Bail Bonds FAQs

Contents
  1. Are All Bail Bondsman The Same?
  2. Bail Bonds and The Right Bail Bonds Company?
  3. How Do Bail Bonding Agencies Make Their Money?
  4. Does a judge always grant bail for a murder defendant? If so, exactly how much can he pay to walk free?
  5. Does bail happen in real life like it does on TV?
  6. Does it ever happen that bail is denied?
  7. Does it ever happen that someone posts bail and does not go to court to stand trial?
  8. Finding the Right Bail Bonding Service
  9. How do bail bondsmen get into the business?
  10. How Do Bail Bondsmen Prevent Failures to Appear in Court?
  11. How Does a Bail Agent Offer Assistance to Defendants?
  12. How many times can someone be arrested and still get out of jail on bail?
  13. How to bail bonding agencies make their money?
  14. Should you only use trusted Bondsman?
  15. Financing
  16. Bounty Hunter
  17. I have heard that there are different types of bail bonds and am curious to know the difference. Can you enlighten me?
  18. Cash Bail Bond
  19. Surety Bail Bond
  20. Property Bail Bond
  21. Own Recognizance
  22. Citation Release
  23. Bail Bonds for Counterfeiting Violations
  24. Bail Bonds and Failure to Appear
  25. Different Bail Bond Amounts for Various Offenses
  26. Who needs a bail bondman?
  27. Is Bail allowed for prior escapees?
  28. High Price for Bribery
  29. Why did I have to pay more bail for my DUI than my friend did for his?
  30. Doesn’t the bail bonding agency make the down payment?
  31. What is real property?
  32.  Bail agent can bail out your family members!
  33. I wrote a check for more than I had in my account.
  34. Is Bail tax deductible?
  35. Do judges deny bail to people they think won’t show up to court?
  36. Is it True that Bail Jumping Is Mostly Prevented by Bail Agents?
  37. Are bail fees different in different counties?
  38. Kidnapping. Carjacking. What’s the difference?
  39. Why was my boyfriend denied bail?
  40. My boyfriend was booked on a DUI tonight.
  41. Forgot the little bottle was in his pocket when visiting sister in jail.
  42. Drag Racing
  43. Arrested for stalking ex-girlfriend
  44. Why is the bail so high for a school prank?
  45. Our son was arrested for making a fake ID in college
  46. Is it legit to use stocks as collateral?
  47. There seems to be thousands of bail bonding agencies in Los Angeles
  48. More information on Bail Bonds and the surety of Bail Agents
  49. No Bail
  50. Own Recognizance
  51. Public vs. Private
  52. Bail Levels
  53. Why Bail?

BAIL BONDS FAQs

Luna Bail Bonds in South San Francisco, San Jose, Modesto,  Hollister, Redwood City, San Mateo County and all around the bay understands that bail can be a confusing subject. That’s why we are doing our best to clarify everything related to bail bonds for you. No more confusion. Bail bonds South San Francisco simplified. Use our Frequently Asked Questions below to answer your bail bonds questions. Don’t see the San Jose bail bonds answer you were looking for? Send us an email, and not only will we respond quickly but we will also post our answer here for everyone! Understand the law and get your loved ones out of jail in South San Francisco, San Jose, Modesto, San Mateo County, Stanislaus County, Santa Clara County and all over California quickly! Lots of people have questions regarding bail such as if bail amounts for the same crime vary, if they have an active warrant, or even why someone might have been denied bail. Luna Bail Bonds San Jose is here for you and your family in your time of need. We can help in any San Jose bail bonds related situation! We are here to help you no matter what. Even if you don’t have money, Luna Bail Bonds South San Francisco even provides in house financing for those who have approved credit and/or cosigners, no matter what the size of the bail bonds might be!



Are All Bail Bondsman The Same?

