Facing an arrest for committing a crime is devastating. It is more challenging to watch your loved one remain in jail because you cannot come up with the bail money. Unless you have the full bail amount to present to the court clearly, you will need to explore alternative means to ensure a defendant’s release from jail. Bail bonds are one of the fast and affordable ways to buy freedom before trial. With a bail bond, you will only pay 10% of the total bail to act as the fee for the bail bond services.
If you want to secure a quick and easy release for your loved one, it would be wise to contact a bail bond agent as soon as you learn of their arrest. At Alomar Bail Bonds, we understand the devastation of sitting in jail and the uncertainty in your criminal case’s outcome. Our La Crescenta bail bond agents will offer the finances and expert guidance you need to navigate the bail process.
Release on Bail in California
Bail is the amount each defendant will have to pay to buy freedom before their criminal case is determined. The court determines the exact amount you must pay depending on your criminal charges and other circumstances of your situation. After your arrest and booking into a jail cell, you can request a bail hearing.
At the bail hearing, you have the opportunity to convince the court to set a low bail or release you on recognizance. If you are a first-time offender and your criminal charges are non-violent, you have a better chance of a recognizance release. This means you do not need to pay any money to the court. However, it is vital to understand that individuals released on recognizance will have similar bail conditions as a defendant released on bail.
When setting the bail amount, the judge considers the following aspects:
The bail schedule is the initial source of authority for the court when setting your bail. The bail schedule is a document that indicates the amount of bail that must be paid depending on the crime you committed. The bail schedule has presumptive bail amounts for crimes committed in violation of:
- Health and Safety Code
- Insurance Code
- Penal Code
- Business and Professions Code
You will only pay the exact amount on the bail schedules if bail is attached to your arrest warrant. However, in most cases, the schedule is only a guide, and the judge can modify the amount based on other factors of your case. Calculation of the schedule begins with the specific amount prescribed in the jurisdiction. The judge will start with the highest amount possible if you face an arrest and charges for multiple offenses. However, if your crime involves multiple victims, the court adds the bail amounts for your crimes.
Other factors that could affect how the judge uses the bail schedule in your case include:
- Crimes that promote criminal, street gang activities.
- Offenses involving extreme violence and injury to other people.
- Drug crimes.
Risk of Public Safety
Although California law seeks to decongest the jails and allow defendants to remain home awaiting trial, the court always ensures that a defendant’s release does not compromise public safety. The court determines whether or not you pose a risk to other people involved in your case after reviewing your case. If you face criminal charges for domestic violence, the court will increase the amount on the bail schedules and attach harsh conditions to the release.
Potential Flight Risk
The main aim of offering bail money to the court is to guarantee your return for your criminal trial. Flight risk is the likelihood of skipping bail to avoid the consequences of your actions. If the judge feels that you will not return on the set date, they will increase your bail amount to an amount that is difficult to leave behind.
Some of the factors that the court will check to determine your flight risk include:
- The strength of your community relationships.
- Your history of violating court orders.
- Your criminal record.
The Severity of your Offense
The seriousness of your criminal charges could affect how you act following a release on bail. When you face charges for offenses with a potential for harsh penalties, you could be tempted to flee and avoid trial. Therefore, the court will set a high bail amount or possibly deny it.
Income and Assets
When you fail to appear for trial after posting bail, the court will forfeit the bail, and you will not receive the bail money back. For this reason, the court will consider your assets and income when setting your bail. If you have many assets and a high income, a low bail amount will not motivate you to come back for a scheduled court appearance. Therefore, the judge will set a high bail amount in this case.
Bail Bonds in California
There are a variety of ways to pay your bail in California. Since arrests are unexpected, paying that amount becomes challenging for many people. Using a bail bond is a prevalent way for many defendants to buy out temporary freedom while their case pends easily. With a bail bond, you employ the services of a bail bond agency. When you contact the company, they will send out a bail bond agent to post your bail and guide you throughout this challenging process.
Before you contact a La Crescenta bail bond agent, you will need to have this information about the defendant:
- Defendant’s full name. Before you call up the bail agent, you must have the full and official names of the defendant. Additionally, it would be a good idea to have their date of birth for easier identification.
- Jail location. When your loved one uses their one phone call to contact you from jail, you must find out the specific jail where they are held. Locating an inmate without the proper jail name and location is challenging and can delay the release process.
- Booking number. Providing the bail bond agent with a defendant’s booking number helps ensure that the right person is released on bail.
- Bail amount. When the bail bond company determines whether or not to offer you a bail bond, the amount of bail set by the court is critical. Therefore, you should know this information before seeking bail bond services.
When you contact the bail bond company, the agent appointed for your case will assess your situation to determine whether you and the defendant are eligible for the bail bond. One of the crucial aspects of the defendant that plays a part in this process is their flight risk. The company may hesitate to offer services if your loved one has a history of skipping bail.
Another factor the agency will assess before entering the bail bond agreement: is your ability to pay for the bail bond services. Bail bond companies charge a fee of up to 10% of the total bail for their services. Although bail is refundable, it is vital to remember that the premium is not refundable. Your ability to pay the premium and provide collateral for the bail bonds will increase the chances of securing a bail bond for your loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bail in La Crescenta
The issues around bail are complicated. Therefore, it is normal for you to feel confused and unsure of what to do when you find yourself or your loved one in a predicament. The following are frequently asked questions that could help you understand more about posting bail in California:
1. Can the judge release me without bail?
In California, some defendants are fortunate to secure their release without bail in a situation known as the recognizance release. If the assessment of your case indicates that you do not have a history of criminal activity and your charges are not violent, the court may decide to release you without a need for monetary commitment. During a release on OR, you must sign an agreement stating that you will return for your scheduled hearing.
