Following an arrest for committing a crime in California, the police officers will book you into a jail cell. Remaining in jail while waiting for the court to schedule your hearing can devastate you. In California, most defendants who face criminal charges have a right to a release from jail with a pending trial by posting bail. Bail acts as the guarantee that after your release, you will appear in court to face trial.
The easiest and fastest way to post bail for a loved one is by presenting the total amount in cash or check to the court clerk. However, the high bail amounts in California make it impossible for most defendants to afford cash bail. If your loved one is stuck in jail and you do not have the financial capability to post their bail, it would be wise to enlist the services of a bail bond company.
At Alomar Bail Bonds, we understand the urgency of you going home to be with your family while your case is pending. Our South Pasadena Bail Bonds agents will post your bail at a small fee and allow you to go home, move on with your life and meet with your attorney to build a defense for your case.
Overview of Bail in California
Arrests are common in California. Following an arrest, you can only be released before your trial. Bail is a monetary commitment that each defendant makes witty the court. If you are released on bail, you must appear before the court on specific dates for your court proceedings. The judge determines your bail during the first appearance before the court. You can post bail in cash, property, or through a bail bond agent. For a cash bail, you must present the total amount before a release.
You can use it as bail if you own or have sufficient equity for a real estate property, a vehicle, or other valuable items. However, for property bonds, the court will schedule a hearing where the property and value are determined. It would be wise to post a bail bond if you want a fast and cheap way to ensure a loved one's release from custody.
Bail Bonds Process
A bail bond is an agreement between a defendant and a bail bond company. Through their bail bond agent, the agency posts bail for the defendant at a fee which is often a percentage of the total bail. In addition to providing the finances, your South Pasadena bail bond agent is responsible for ensuring that the defendant honors the agreement with the court. The process of securing a bail bond follows the following steps:
Arrest and Booking
When police officers arrest you for violating the law, they will take you to the nearest sheriff's office or police station for booking. The booking proves in California involves fingerprinting, taking the mugshot, and recording personal information. At the booking, you have an opportunity to learn about your charges.
The booking process takes up to eight hours, depending on the workload at the police station. After booking, you will appear before the judge who sets your bail. The judges use a bail schedule to determine the base amount of your bail. A bail schedule lists all crimes and their bail amounts. In most cases, you will not pay the exact amount indicated in the schedules. The court modifies your bail based on the circumstances of your case and your criminal background.
Contact a Bail Bonds Agent
When you contact a bail bond company for assistance in posting bail, you must have the following information about the defendant:
- Full names
- Name of the jail where they are held
- Nature of their crimes
- Amount of bail required for their release
Using this information, the bail bond agent will draw a contract. If you cannot fill the contact by email or fax, you can ask to meet with the agent for assistance. Once you have filled all the paperwork, the bail bondsman will go to court and pay the bail for an immediate release of the defendant.
The bail bond agreement often includes payment of the premium of up to 10% of the total bail. If you cannot raise the premium in one installment, you can request a repayment plan from the bail agency. A bail bond repayment plan allows you to give a down payment and pay the rest in manageable installments.
Bail is not punishment for a crime. Therefore, if a defendant appears in court and adheres to all bail conditions, the court will return the bail money to the payer when the case ends. The outcome of a criminal case will not affect the bail bond agency's ability to recover the amount they paid for a bail bond.
Benefits of Hiring a South Pasadena Bail Bond Agent
Spending time in jail is devastating for anyone. Fortunately, even when you do not have the total amount required for their bail, you do not have to let them stay behind bars. With the help of a bail bond agent, you can enjoy the following benefits while securing the release of a defendant from jail:
In some cases, a defendant will not need to deposit any amount to the court for a release before trial because they qualify for recognizance release. Unfortunately, a defendant only qualifies for the OR release under the following circumstances:
- Their crime is non-violent
- They have an excellent criminal history
- They have strong family ties
- They are not habitual offenders
If your loved one does not qualify for a release without bail, you must present a specific amount to the court clerk before the defendant can go home. Bail money in California is often very high. If you decide to post a cash bail and you do not have the money at hand, your loved one will remain in jail until you raise enough money for bail.
However, with a bail bond agent, money is always available regardless of the amount of bail the court orders. When you call the bail bond company, they will assess your case and send an agent to handle it immediately. This ensures your loved one spends as little time as possible behind bars.
Safeguarding your Assets and Money
If you have enough money, posting bail in cash is the easiest and fastest way to ensure a release. Similarly, if you have assets, you can liquidate them to pay the bail. However, selling your assets in haste to pay bail could cause you to sell them for less than their market value. When you enlist the services of a bail bond company, you will not need to liquidate your assets or use your money. A release on bail does not mean that your case is closed.
You will need money to secure legal guidance for your loved ones when their court dates come. Therefore, safeguarding your assets by posting a bail bond is a wise move.
You Keep your Financial Life Private
One of the main disadvantages of posting cash bail is suspicion from the police, prosecution, and judges. Even when the defendant's crimes are not financial, posting a cash bail will open up doors for financial scrutiny. The court launches an investigation to determine the source of the money.