 

All bail amounts come with an assumptive bail rate, which is kind of like a recommended starting rate for the bail. However, each judge and each jurisdiction in California treats bail differently. As such, no two localities will be the same when it comes to granting bail, just as no two judges will be the same. In terms of the assumptive bail rate schedule, these are the rates that it is recommended that a judge start the bail at. For example, if a person is arrested and booked for perjury, the assumptive bail rate is $25,000. Perjury is a penal code violation 118 and is a felony offense. Different judge, however, regard perjury differently. As such, which one judge may grant bail at $25,000, another judge might find reason to grant the bail at $30,000. When determining the amount of bail, the judge will take the circumstances of the case into consideration. For example, if a defendant is arrested for perjury, the judge might look at whether or not the individual was aggressive in court or said slanderous things. If the individual committed or possibly committed other penal code violations or displayed a hostile attitude, then it is likely that the judge will set the bail at a higher rate than if the defendant was peaceful and simple in his perjury. A bail bondsman can help you figure out what the charges are, if you don’t know and explain the amount and options you have.  (Bail Bonds FAQs)

The judge will also look at the history of the defendant. If the defendant has a particularly moving story for why he or she committed a crime, then chances are good that the judge will allow bail to be set at a lower rate, or may even allow the defendant to be released on his own recognizance. For example, if a young child was arrested for stealing food for his starving family, then chances are good that the judge would not require the boy or the family to pay bail, even though burglary is a violation of penal code 459, which is a felony offense and comes with a $30,000 bond. As you can see, the bail amounts differ throughout California based on the schedules and attitudes of each locality. The bail amounts also vary greatly according to the style of each judge as well as the particulars of a case. In order to increase your chances of getting a lower bail rate, it is important to consult with your attorney (the court will assign one to you) and to behave with all arresting officers and court representatives.

 

Bail Bonds and The Right Bail Bonds Company?

Yes there are. Though many individuals have criticized the existence of private bondsmen, several individuals have provided credible contentions manifesting the advantages of surety bonds over the release on own recognizance system. This debate has waged for a number of years, and often the criticism of either side of the debate relies on theory. However, two articles, namely those of Dr. Michael Block and Eric Helland and Alexander Tabarrok, present comprehensive evidence to establish the supremacy of surety bonds over release on own recognizance. Helland and Tabarrok in their article entitled, “Public versus Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from Bail Jumping,” explore the reasons for the increased efficiency of surety bonds. Helland and Tabarrok write of the extensive powers of a bondsman, stating, “Bond dealers and their agents have powerful rights over any defendant who fails to appear, rights that exceed those of the public police. Bail enforcement agents, for example, have the right to break into a defendant’s home without a warrant, make arrests using all necessary force including deadly force if needed…”

Besides these potent powers exerted by bond dealers, they also have more time and resources to dedicate to ensuring their defendants serve under the court’s jurisdiction, and as Helland and Tabarrok state, “In contrast [to bond dealers] public police bureaus are often strained for resources and the rearrest of defendants who fail to show up at trial is usually given low precedence.” In comparison, the rearrest and recapture of these defendants is the sole priority of bail agents.

Correspondingly, Block, who is a professor of Economics and Law, provides additional insight supporting surety bonds. Block examines statistics provided from the 12 largest counties in California, citing that increased failures to appear in court of those released on their own recognizance compared to surety bonds. Furthermore, Block writes of the increased cost effectiveness of surety bonds, stating, “We find that if Surety Bond releases comprised 52% rather than 45% of all releases in California’s 12 largest counties in 2000, the budget savings in these urban counties would have been over $1.3 million…In addition, we estimate there would have been a savings in social costs due to a reduction in the number of fugitives of about $13.3 million.” Identifying both the economic and statistical advantages of surety bonds, Block’s article corroborates with Helland and Tabarrok, maintaining the superiority of private surety bonds over defendants released on their own recognizance.

How Do Bail Bonding Agencies Make Their Money?

Bail bonding agencies are organizations that step in to lend money to defendants when they would like to be released from jail. Most bail bonding agencies will charge about ten percent of the amount of the bail in order to fork over the full amount of the bail. As such, if a defendant has a bail set at $100,000, then bail bonding agency will charge the defendant $10,000 as a down payment for the full amount of the bail. The bonding agency will give the court the full $100,000, but only as a guarantee that the defendant will show up to court to stand trial. In the event that the defendant fails to show up to court, the bail bonding agency will lose the full bail bond.

