave them. This means if you asked someone else to provide collateral on your behalf, they would lose it due to your skipping bail.
What Happens to the Bail Amount When the Case Ends in Santa Barbara County?
Your bail amount will be returned to you once your case is over, provided you made all your court appearances. If you posted cash bail, it usually takes six to 12 weeks to have the money back. But if you were convicted and required to pay restitution or a fine, your bail amount will be applied towards those penalties. If there’s any remaining amount, it can then be returned to you.
Factors Determining Whether a Judge Will Grant or Deny Bail
Being released on bail depends on whether the judge will grant you bail to begin with. It’s not automatic that a judge will agree to bail — they also have the discretion to deny it. When deciding whether to grant or deny bail, a judge considers several factors, including:
The Severity of the Crime
How severe your crime is is one of the most significant reasons the judge will consider when granting or denying bail. If the offense you are being accused of is violent, for instance, rape, murder, or armed robbery, it is likely that the judge will deny bail. The judge may rule that your crime is so severe for you to return to the public before your trial.
Threat to Public Safety
Bail is granted to persons who won’t pose any danger to the members of the public. If you’ve been charged with a violent offense, the judge could consider you a threat to the public. A judge has to mind public safety when deciding whether to grant or deny bail. If they believe that agreeing to bail would endanger the public, they’ll have to deny it.
A judge grants you bail with the requirement that you’re going to stay put in the country and attend your trial. But if they believe you’ll try leaving the country after being released on bail, they may deny it. It could be challenging to prove that you won’t leave the country. Therefore, the judge will have to exercise their discretion properly. If you have a longstanding criminal record with prior instances of attempting to flee, the judge will consider you a flight risk.
The Likelihood that You’ll Miss Court Dates
If you are awaiting trial and have been released on bail, you have to be committed to making court appearances as the court requires. If the judge determines that your chances of not appearing in court are high, they could deny you bail. Their determination could be based on your history of court appearances if you had been arrested in the past.
If you previously missed court dates, it would put you in a bad light. It’ll show that you aren’t taking your situation seriously and may not show up for your trial. It also makes you seem like you are incapable of exercising even the most basic levels of responsibility. Considering that a judge granting you bail is a privilege and not right, he/she may deny you that privilege if you aren’t showing up in court whenever required to do so.
Information for Santa Barbara County Local Jails, Police Stations and Courts
Santa Barbara County Jail
4436 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Santa Maria Jail
812-A West Foster Road
Santa Maria, CA 93454
149 West Hwy 246
Buellton, CA 93427
751 Burton Mesa Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
Santa Barbara Courthouse
118 East Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Santa Maria Courthouse
312 East Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93456
1745 Mission Drive, Suite C
Solvang, CA 93463
115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA 93436
Find Competent Bail Bond Services in Santa Barbara County Near Me
If you are looking for a bail bonds agency to help you regain your freedom after an arrest within Santa Barbara County, search no further. Call 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds at 800-930-8999. We take pride in the ability to secure releases quickly and expediently. We also have fair pricing and easy payment plans. Call us today for a consultation, which we may hold over the phone or schedule one in our office. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and walk you through the bail bond process.