When you or a loved one are arrested, your priority is getting out of jail quickly. Posting bail is usually the quickest way, but most people still need to get thousands of dollars ready to cover the entire bail amount.
A bail bonds company can help by paying the fee for the defendant, and they or their family must pay back the remaining amount later.
Here's what to know and where you can find quality bail bond services in Los Angeles and surrounding areas in Southern California.
How the bail system works can be challenging to understand. This is often made worse by the stress of being in jail or having a family member who is.
Going over the key points of how courts set bail and how to get help to pay your bail fee can help you navigate the process.
A bail bond is a surety bond that allows for a defendant's release for only a small fee and guarantees they will appear in court on the day of their trial.
Instead of paying the entire bail to get out of jail, a bail bond allows defendants or their families to pay only a percentage of the total cost.
Then, the court releases the defendant until it's time for them to appear in court.
A bail bond agent acts as a form of surety to the court to guarantee that a criminal defendant won't flee the state or country before their trial.
Unlike a defense attorney who argues for the arrested person's innocence, a bond agent contacts the jail on behalf of the defendant and pays their bail for them.
There are three different types of bail available in California:
You may also be released on your own recognizance if you prove that you have no prior criminal history and the court determines that you're not a flight risk.
"Own recognizance" means that you don't have to post bail to get out of jail.
For example, if you can show that you have community connections or a local job, the process of setting bail may be waived, and the promise of returning for all your court appearances is enough to keep you from doing jail time.
However, this is rare for criminal cases in Southern California, and most defendants are expected to post bail.
When you or someone in your family is arrested for a crime, several things happen:
To successfully obtain a bail bond from a qualified California surety company, you will need the following information to get the bond posted:
When you work with an experienced bail bond agent in Los Angeles, they can walk you through the process of gathering the paperwork and identification you need, applying for payment plans, and more.
California allows defendants, their families, or a bail bond agent to post bail by using one of the following payment options and submitting it to your local court clerk:
Even though some risks are associated with taking out a bail bond to get out of jail, they can mostly be avoided by ensuring you show up to your court dates and make on-time payments to your bail bondsman.
You may be able to work and spend time with family while you or your loved one are awaiting trial.
While getting out of jail for a smaller percentage of your bail amount sounds like the best solution -- and it often is -- it's important to be aware of the risks of working with a bond company and how to mitigate them.
The most significant risk is missing your scheduled court appearance after posting bail through a bail bond company.
A bail bond business often uses bounty hunters to track someone down and ensure the defendant appears at their next scheduled court dates.
And when you're arrested again, courts will likely consider you a flight risk, and you may even be unable to get bail set at all.
Not all Southern California bail bond companies are created equal.
Unfortunately, many scammers pose as legitimate bail bond agents to trick unsuspecting and disadvantaged people into making payments believing it will help get them or their loved ones out from behind bars.
In California, along with most other states in the U.S., bail bond agents are required to be licensed.
Make sure the company you choose has good testimonials and online reviews and can be easily reached by telephone in case of any issues.
The last thing you want is to scrape together the last bit of money you have for bail, only to find out that the service you chose was a scam, and none of those funds went towards posting a bond.
CBB Bail Bonds are available day or night to answer your questions and help your loved one get out of jail fast.
Contact us to speak with our skilled bail bond agent at 562-740-8289.
We offer affordable payment plans for cash bail or a property bond so you can be released quickly.
In California, bail bonds are calculated at 10% of the total bail amount. If your bail is $15,000, the cost to get out of jail would be $1,500.
The time it takes you or your family member to be released from jail when you post bail varies based on several things, like the seriousness of your offense, when you were arrested, and whether or not the court system considers you a public safety risk.
For example, if the arrest happens on a Sunday or a holiday, you can expect a judge won't be available to set bail until the next business day.
Once the bond is posted, it can take between 30 minutes to several hours for the jail to process the release paperwork and for the guards to come to get the defendant from their cell.
In most cases, anyone arrested for a crime in California can go through the bail bonds process to get out of jail.
However, a judge can deny bail due to the defendant's criminal history or the severity of their alleged crime.
If this happens, a bail hearing will need to be set for the defendant to make their case for a lower bail amount.
A bail bond can be revoked before a defendant's court date for many reasons, most notably if they commit another crime while out on bail.
If a judge believes that you're unlikely to make your court appearances or if you were accused of a very serious crime, you may be denied bail entirely.
This means you must stay in police custody until your trial date.
If bail is denied, your criminal defense attorneys may be able to argue against it and request a re-evaluation of your bail schedule.
However, if the judge still determines that your bail is fair, you can only be released once your charges are dismissed, or you are found not guilty at trial.
Defendants must also remain incarcerated if they can't pay the bail amount or don't qualify for a bail bond. How long this may take varies greatly between inmates.
Sometimes, it may only be a few weeks until your trial can be scheduled.
If the allegations against you are more serious and the prosecution needs more time to gather evidence, a defendant could be stuck in jail for many months or even more than a year before a jury can hear their case.
A warrant will be issued for arrest if a defendant is released after posting a bond and fails to appear in court.
This may either be a bench warrant or an active warrant.
A bench warrant can be seen when police look up a defendant's information and allow them to make an arrest, while an active warrant means the police can go to a defendant's known locations to look for and arrest them.
A real pleasure doing business with CBB Bail Bonds. James helped me through the whole process and explained everything very thoroughly. Polite and professional customer service. These guys really set the bar for bail bonds services. After calling almost 10 other places, CCB Bail Bonds was able to give me the best rate. James worked with our budget and we were able to bring my brother home. These guys are experienced professionals and get the job done. Hopefully I will not need their services in the future but if I do, i know who to call first.