However, if the defendant does show up to court, then the bail bonding agency will get a refund of the amount of the bail bond that is equal to one hundred percent, minus some administrative fees. However, the down payment that the defendant has to make is not refundable. Therefore, if the defendant makes a $10,000 for a $100,000 bail, that defendant will lose all $10,000, even if he or she shows up to court. Defendants do not have to use bail bonding agencies. In fact, it is cheaper if a defendant can fork over the full amount of the bail on his or her own. When a defendant can pay the full bail amount, as long as the defendant goes to trial on his or her court date, he or she will get a full refund of the bail amount. However, most people do not have enough money in order to post bail, so they require the assistance of a bail bondsman.

If a defendant works with a bail bondsman and does not actually go to court to stand trial, the bondsman will likely send a bounty hunter after the defendant. When the bounty hunter finds the defendant, he can arrest the defendant and make him or her return to jail. In such a case, the bonding agency may receive a refund of the amount of the bail bond. The U.S. is the only country that allows bounty hunting. Bonding agencies may also make money if a defendant puts up real property as collateral for bail. If the defendant fails to show up to court, then the bail bonding agency may take the real property and sell it for more than it bought it for. Such is the case when a bonding agency takes out a lien on a house and sells the house at foreclosure for the cost of the lost bail bond money.

 

Does a judge always grant bail for a murder defendant? If so, exactly how much can he pay to walk free?

There are a number of penal code violations for which a judge will not allow bail. Murder is one of them. Prior escape from a prison or a jail might also be one of them. There are a variety of different penal code violations that are associated with murder and manslaughter. Each penal code violation is treated differently and is associated with a different level of bail.

With special circumstances, a straight-up murder will have no bail. It is a felony penal code violation of penal code 187. However, if a judge does grant bail for any reason, the assumptive bail rate will begin at $1 million. However, in many cases, the bail rate will be higher and will include bail for charges such as kidnapping, possession of a weapon, and more.

As far as other criminal offenses that involve taking a person’s life, here is a brief overview of each”

  • Gross Vehicular Homicide – which is usually a DUI with gross negligence – is a felony that has an assumptive bail of $50,000. It is penal code violation 191.5
  • Voluntary manslaughter is a felony and a violation of penal code 192a. The assumptive bail is $60,000.
  • Involuntary manslaughter is a violation of penal code 192b and has an assumptive bail of $25,000.
  • Manslaughter caused by driving a vehicle with gross negligence (but not a DUI) is a violation of penal code 192c1 and has an assumptive bail of $50,000.
  • Vehicular homicide – which is a DUI without gross negligence – has an assumptive bail of $50,000 and is a violation of penal code 192c3.
  • Manslaughter with a vessel is violation of penal code 1922.5 and can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. Assumptive bail is $50,000.

You can see that in many cases when a life is taken either voluntarily or involuntarily, the judge will grant a bail. However, when it comes to murder, the judge will either deny bail or set it at a very high level.

When bail is set at $1 million, a defendant will have to spend at least $100,000 to get out of jail as a down payment to a bail bondsman. That money will not be returned to the defendant either.

Does bail happen in real life like it does on TV?

That depends on what show you are watching! TV shows are always generally slightly more dramatic than real life scenarios. However, bail is a common theme that runs in many crime drama shows, as it is a common theme in most jails. Therefore, you will find some definite similarities between bail on TV and bail in real life.

In both real life and on TV, when a person is arrested and booked for a crime, the person will either be granted bail or denied bail. The person might also be released on his own recognizance if the crime is relatively innocuous. If the person is denied bail, then it is usually for a very serious crime, such as a murder or an attempted escape from prison. Bail is not ordinarily denied for what might be considered smaller-scale crimes, such as shoplifting and vandalism, as it sometimes is on TV.

