For those who have never needed to hire an expert bail bondsman the process is likely to seem extremely foreign. Finding out someone you care for has been arrested and detained can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever experience. In this type of situation it is important to try to remain calm. A bail bond contract is just that- a contract. It is a legally binding document. You will want to make sure to ask lots of questions so that you fully understand your and the defendant’s responsibilities once the bond has been posted.
How bail is set
When a person is arrested they will be transported to the jail in order to be booked and processed. During this time the crime they are being charged with will be referenced against the county’s bail schedule. This is a document that is set by a panel of judges each year and it tells the jail which bail amounts to assign to what crimes.
Once bail has been set the defendant has two options. The first is to post bail in order to secure a pre-trial release. The second is to sit it out behind bars. If cash bail or a bail bond is not posted, the defendant will need to remain in custody until the matter is resolved. Most people prefer option one. This allows the defendant to return to their family, their job or schooling, and resume their day-to-day life until they need to go to court.
The process is a lot faster and easier than you might expect. Some companies even allow their clients to complete the necessary paperwork via fax and email. The bondsman will need to ask you several quick, easy questions about the defendant, where they live, and the nature of the crime they are being charged with. From there, a customized bail bond contract will be prepared. This document takes about 10 minutes to fill out. Once the paperwork is complete and payment has been arranged, a bondsman will be dispatched to the jail to post the bond. California bail bonds can be posted 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
Cost of a bondsman
The cost to purchase California bail bonds is set by the CA State Department of Insurance. That rate has been set at 10%. If someone’s bail has been set at $10,000 you can expect to pay $1,000 to purchase a bond. This holds true no matter what city, municipality, county or town a person was arrested in. No matter what California jail a person is being detained in, the cost to purchase bail bonds will be the same.
Some bondsmen always require clients post collateral. Others only require it under certain circumstances. Be sure to ask the bondsman you’re speaking with whether the company they work for requires collateral.
What you need to know about bail bonds
When you sign a bail bonds contract you are first and foremost taking responsibility the defendant will go to court. If the defendant decides to flee and cannot be located within six months, the bondsman and the person who signed the contract will need to pay the full bail amount as a penalty. If collateral has been posted it will be considered forfeited. The good news is that the national skip rate for bonds is less than 2%.
If you have been notified someone you care for has been arrested and taken to jail, try to do your best to keep a level head. Try to find out when they were arrested, what detention facility they have been taken to and the nature of the crime they’re being charged with. You will then want to call an expert bondsman right away. Many companies are available to assist clients 24-hours a day. If you have further questions about how bail works and what your responsibilities are once you sign a bail contract, be sure to ask the bondsman you’re speaking with before you sign any paperwork.