If this is the first time you’re using a bail bondsman you probably have a lot of questions about how the bail bond process works.
Let us take you step by step inside a typical case that we deal with.
STEP 1. The defendant gets arrested for domestic violence, which is a $50,000 bail as set by the county judge.
STEP 2. The defendant’s family member doesn’t know that when he calls us. They just know that he was at home when he got arrested.
STEP 3. Using the information we have, we are able to find out where the defendant was arrested and how much his bail would be. The family member wants to bail him out and asks how much it will cost.
STEP 4. The cost of the bond is 10% of the total bail amount, as regulated by the California Department of Insurance. For this bond it would cost $5,000. This is a non-refundable fee that is paid to the bail bondsman for the service of guaranteeing the full $50,000 with the court.
When a bail bondsman bails someone out of jail, they become liable for the full amount of the bail bond to the court. If the person we bail out of jail doesn’t go to court then we are liable for paying the full amount of the bond to the court.
For this reason we require an idemnitor to sign on behalf of the defendant guaranteeing that they will make all of their court appearances.
STEP 5. We ask the family member a few questions about the defendant, like what he does for work and where he lives. We believe that this is a good client for us so we go ahead with the bond.
STEP 6. The family member asks us if he can split the cost of the bond between two credit cards, which we tell him yes we can. We meet them at the jail where we fill out some paperwork and receive payment for the bond.
STEP 7. We drive down to the jail and post the bond with the jail clerk. The defendant was arrested in Santa Ana and to the county jail there. It sometimes takes up to 8 hours to be released at the county jail. If he was arrested at a smaller jail it could be as quick as 15 minutes.
STEP 8. At this point our service is complete and it is the defendant’s responsibility to appear in court and find adequate legal representation.
The court appearance is typically set for 45 days from the time of the arrest. At this time John will either enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
With a plea of guilty the bond will be exonerated and all parties will be freed from the obligations of the bail agreement. With a not guilty plea the case will still be pending and the bail bond will stay in effect until the case is resolved, or exonerated by the judge for another reason.
Most issues that arise can be resolved with a simple phone call, and only in exceptionally rare cases does an indemnitor have to pay the full cost of the bond.
In these cases the defendant is released with a written promise to appear in court without requiring bail.
If the case is not resolved within a year a new bail bond will have to be filed with the court. This is a separate transaction and requires the bail premium to be paid again.
With larger bond amounts the source of the funds must be verified to determine that it comes from legal sources.
Once the case has been resolved the money is returned. Very few people choose to go this route though because they don’t have the full bail amount sitting around that they can leave with the court for the long months it takes to resolve the case in court.
They will have reduced access to legal counsel and will have to rely on the court appointed lawyer to defend them in court. They will be brought to their court appearance wearing jail attire.
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Furthermore, you can verify our status with the Department of Insurance by calling 1-800-927-HELP.
If you pay us to bail someone out of jail and we are unable to bail them out for any reason, we will refund your money 100%, hassle free.
If a credit card was used to make the purchase we give you your money back minus the 2% credit card processing fee.
Not all bail bond companies offer a 100% money back guarantee, so be careful who you do business with.
We have several offices throughout Southern California where we can meet you. Check out the map below to find the location closest to you.