FREQUENTLY
ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT DOES BAIL MEAN?

When someone is accused of or arrested for a crime, bail is the condition of release, usually a in the form of a bond, cash, or collateral submitted on behalf of a defendant's pretrial release.

 

WHO SETS BAIL?

The magistrate or judge of the court approves and decides what type of pretrial release an inmate will be eligible for while awaiting trial. In most California counties, bond schedules are used per Supreme Court Ruling of Walker v. City of Calhoun, Georgia. Many arrested are released prior to seeing a judge due to the effectiveness of standing bond schedules. If a defendant has not bonded out within 24-72 hours, they will be seen by a magistrate judge to determine if a more suitable form of release is available , if any. This is known as a bail hearing. Click on the button below to see your counties bail schedule. So that way you can have an idea of what to expect.

 

HOW TO FIND OUT IF SOMEONE IS IN CUSTODY

Almost all counties in California have their own inmate database. 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. For more local inquiries, Joanna's Bail Bonds offers this service, free of charge, in the Resources section of our website. Click on the button below to go straight there.

 

WHAT IS BAIL FORFEITURE?

When a defendant fails to show up for all scheduled court dates while out of jail on the full set bail ordered by the court, any bail money paid upon the inmates release is routed to the clerk of the court. No money will be returned to the indemnitors or defendant this includes any 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 bondsmen) to pay the amount pledged as security to the court. After a defendant misses court and bail is ordered forfeited, the bondsman has a short time-span in which he can either return the defendant back into custody(aka. Surrender), Re-post the bond, at no cost to defendant other than the $200 fee usually(aka.Reinstatement), or forfeit the money put up as collateral for defendants appearances(aka Forfeiture).

 

HOW LONG AFTER POSTING BAIL IS INMATE RELEASED?

In most cases, it takes anywhere between 2 and 8 hours to be released from county jail after a bond has been posted. You will want to be sure you are using a licensed, experienced, and reliable bondsman in order to make sure the process is as fast as possible. Once the bondsman posts a bond, it is up to the jail administration to complete the paperwork process for the actual release. Contact Joanna's to ensure your getting the most experienced agent and quickest  services available.

 

HOW MUCH IS A BAIL BOND?

Bail bond amounts are contingent upon the type of crime the defendant is accused of committing. California state bonds typically cost 10% and federal bonds cost 15%. However, here at Joanna's there are discounts available for union members, veterans, clients that have paid a retainer fee to an attorney, as well as many others. Call us  today to see what sort of discount we can get for you. You could end up paying as little as 7%.

 

HOW DO I BAIL SOMEONE OUT OF JAIL?

After an inmate has been booked into custody(i.e taken mugshot, fingerprints, health evaluation, warrants check), most counties offer a systematic bail schedule. However, an inmate is only eligible for release at the discretion of the on duty deputy. Some of those who are arrested may be eligible for supervised release, or released on the own recognizance(aka. O.R.) if it is a first offense, the suspect is not considered a threat to community, not considered to commit another crime, or if the offense is a misdemenaor. 

If a bail amount is offered by the court, anyone who is age 18  or older with a state I.D or passport can apply to bail someone out of jail by either paying the full amount of bail to the court or by purchasing a surety bond for a small portion of the full bail amount from a commercial bondsman.  This person is known as an indemnitor. The indemnitor applies for a bond on behalf of the defendant if the defendant is unable to post bail themselves. As an indemnitor, you must take full responsibility for he defendant, ensuring that they make every required court appearances and abide by all court orders attached to the pretrial release. Click below to see if you qualify to be an indemnitor.

 

IS BAIL REFUNDABLE

If an inmate has paid the full bail amount directly to the court, he or she will receive a full refundafter they have attended all court appearances and met all court ordered requirements (minus any 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.

 

IF THE DEFENDANT IS RELEASED, THE D.A. DOESN'T PRESS CHARGES, AND ALL CHARGES ARE DROPPED, ETC...DO I STILL NEED TO FINISH PAYING FOR BOND?

