How Bail Works in California

A person who is arrested can be held in jail until he is released on citation, on his own recognizance (also known as O.R. or "release on one's own recognizance") or posts Bail. Bail is cash or a cash equivalent intended to ensure the defendant's personal appearance at all times when it is lawfully required, whether before or after conviction. Bail is set according to a uniform county wide schedule of Bail. There are three ways to post bail: pay with cash or, check or; pledge real or personal property or use a bail bondsman (Note: In some cases, the equity available in real property must be twice the value of the cash deposit required for bail).

How Bail Bonds Work

A Bail Bond is a contract between the government and the surety. The surety acts as a guarantor of the defendant's appearance under the risk of forfeiture of the bond. In other words, the court releases the defendant from jail once a bail bond is put up for the defendant. If the defendant fails to appear in court or flees then the Bail Bond Company pays the court the entire bail amount.

Bail Bonds companies charge a premium (8 – 10 % of the designated bail) to post a bond with the court. This premium is the bond seller's fee for taking the risk that the defendant won't appear in court. A bail bond may sound like a good idea, but buying a bail bond may cost you more in the long run. The premium you pay the bail bondsman is nonrefundable. Always consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before posting a bond.

Los Angeles Bail Bonds

Los Angeles Bail Bonds companies usually charge 8 to 10 percent of the total bail amount to write a bail bond. For example, if the judge sets bail at $50,000, the bail bondsman will charge $4000 to $5000 to put up the bail for the defendant. The bail bond company usually requires a "co-signer" for the bond (generally the defendant's family member, friend, or someone with excellent credit). Depending on the seriousness of the charges, the bail bond company may also require the co-signer to pledge collateral (cash, a deed, or other valuable property). In some cases, the Bail Bondsman may record a lien on the co-signers or friend's property in order to secure the bail. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail bonds company is obligated to pay the court the bond amount. The bail bondsman then turns around and collects the bond amount from the co-signer. If the co-signer doesn't have the amount, the bail bond company goes after the collateral.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

When someone you know has been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony charge, one of the first priorities is to obtain the release from custody of the defendant. The process of getting out of jail depends on where the defendant is being held. The process varies from county to county. You should consult a lawyer immediately and turn to a Bail Bondsman as a last resort.

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners know what options are available depending on the defendant's circumstances. Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners regularly secure their clients' release without posting bail, which in some cases saves the clients a lot of money. The money saved from not posting bail may then be applied to the hiring of an aggressive Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.

Contacting Our Law Firm

There are many aspects to the bail process. The California criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners are experienced criminal defense lawyers who have handled thousands of criminal cases in Los Angeles and surrounding Southern California areas. They understand the bail process and know how to work with judges, prosecutors, court personnel and bail bond companies to get clients released from jail as quickly and cost effectively as possible. If you consult with us first, we will determine if it is absolutely necessary to use a bail bondsman, and if so, refer you to a bail bonds company that we trust to handle your case with the care and professionalism our firm demands.

If you or a family member has been arrested, call Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners and speak to a qualified and experienced attorney for a free consultation regarding your questions about bail bonds or legal assistance.