HOW BAIL WORKS IN SANTA CLARITA
Avengers Bail Bonds put this blog together to explain how bail bonds work in the Santa Clarita Valley.
A bail bond is a temporary release of a person that has been arrested for committing a crime. Bail is a sum of cash money that is given to the jail or court that will ensure the the defendant will appear in court at every single court date that he/she is required to appear.
When a person is arrested, there are several things that will happen before bail can be posted. The defendant will have to go through the booking process. A typical booking process consists of the jailer getting personal information from the defendant. The jailer will also take a booking photo and take fingerprints.
Now, once the booking process is complete, the jail will set the bail amount. Bail is set according to what the bail schedule is for the charge the defendant is accused of committing. We always recommend being patient during the booking stage as this can take several hours to complete.
HOW TO POST BAIL
The bail amount required, is a refundable amount of cash money paid directly to the jail or court. This is to provide an incentive for the defendant to appear at all future court hearings.
It’s important to understand the bail posting procedures for the county you are in. So, we recommend calling the jail directly. However, if you don’t like talking to the jailer or just not comfortable with talking to them, I would suggest calling a local bail bonds company, like the friendly agents at Avengers Bail Bonds. Our bail agents know what procedures are in place and the best way to move forward.
When contacting a local jailer or bail bonds company, we recommend asking the following questions:
- What is the bail amount?
- Is the defendant ready for bail to be posted?
- Where do I go if I chose to post cash bail?
- Is there any time of day I cannot post cash bail?
- What types of payment do you accept? Cash? Money order? Credit card? Surety bonds?
- Do I have to use a bail bondsman?
BAIL BOND OPTIONS
Bail Option 1 – How to Post Bail using Cash/Money Orders/Cashier’s Checks.
Option-1 for posting bail, is considered posting a cash bail bond. This is where you pay the full bail bond amount in cash, cashier’s check, or money order directly to the jail or the court.
Let’s say your loved one has a $50,000-dollar bail. You would give the jailer $50,000-dollars either in the form of cash, a money order or a cashier’s check. Money that is given to the jail is to ensure the defendant will appear at every required appearance date.
Be aware that most jails will not accept Personal Checks.
If you choose to pay the full cash bail bond, you would simply go to jail or to the court where the defendant is located and post the amount of bail directly with the jailers.
Bail Option 2 – Post a Surety Bail Bond
Option-2 is the most popular and most used way of posting someone’s bail. Typically option is when a person does not have the full cash bail bond amount available to give to the jailer, this type of bail is called a surety bond, also known as a surety bail bond.
A surety bond is an agreement made with a local bail bond company or bail bondsman. A local bail bondsman will put up the full bail amount for the defendant to be released from jail. In return, the defendant and/or cosigner will pay a premium (or fee) to the bail bonds company. Typically, this premium or fee will be anywhere between 7% to 10% of the full bail amount and will depend on how the person may qualify for the lower premium rates. (Ask a bail agent for more details)
For example, let’s say your friends bail is set at $20,000 dollars, and there’s just no way you are going to be able to come up with that on your own. So, you would contact a local bail bond company to post the bail for you and you would pay the bail company their premium or fee of approximately $1,400-$2,000 dollars.
Now, understand the premium or fee to the bail bond company is non-refundable, the second the defendant is released from jail, the bondsmen’s fee is fully earned.
Local bail bond companies may require a co-signer/indemnitor to sign for the bail bond, this is a typically arrangement and ensures that if the defendant takes off, disappears, jumps bail, or does not appear for his/her assigned court date, the bail agent has some sort of way to locate and return the defendant back to the custody of the court, or the bondsmen will have someone to re-coup their money if they can’t locate the defendant.
It’s very, very important to remember, that by signing an agreement with a bail bond company the co-signer is taking on the full responsibility for paying the full bail amount or finding the defendant if he/she does not appear in court.
Option 3 – Post a Property Bond
This option is probably the most unheard-of and most time-consuming way to post bail. Most people are unaware that if you own real property, you may be able to post what is called a property bond. Property bonds are posted directly with the court, the court holds the real property as collateral to ensure the defendant appears at all future court dates.
However, all owners of the property must be present to sign in order for this to happen. Once the case is resolved the property will be reconveyed to the owners of the property.
To find out if property located in another state can be used as collateral, call a local bail bonds company.
WHO CAN POST A BAIL BOND FOR A DEFENDANT?
Anyone over the age of 18 who can produce a valid government-issued photo ID can post a bail bond. Types of acceptable forms of ID include a Photo Driver’s License, Passport, or an ID issued by local DMV.
If the defendant is able and has the resources, he/she can always post their own cash bail to be released from jail.
Surety Bonds AKA surety bail bonds are typically arranged by third party licensed bail agents.
HOW ARE BAIL OR BOND AMOUNTS DECIDED?
Bail bond amounts are set by what is called a bail schedule and each county has their own separate schedule. The bail schedule is typically set by a panel of judges for each county. Bail bond amounts for more serious crimes are will be set higher than lower crimes.
Other factors may include, but are not limited to:
- The nature and circumstances of the case.
- A defendant’s prior arrest record.
- Past appearance record of the defendant.
- Ties the defendant has to the community.
- Employment record of the defendant.
- Possible financial resources.
- His/Her character and mental condition
WHEN WILL THE CASH BAIL OR COLLATERAL BE RETURNED?
The full cash bail or collateral posted will not be returned until the defendant’s court case is terminated. This means that the defendant has appeared at every court date as required by the court. So realistically it could take several months, to receive you refund. It really all depending on how long it takes the court to complete the case and it really boils down to the severity of the charges.
Be aware, if a defendant posts his or her own cash bail, the court may retain whatever amounts of the cash money for payment of fines and fees then the rest will be returned.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY CASH BAIL OR COLLATERAL IF THE DEFENDANT FAILS TO APPEAR?
If a defendant fails to appear while out on a surety bond, the judge or commissioner will order the surety bond forfeited and issue a warrant for the person’s arrest.
The bail bonds company will be notified of the forfeiture and they will have 185 days to find the defendant and surrender him/her to the custody of the court. If the bail bond company fails to find the defendant, they will be responsible for paying the full amount of the bail bond to the court.
If cash bail was paid, the entire amount may be ordered forfeited by the court.
Well there’s a simple answer to that question, if you have a friend or loved one in jail and you need to post bail to get them out. Call the professional bail bondsmen at Avengers Bail Bonds. We know how to get anyone out, anytime day or night. Just call us at (888) NO-JAILS, our friendly agents are always on standby to answer all your questions and get your friend or loved one out of jail FAST!