Yes. The bail bond premium, and all fees attached to the bail bond , whether if arranged at the time of the signing, or after, are still required to be paid until the bond is completely paid off. Unless otherwise is known and acknowledged by all parties involved. Changes in the case make no difference on the original terms of payments. Remember, the premium is non-refundable once the bondsman has provided their service of having the bail bond posted on the defendants behalf. 


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 and signing contracts. That's why here at Joanna's we want to make sure every decision is a well thought out and informed one. We want everyone to understand the level of commitment and the investment it takes to post someones  bail. This way, chances of making an irrational choice 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 handles, and at times, that may or may not be posting through us.

 

HOW DO I BAIL SOMEONE OUT OF JAIL?

After an inmate has been booked into custody(i.e taken mugshot, fingerprints, health evaluation, warrants check), most counties offer a systematic bail schedule. However, an inmate is only eligible for release at the discretion of the on duty deputy. Some of those who are arrested may be eligible for supervised release, or released on the own recognizance(aka. O.R.) if it is a first offense, the suspect is not considered a threat to community, not considered to commit another crime, or if the offense is a misdemeanor. 

If a bail amount is offered by the court, anyone who is age 18  or older with a state I.D or passport can apply to bail someone out of jail by either paying the full amount of bail to the court or by purchasing a surety bond for a small portion of the full bail amount from a commercial bondsman.  This person is known as an indemnitor. The indemnitor applies for a bond on behalf of the defendant if the defendant is unable to post bail themselves. As an indemnitor, you must take full responsibility for the defendant, ensuring that they make every required court appearances and abide by all court orders attached to the pretrial release. Click below to see if you qualify to be an indemnitor.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU "SKIP" BAIL?

Skipping bail (aka jumping bail) takes place when a defendant posts bail to be released from jail while awaiting trial, but then does not show up for their court appearances intentionally to avoid prosecution or sentencing. When a suspect skips bail, it is often treated as a new crime( a felony in most regions). However, the court mist prove that the defendant is guilty of purposefully avoiding their 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 attend all required court appearances. However, if a defendant does end up missing court, there are easy solutions available, other than "going on the run". If the case in which they failed to appear for is a misdemeanor than the defendant can usually go to their counties court clerks office (where the case is being heard) and request to be put back on the court calendar. Once they have obtained a new court date they will have to notify their bondsman of the new court date. 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 at the next court appearance. 

If the case is a felony matter, than the defendant will have to contact their bondsman to obtain a "reinstatement letter". This is a letter to the judge stating that the bondsman chooses to reinstate the original bond and resume liability for their clients appearances at court. A reinstatement letter usually cost anywhere from two hundred to five hundred dollars. So it's best that you attend every scheduled court date. If you do miss court, make sure you stay in contact with your bondsman so that there is a level of trust among the two of you. That-way, they should have no problem allowing you to remain out on bail.

 

CAN A BONDSMAN REVOKE A BOND?

When a bail bond agent posts a bond for the pretrial release of a defendant, he or she is responsible for making sure the defendant attends all court dates and does not become a problem for the said victims or to the community. Therefore, when a bondsman issues a bond for an inmates release, an agreement is signed between the defendant and the bail agency noting and agreeing to any and all conditions of bail that the bondsman deems necessary.

If a defendant fails to comply with  conditions  set by the bondsman or ordered by the court, then the bail agency retains the right to release liability of the bond. This means signing a letter to the court stating that they are revoking the bond, as well as return the defendant back into the courts custody. However, a bond cannot be revoked because of issues due to lack of payment. Putting someone back into custody due to failure to pay is illegal, UNLESS, otherwise clearly specified in the bail conditions that the defendant signed at the time of their release. 

 

(209) 527-0911

(209) 527-0910

1202 H St Ste E, Modesto, CA 95354, USA

©2019 by Joanna R Smith Bail Bonds.