procedure for obtaining a bail bond


What is the procedure for obtaining a bail bond?

Bail bonds enable a defendant to post bail that he or she would not have been able to afford otherwise. On the defendant's behalf, the bail bondsman posts the entire amount. The defendant pays a percentage of the bail amount – usually 10% – to the bail bondsman. This is a non-refundable payment. The bond is frequently secured with collateral by the bondsman.

What is a bail bond?

A bail bond is a court payment made on behalf of a criminal defendant by a bail bonds company. As a result, it's classified as a surety bond.

Bail is the amount of money a defendant must post in order to be released from county jail prior to his or her trial. The bond will be reimbursed if the defendant posts bail and then appears at all mandatory court hearings and follows the terms of his or her release. The full bail sum is forfeited if the defendant fails to appear at a necessary court date.

Bail bonds allow defendants to post bail when their financial condition makes it impossible for them to do so on their own.

For instance, Max gets detained after being accused of attacking Nancy. Bail is imposed at $20,000 by the judge. Max does not have $20,000 in his bank account. Obtaining a bail bond may be beneficial to him.

Defendants can post bail using a bail bond. This allows them to be released from custody before to their trial. Defendants must, however, pay a percentage of the bail sum to get a bail bond. Even if the criminal follows all of the rules of pretrial release, unlike bail, this percentage is nonrefundable.

What is the bail bond process?

The defendant can contact a bail bondsman after the judge has set bail. The defendant or a loved one will be required to pay a percentage of the bail amount to the bondsman, also known as a bail bond agency. The standard rate is 10%. The release process will begin after the bondsman receives this cash. The remainder of the bail amount is frequently secured with collateral by the bond agent. If the offender fails to appear for bail, they must sign a contract forfeiting their property to cover the remaining bond amount.

If the defendant lacks sufficient assets to secure the bond, the bail bond agent may seek collateral from friends or family members.

The bondsman will post bail on behalf of the defendant once he or she has received the fee and is satisfied with the collateral.

Many certified bail bonds companies provide payment plans and a variety of payment methods if the defendant is unable to pay the charge. Credit cards, debit cards, and cash bail money are examples of this.

What does a bail bondsman or bail bond agent do?

Bail bondsmen are individuals or businesses who post bail for defendants. Bondsmen are for-profit businesses that make money by charging fees for bail bond services and bail posting. They also profit by suing to have any property used as security for the bail bond repossessed.

Bondsmen can make money in some states by bringing a defendant to court who has skipped bail. These bail bondsmen, often known as bounty hunters, can then take a percentage of the bond sum that the defendant has forfeited.

What happens if I forfeit bail?

Defendants who get a bail bond and then fail to appear in court forfeit their bail, owing the bondsman the whole amount of bail. The bail bond agency will also attempt to exercise his or her right to the collateral that secured the bail bond.

Bail bondsmen will frequently go to tremendous measures to ensure that the prisoner shows up in court before his or her bail is forfeited. They may even check in on defendants the day before their court date. They can try to drag the defendant to the courthouse physically.

If the defendant fails to appear in court, an arrest warrant will almost certainly be issued. The warrant will be served the next time law enforcement sees the defendant. If the underlying offense was a misdemeanor, such as a first-time DUI charge, officers are unlikely to seek out the defendant to serve the warrant. If the offense was more serious, they will go out of their way to find the defendant.

What happens if I show up to all of my scheduled court appearances?

If the defendant fulfills all of the conditions of his or her pretrial release, the bondsman will be reimbursed for the full amount of bail that was paid. The fee paid to obtain the bail bond is not refundable to the defendant. This is a non-refundable cost.

Are there alternatives to a bail bond?

At the bail hearing, defendants who are being held in pretrial confinement on bond that they cannot afford can request a bail reduction.

In California, offenders in detention have the right to a bail review hearing within five days of their initial bond setting.

1 Prosecutors must provide at least two days' written notice before the hearing if the offense was a significant or violent felony or a domestic violence offense. 2

Defendants and their criminal defense attorneys can request the following during the bail hearing:

  • a reduction in bail, or
  • a release on own recognizance.

Many jurisdictions' criminal justice systems, including California's, give judges a lot of leeway when it comes to establishing bail. 3 Judges in California, however, must still consider the following elements when determining a bail amount:

  • the defendant’s ability to pay,
  • the severity of the offense,
  • the defendant’s criminal record,
  • whether the judge thinks that the defendant will fail to appear in the future, and
  • public safety.
Furthermore, certain serious offences necessitate a bail payment of at least a specified amount.

Legal References:
California Penal Code 1270.2 PC.
California Penal Code 1270.1 PC.
California Penal Code 1269c PC.
California Penal Code 1275 PC.