2. Can I bail myself out of jail?
Yes. If you face arrest and have enough money to cover your bail, you can call up a loved one or friend to bring over the money and secure a release on cash bail. In this case, you will not need a cosigner and will be the only person responsible for your conduct and appearance for trial. However, there are many disadvantages to bailing yourself out.
Although the process is quick, posting a large cash bail can create suspicion in the eyes of the police, court, or prosecutors. Sometimes, you must wait a while for the court to conduct a financial investigation to verify the source of your bail money.
3. How long does it take to be released from jail after posting bail?
There is no exact amount of time you must wait to have your loved one home after posting their bail. Several factors could affect how your process goes, including:
- Traffic in the jail. Most jail process times vary depending on how busy the jail is. The process will likely be slower if your loved one is detained in a cell with many defendants.
- You will need to fill out a lot of paperwork when posting bail. Before releasing your loved one, the officer must check everything to ensure it is correct. If you do not want to go through this process, it would be best to post a bail bond. Your La Crescenta bail bondsman fills out all the paperwork for your loved one’s release.
4. Do I have a constitutional right to bail?
Although the constitution prohibits excessive bail amounts, bail is not always a right. When you first appear before the court, the judge decides whether or not you are eligible for a release on bail. Under the following circumstances, the judge can decide to hold you without bail:
- Capital crimes. The nature of your crimes is a significant factor when setting your bail for defendants facing charges for crimes punishable by life imprisonment or capital punishment. The likelihood of a bail denial is high. However, the defendant is entitled to a bail hearing even under these circumstances.
- Threat to the safety of others. The court can deny you bail if you threaten the safety of other people in the community. Dangerous defendants like serial killers are often held without bail.
5. How much does a bail bond agent charge?
Although posting a bail bond lessens the financial burden for you and your loved one, you must still pay for the services. In most cases, a La Crescenta bail bond agent will charge you 10% of the total bail amount as the fee for their services towards bailing a defendant out. Unlike the bail amount that is refundable at the end of a criminal case, the bail bond premiums are not refundable.
6. What is a bail bonds agent?
A bail bond agent is a licensed professional who helps a criminal defendant post bail and guides them through the bail process. A bail bond agent can either be independent or an employee of a bail bond agency.
7. Why do I need to hire bail bond services?
You can post your bail in cash, property, or bail bond. Using a bail bond may be your only option if you do not have enough money for the cash bail or valuable property to put up as bail. Some of the benefits that you may accrue from hiring a bail bond agent include:
- Cheap bail. Sometimes, bail amounts are very high, especially when you are a repeat offender and your charges are serious. Waiting to determine the total bail amount could delay your loved one’s release from jail. However, a bail bond costs 10% of the defendant’s bail and is easier to pay.
- Financial privacy. Paying bail for a loved one can be very suspicious, especially when your loved one is involved in a drug crime or white-collar crimes like fraud. The court and prosecutors will want to investigate the source of the bail money. This investigation can stall not only the bail process but also invade your financial privacy.
- Quick-release. Bail bond agents are available twenty-four hours a day. Therefore, they will respond quickly and process the release when you call them in the middle of the night after learning of your loved one’s arrest.
- Responsibility for a defendant. Bailing a person has numerous responsibilities to monitor their conduct and ensure they do not flee. You transfer the responsibility to the bail agent when you post a bail bond.
8. What is bail collateral?
- Bail collateral is what you offer in addition to or in place of bail money to secure a defendant’s release. Sometimes, the bail bond company could ask that you provide collateral in addition to the bail bond collateral. If a defendant skips bail and the court forfeits the bail amount, the bail bond company can use the collateral to recover their loss.
You can use several items as collateral for a bail bond. However, the item value must be enough to cover the bail bond value, and they include:
- Real estate property
- Savings and investment accounts
- Valuable jewelry
9. What happens if I fail to show up in court?
If you skip bail following a release on cash bail, the court will forfeit the amount you paid. However, in cases involving a bail bond, the court gives the bail bond company some time to find you and take you back to court, failure to which they lose the money used for bail.
An arrest in La Crescenta, CA, will result in detention in these facilities:
San Francisco County Jail
San Quentin State Prison
Elmwood Correctional Facility
The Courts around La Crescenta, CA, include:
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles
Find a Competent Bail Bondsman Near Me
One of the most common issues faced by criminal defendants in California is the issue of paying bail. Following your arrest and filing of charges, you may need to remain in a jail cell while the court schedules your trial. If you do not want to sit behind bars, you must pay a certain amount to the court. The bail amount is like a security deposit, assuring the court of your return for court proceedings and trial. If you adhere to all bail conditions and your case is concluded, you will receive your bail money back.
Unfortunately, bail amounts can be too high for many defendants to afford. For this reason, you may need to employ alternative measures to ensure your loved one does not remain in jail. Using a bail bond is a common way to buy a defendant’s freedom with a pending criminal case. Bail bond agencies offer you the full amount you need for your bail and charge a small percentage as a fee for their services. At Alomar Bail Bonds, we are available whenever you need to post bail for your loved one in La Crescenta, CA. Contact us today at 626-449-4118.