On TV, as in real life, a judge is responsible for setting the bail for an individual. In both situations, a defendant will consult with an attorney to try to lessen a bail amount or to try to get out of jail on the defendant’s own recognizance. The judge will review the facts of the situation and set the bail amount accordingly. The bail amount will be based on a variety of factors. On TV, it seems as if the judge is often the only factor in consideration sometimes; the harsher the judge, the larger the amount of the bail. The situation may sometimes be the same in real life.

The factors that may determine bail in real life include the personality of the judge, the bail schedule for a particular locality, the type of crime that the defendant is accused of committing, the criminal history of the defendant, and the risk that the defendant may not show up to court to stand trial for the accused offense. The judge will take all of these factors into consideration when determining the amount of bail.

In real life, as on TV, if a defendant is rude and lashes out against law enforcement officials or court representatives, the defendant may be denied bail or may receive a higher bail rate than if the defendant or compliant with all of the rules of the court.

Also, it is generally not as widely stated on TV, but in real life, there is a schedule for the assumptive bail rates that are associated with particular penal code violations. These assumptive bail rates can be combined to add to the price of the bail. For example, if a person broke into a house, stole items and started a fire, there are two penal code violations for which the person will be booked. For violation of penal code 451b, arson to an inhabited structure, the assumptive bail is $75,000. For violation of penal code 459, burglary, the assumptive bail is $30,000. As such, the assumptive bail for both penal code violations will be factored into the overall equation when a judge sets bail. Sometimes on TV, it is not as obvious that the judge factors in the assumptive bails for multiple violations.

Does it ever happen that bail is denied?

Yes. Bail may be automatically denied for several penal code violations, including murder and a prior escape from jail or prison. However, bail may also be denied for a host of other reasons. When a person is arrested and taken to jail and booked, the person will have to stay in jail while he or she awaits his or her trial. If a judge reviews the case and decides that there is a reasonable chance that the defendant will return to court to stand trial for a crime and also believes that upon release, the individual will not pose a threat to society, then the judge will set a bail for the individual.

When a judge goes about setting a bail for a person, the first thing he or she will look at is the nature of the crime. The crime will have an assumptive bail rate associated with it. For penal code violation 187, which is murder, there is no bail, unless there are special circumstances. The special circumstances might warrant a bail rate that begins at $1 million.

For penal code violations 4532a and b, which are escape and attempted escape from prison with or without force or violence, there is not bail allowed. However, if an inmate violates penal codes 4532a or b, which is escape or attempted escape by a misdemeanant, inebriate, or person on work furlough from a jail or an industrial farm, the person will not receive bail if he or she had been convicted. However, if the person had not been convicted, he or she may receive a bail of $100,000, in addition to the bail amount that was posted on the original charge.

The judge might also deny bail for a number of other reasons. For example, if you have already stated to an arresting office or a representative of the pretrial release program that you do not intend to return to court to stand trial for your accused crime, then the judge may not grant your bail. Also, if your crime is so offensive that you could be a threat to civilians if you were released, the judge might also deny your bail, even if there is an assumptive bail amount associated with your offense. Such is the case when a defendant could possibly pose a threat to his victim.

Does it ever happen that someone posts bail and does not go to court to stand trial?

Yes. This actually happens quite frequently. When someone is in jail and wishes to get out while awaiting a trial, the judge may grant the person bail. The judge might also let the person go on his own recognizance. When the judge lets the person go on his own recognizance, there is a higher chance that the person will actually not show up for his or her trial than when the judge grants a bail for the person to get out of jail.

There are two ways in which a person may be apprehended after he skips trial. If the person has funded the bail on his own, then the law enforcement agencies in the area, state, or country will track the individual down to try to bring him back to court. The defendant then becomes a fugitive of the law.

If a bail bonding agency put up money to get the defendant out of jail, then the bail bonding agency has a vested interest in getting that individual back in front of a judge. As such, the bail bonding agency will employ bounty hunters to track down the defendant and return him or her to jail. The bail bonding agency may also escort an individual to court on the day of his or her trial just to make sure that he or she shows up. The U.S. is the only country that still allows legal bounty hunters.