A release on bail is possible even in federal court. However, in this case, you must always attend a hearing where the prosecutor presents any evidence proving that you obtained the money illegally. The process of financial investigations can delay the bail process and invade your private life. When hiring a licensed bail bond agency, the court cannot investigate your finances.
You spend Less on a Bail Bond.
In California, bail amounts vary depending on your case's bail schedules and other factors. In most situations, the bail money is often too high, and raising it on such short notice is challenging for most defendants and their families. Using a bail bondsman's services lowers the amount you must pay for your loved one's release. Bail bond agencies often charge 10% of your bail as a service fee. This is usually a very small percentage of your bail money.
However, while the premium for bail bonds is a small percentage, it is vital to remember that this amount is not refundable.
The issues surrounding bail can be very complicated. Therefore, you will need some guidance and many questions that need answers. Direct interactions with court staff can take time so you will spend more time in jail. When you reach the court for questions about bail, you are one of the thousands of people with the same questions in the system.
When you link up with a bail bond agent, it is likely that they are working with fewer individuals and can reach you quickly to answer your questions. Bail bonds agents do not just hand you a check and go off. They have extensive knowledge of the bail process and can assist you in navigating it.
Responsibility for the Defendant
The work of a bail bondsman does not end when they post bail, and a defendant is released. When a defendant secures a release, they must promise to return for scheduled court proceedings. When you seek bail bonds services, the agent is responsible for ensuring that a defendant does not skip bail. If your loved one flees after bail, the company will employ the services of a bounty hunter to find them and return them to jail.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Bail Bondsman in South Pasadena
Facing an arrest or learning that someone you love is in jail is a stressful experience. The first thing on your mind is how to ensure their release as fast as possible. When you do not have enough money for bail, hiring a bail bond company becomes your only option to ensure your loved one is back home with you. With so many bail bond agencies out there, it is challenging to choose the right one. Some of the factors you need to look into when choosing a bail bond company include:
Arrests occur at any time, even during the night. You don’t want your loved one to spend unnecessary time in jail. Therefore, as you hunt for a bail bond company to help you with the finances you need to post bail, you must check if they are available any time you need them. Choosing an agency with agents available round the clock ensures that someone comes to your aid as soon as you call.
California law requires all bail bond companies to be licensed. Before settling for a particular company, you must ask about their license and certifications to operate in California. With a licensed company, you can be sure that a defendant is in safe hands. Even though the issue of finances may be pressing at this time, you should not be tempted to go for cheaper, unprofessional, and inexperienced companies. Some companies charge very low premiums since their reputation is not exactly what you want.
Check for Reviews
Finding a company you can trust with the freedom of a loved one can be stressful. At this point, you may be going through all sorts of emotions with uncertainty on your loved one's face. You want a company that provides not only the money but also the support and guidance needed throughout the bail process.
You can look into a company's reputation in several ways. By reading online reviews, you will have diverse opinions on the experiences that other clients have had with the company. While you read through the reviews, some you should check whether
- previous clients were satisfied with the services
- the speed at which the company responded to the calls
- The premium rates offered by the company
Good reviews will give you the comfort you need as you navigate the bond process. However, avoiding companies with similar and positive reviews would be best. People often have different views of things.
Posting bail involves giving money for a defendant's release from jail. The company posts the total amount when you hire a bail bond agent. You and your family shoulder up to 10% of the defendant's bail. When settling for a bail bond company, you must first consider their service fee transparency.
Securing a bail bond release and later realizing hidden fees and how payments are made is horrific. If in your first conversation with a bail bond agent they beat around the bush regarding charges, you should view that as a red flag and move on to the next.
Always ensure that you cover the topic in your initial interaction. If the bail bond company requires collateral for bail bonds, this should be the time they inform you about that aspect of their services.
Most people know nothing about bail bonds until they face an arrest or have to bail someone out of jail. Bail bond agents are supposed to be the experts on bail issues and should give you an insight into everything that goes on as you move along the process. In your first call, you can learn about their communication skills.
A good bail bond company is the one whose agents do not keep you in the dark about anything. If a defendant does not understand the bail conditions imposed by the court during their release, the bail bondsman is responsible for helping them understand. This ensures no bail violations, and the court refunds the bail money to the company.
If law enforcement officers arrest you in South Pasadena, CA, you may end up in any of the following jails:
Glendale City Jail
Monterey Park Jail
Courts serving South Pasadena, CA, Include:
Municipal Court-Traffic Division
Find a Skilled Bail Bond Agent Near Me
Facing an arrest is a stressful situation, both mentally and physically. No one wants to spend time in jail since it interferes with your everyday life and work and can cause severe emotional trauma. Unfortunately, the only way you can secure freedom from the jail cell before your trial in California is by posting bail. The bail amount acts as an assurance that you will appear for your criminal court proceedings.
Arrests are unexpected occurrences. Therefore, paying the total amount needed for a cash bail may be challenging for many defendants. Fortunately, you can seek the services of a South Pasadena bail bond agent and make the bail process faster and cheaper. Bail bond companies, through their agents, provide you with the financial help you require to post bail. At Alomar Bail Bonds, our agents have extensive experience helping individuals move through the bail process in South Pasadena, CA. Contact us at 626-449-4118 today.