How Does Bail Work in California?

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles

A person who has been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime can be released from jail in one of three ways: either they are released on citation, on their own recognizance (O.R.), or through a bail bond. Bail is a cash or cash equivalent payment (in the form of a pledge of personal property) intended to ensure that the defendant makes all required court appearances before or after a conviction. The amount of bail required for a particular case is set by the county, and will be held until the case is completed. If the defendant fails to show up to all required court cases, the bail may be forfeited, and the person who posted it may not be able to get it back. Bail in the form of real or personal property may be required to be twice the value of the cash deposit required to post bail.

How Do Bail Bonds Work?

A bail bond is a contract between the government and the surety, or the person posting the bail. The surety serves as a guarantor of the defendant’s appearance at all court hearings until the completion of their case. They assume the risk of forfeiture of the bond should the defendant fail to attend all required proceedings. When bond is posted, the defendant is released from jail.

Those who cannot raise the amount of bail through their personal finances have the option of turning to a bail bond company. Bail bond companies work like lenders, and can pay the bail for anywhere between eight and ten percent of the bail amount. This premium is the bond company’s fee for taking on the risk associated with the suspect possibly not showing up to court.

For example, if a bail is set at $100,000, the bail bond company will charge between $8,000 and $10,000 to post bail for the defendant. Usually, the bail bond company will require a cosigner for the bond (typically a friend, family member, or someone with excellent credit). The cosigner may also be required to pledge collateral in the form of a deed, cash, or other valuable property depending on the severity of the charges the defendant is facing. If the defendant should fail to appear in court, the bail bonds company will have to pay the bond amount to the court, and will then turn to the cosigner for repayment. If they are unable to pay the amount of the bail, the collateral will be used for the repayment.

While it may initially seem like a good idea to post bail through a bail a bond company, buying a bail bond could end up costing a person more in the long run, and the premium you pay the company is non-refundable. Before posting a bond, it is always wise to consult with an attorney to ensure that your best interests are being protected.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

We understand that if a family member or friend had been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor charge, your first priority is to help them obtain release from custody. Depending on which California county the defendant is being held, the process of getting out of jail can differ. Before you post bond through a bail bond company, we urge you to get in touch with Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you understand what options are available depending on the circumstances of the defendant’s case. On many occasions, we have even been able to help secure the release of the defendant without having to post bail. In some cases, this can potentially save clients a significant amount of money. This savings can then be applied toward the defendant’s legal counsel.

Considering a Bail Bond? Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners First!

There are many factors that are considered in the bail process, and purchasing bonds should only be used as a last resort. The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners have successfully handled thousands of criminal cases in Los Angeles and the surrounding Southern California areas. Our experience has allowed us a thorough understanding of the bail process, and as a result we know the best ways to work with judges, court personnel, prosecutors, and bail bond companies to help our clients obtain release from jail as cost effectively and quickly 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 during a free consultation regarding your questions about bail bonds or legal assistance.