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Please answer the few questions below, and then submit. An agent will get back to you promptly with all bail information and the ability to answer any questions you might have in order to start the bail process.
Questions & Answers Regarding Bail in the State of California
WHAT DOES BAIL MEAN?
When someone is accused of or arrested for a crime, bail is a condition of release, usually a bond or collateral submitted on behalf of a defendant’s pretrial release. Bail ensures the court a defendant will appear in court on his or her scheduled date, as well as obey any stipulations required in order for his or her release.
WHO SETS BAIL?
The magistrate of the court approves and decides what type of inmate release a defendant in jail will be eligible for while waiting for their trial to prove their innocence. In most California counties, bond schedules are allowed and used per Supreme Court Ruling of Walker v. City of Calhoun, Georgia. Many arrestees are released prior to seeing a judge due to the effectiveness of standing bond schedules. If a defendant has not bonded out within 24 hours, they will be seen by a magistrate judge to determine if a more suitable form of release is available.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF SOMEONE IS IN POLICE CUSTODY
Almost all of the counties in CA have their own inmate databases. If you know the county where the person you are looking for may have been arrested, simply do a search online for the law enforcement agencies in that area. You can also use an online tool provided by Vinelink.com to find inmates throughout the United States. Joanna's Bail Bonds provides a statewide inmate search tool here on our website. You will be required to do your search by county.
WHAT IS BAIL FORFEITURE?
When a defendant fails to show up for any scheduled court date while out of jail on the full set bail amount ordered by the court, any bail money paid upon the inmate’s release is routed to the clerk of the court. No money will be returned to the indemnitor or defendant (this includes any type of collateral used). If a bail bond was purchased by a commercial bondsman in place of the full bail amount ordered by the court, the court then demands for the surety company (aka: bail bondsman) to pay the amount pledged as security to the court.
HOW LONG AFTER POSTING BAIL IS INMATE RELEASED?
In most cases, it takes between two and eight hours to be released from county jail after a bond has been posted. You will want to be sure you’re using a licensed, experienced and reliable bondsman in order to make the process as fast as possible. Once the bondsman posts a bond, it is up to jail administration to complete the paperwork process for the actual release. Contact Joanna's Bail Bonds to ensure you get the most professional and quickest service available.
HOW MUCH IS A BAIL BOND?
Bail bond amounts are contingent upon the type of crime the defendant is accused of. California state bonds typically cost ten percent (10%) and federal bonds, fifteen percent (15%). However, here at Joanna's there are discounts available to all our clients to pay as low as seven percent (7%).
IS BAIL REFUNDABLE?
If an inmate has paid the full bail amount directly to the court, he or she will receive a full refund after they have attended all court appearances and met all court ordered requirements (minus any required court fees). But keep in mind, if a commercial bondsman provides a surety bond for the release, whatever money paid to the bond agent is non-refundable.
HOW DO I BAIL SOMEONE OUT OF JAIL?
After an inmate has been booked and fingerprinted in California, most counties offer a systematic bond schedule with bond amounts based on the type of crime committed. However, an inmate is only eligible for release at the discretion of the judge. Some of those who are arrested may be eligible for supervised release or a release on their own recognizance if it is a first offense and the suspect is not considered a threat to the community.
Once a bond has been offered by the court, anyone who is of age eighteen or over with a state ID or passport can bail someone out of jail by either paying the full amount set by the court or by purchasing a surety bond for a small portion of the full bail amount from a commercial bondsman. That person is called the ‘indemnitor’. The indemnitor applies for the bond on behalf of the defendant, but the indemnitor is responsible to make sure the defendant appears at all required court dates and abides by all court orders attached to the pretrial release.
CAN A BAIL BONDSMAN REVOKE A BOND?
When a bail bond agent posts a bond for the release of a pretrial defendant, he or she is responsible for making sure the suspect shows up for all court dates and does not become a problem for victims or the community. Therefore, when a bondsman issues a bond for the inmate’s release, an agreement is signed between the inmate and the bail bond company within the bail bond application.
If the defendant fails to show up for any of the required court dates or to abide by the bail bond agreement or conditions ordered by the court, the bail bond company has the right to release the bond. However, a bondsman cannot revoke a bond based on funds received or not received. Conversely, if the defendant fails to meet all payment requirements for a bond and then should need a bail bond again in the future, his failure in paying the previous bond could affect the defendant’s ability to obtain a new bond if arrested again.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SKIP BAIL?
Skipping bail (aka ‘jumping bail”) takes place when a defendant posts bail to be released from jail while waiting for his trial(s). But he then does not show up for a court date intentionally to avoid prosecution or sentencing. When a suspect skips bail, it is often treated as a new crime (a felony crime in some regions). Yet, the court must prove the defendant is guilty of purposely avoiding his hearing. If a defendant is indeed found guilty for skipping bail, the sentence could result in large fines and possible prison time.
Missing court is not jumping bail. A defendant should do everything in their power to ensure they make it to all required court appearances. However, if a defendant does indeed miss court there are easy solutions available, other than going on the run. If it is a misdemeanor, the defendant can usually go to their counties court clerks office (where the case is being heard) and request to be put back on court calendar. Once they have obtained a new court date they will have to notify their bondsman of their next required court appearance. Keep in mind, however, that a bench warrant is usually issued after a missed court date, and will remain active until a judge recalls the warrant in open court.
If the case is a felony matter, than the defendant will have to contact their bondsman that posted their bail and obtain a "reinstatement letter". This is a letter to the judge stating that the bondsman chooses to reinstate the bond and continue having their client out on bail. A reinstatement letter usually cost around $200. Other than the $200 reinstatement fee, no other charges will be applied. If you miss court, make sure you stay in contact with your bondsman so that there is a level of trust that will ensure your continuance on bail and out of jail.
IF THE DEFENDANT IS RELEASED, THE D.A DOESN'T PRESS CHARGES, THE CASE IS DROPPED, ETC..,DO I STILL NEED TO FINISH PAYING FOR BOND?
Yes. The bail bond payments (if arranged at the time of the signing) are still required to be made until the premium for the bond is completely paid off. Changes in the case do not make any difference to the original payment terms. Remember, the premium is non-refundable once the bondsman has provided their service of having the defendant “released from jail.”
In summary, promises are easily made in the moment of crisis and pressure. It’s great to help someone in times of need, but it is wise to make sure you know exactly what you are getting into, prior to making a hard line commitment. That's why here at Joanna's Bail Bonds we want to make sure every decision is a well thought out and INFORMED decision. We want everyone to understand the commitment and the investment it takes to post bail. This way, chances of making an irrational choices in the "heat of the moment" is least likely. We will give you our honest opinion on how we personally think the situation should be handled, and at times, that may mean not posting someone's bail.