If you are considering bailing someone out of jail in Signal Hill California, you will need to know how the process works but more importantly you’ll need to understand your responsibilities if you’re giving indemnity. Indemnity is similar to an insurance that is a promise the defendant will attend his or her future court appearances.
In some instances, the judge will release the defendant without the need to post a bond. This is called an O.R. release which means by his or her ‘Own Re-cognizance’ or in other words, a pledge via honor. However, under certain circumstances where the judge denies the defendant the right to post bail, that is generally in connection with a certain crime. In most cases though, bail is required.
What is a Bail Bond and how does it work?
A Bail Bond is a monetary contract between a licensed bail agent and you, the signer which guarantees the defendant will appear in court. The purpose of the bail bond in the first instance is to ensure the defendant appears before a judge. However, if the defendant fails to appear at the scheduled court hearing, the full amount of the bail bond put up by you is paid to the court and is irretrievable.
Bail amounts vary throughout all California counties and each county has its own bail schedule that sets the amount for bail for the nature of each crime. Depending on the offense; if it is considered most heinous or horrendously evil, bail can inflate to a staggering amount up to $5,000,000. It is the judge who ultimately sets the bail and will in turn take into consideration the defendant’s criminal history, the person’s flight risk and the specific facts relating to the case. It is important to be aware of the O.R. release as mentioned as requesting such a procedure could alleviate some of the financial strain.
Three ways to post bail are:
- Through cash bail – The full amount must be deposited with the Clerk of the Court or the arresting agency. This money is refunded in full providing the defendant attends each specified court appearance.
- Through bail bond – Usually used as most people do not have the wherewithal to (legally) obtain large amounts of cash. This is in exchange for a non-refundable premium. Once secure, the defendant is released. See “Procedures when bailing someone out of jail.”
- Through property bond – a rare measure of payment, but it means putting your property in the hands of the court and if the defendant fails to appear before the judge, the court is then authorized to commence foreclosure proceedings to have your asset sold to recover the bond monies.
What are the procedures when Bailing Someone Out of Jail?
When a friend or a relative is arrested, a bail bond company is contacted wherein a free telephone consultation will be conducted. This is a call where basic information about the situation will be gathered during which time the bail bond consultant will determine the risk involved in the bond. They’ll then begin an approval process. Questions will focus mainly around the nature of the charges, when the person was arrested and how long the defendant has been known to the co-signer. Other questions will involve information about his or her living arrangements, employment and how long they’ve been working.
The co-signer is then given the opportunity to bail the defendant and the necessary documents will be processed and will need to be signed. If collateral is required, it will be something of value that the co-signer or defendant will offer to ensure the suspect will not leave town. Received will be a copy of the bail bond application and Indemnity Agreement and the co-signer will be issued with a receipt.
Your Responsibilities as a Cosigner
If you are posting a bail bond on behalf of the defendant or for another person, you are then recognized as the the cosigner who is now responsible for the appearance of the defendant in court. You will ensure that each court session is attended to by the suspect and if he or she fails to appear, the bond company will hold you responsible for repaying the bondsman if the bondsman fails to redeem same from the defendant.
The finalization of the paperwork is usually between one and two hours and a licensed agent will post the bond with the jail. The jail then processes the bond and releases the defendant. In most states, including California, bail is set by law usually at an amount of $20,000 and the entire service is chargeable to the co-signer. The service usually amounts to about 10 percent of the bail ($2000) and is mandatory by law and rates remain non-negotiable.
Once the defendant’s case is heard and resolved, the court releases the bail.
Should you wish to learn more about how bail works, you’ll find a wealth of information to assist you on the internet.
If you have any questions, please call us at 562-453-4211 to speak with one of our professional Bail Agents.