In some cases, the defendant merely missed his trial date. In other cases, the defendant is on the run. A great deal of either private or public funds will go into ensuring that the defendant is tracked down and returned to court.

Remember, when someone pays a bail bond, the money will be turned over to the court if the defendant fails to show up to court. As such, a bail bonding agency or a private lender stands to lose thousands of dollars if a defendant skips court. For this reason, a great deal of resources are generally put into ensuring that an individual makes his court date.

Finding the Right Bail Bonding Service

When it comes to finding the right service for all of your bail bonding needs, you sometimes do not have very much time to do research. Generally speaking, when a bail bond is required, it is requested by a friend or a family member of someone that is in jail. The friend or the family member may be familiar with the bail bonding process or may have someone that can provide insight into the process, but more times than not, the individual needs some information fast.

The first thing many people do when they are looking for bail bonds is consult a directory, such as a phone book or an online directory. Many jails and government agencies will also have a list of bail bonding agencies that they recommend. When finding the agency that works for you, you may not hve time to do a lot of research, but if you can spare a few moments, the following steps can help to make the bail bonding experience as smooth as possible:

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau for information about the bail bonding agency. You will want to be sure that there are no claims filed against the company for any reason (such as mishandled funds). You can look for information on the BBB Website or you can all your local bureau if it is during business hours.
  • Speak with a representative or a bonding agent from the bail bonds agency about your options. What sort of down payment will they require (it is usually ten percent, so if the agency requires anymore of a down payment, you will likely be able to find a more affordable service). As about payment schedules as well. Find out if you will have to use real property as collateral for the bail bond (real property might include a car or a house.)
  • Ask for references or referrals from associates. You may be upset when you initially hear that a loved one is in jail and needs to be bailed out, but take a moment to think of someone that you know that may have been in a similar situation. Chances are good that you will know at least one person that has been in jail or has had a friend or family member in jail. For example, you may have had a friend go to jail for a DUI. Ask these individuals if they have any recommendations for bonding agencies or for bail bonding tips when searching for the right agency.

Most of all, when it comes to finding a bail bonding agent that can service all of your bonding needs, trust is the most important factor. You want to be sure that no matter how immediate your need is, you are able to put trust in the bonding agent that will be in charge of ensuring the release of your loved one.

 

How do bail bondsmen get into the business?

In order to become a bail bondsman, a person has to obtain a license. Many bail bondsmen are also bounty hunters, which means that they have the authority to track down and arrest a defendant if the defendant fails to show up for court. In such a situation, the defendant is, technically, a fugitive. If a bail bondsman is not also a bounty hunter, the bondsman will have a relationship with a bounty hunters. Many bounty hunters are former athletes (such as football players), or they are former police officers.

If a person wishes to open a bail bonding agency, then he or she must obtain a bail bonding license. He or she must also obtain a business license from the city or county in which he or she wishes to open the business. The person might also want to register the business and the business name with the government so that they can get a trademark. Then, the person would proceed with the business just like any other business, by opening a bank account, setting up marketing plans, opening an office and so forth.

Bail bondsmen also have a variety of relationships that they need to maintain. As such, bail bondsmen should be familiar with sureties and insurance companies so that they can get the best rates available on policies. Bondsmen also need to have relationships with bounty hunters and law enforcement officials. Many bail bonding agencies also work hard to develop their relationships with attorneys so that they can get referrals.

There are a variety of ways to get into the bail bonding business. Be sure that you understand the financial risks that are associated with bail bonds as well. After all, if you bail a defendant out of jail and he or she does not show up in court, you stand to lose thousands of dollars.

How Do Bail Bondsmen Prevent Failures to Appear in Court?

When a defendant goes to jail, they are later released upon the payment of a set amount, known as bail. The defendant pays this sum in the form of a bond. A growing number of defendants have enlisted the service of a bail agent or surety bond to help pay the cost of the bond. When a bail agent pays a bond, they become responsible for the appearance of the defendant in court. The defendant must appear in court on the date given or else the bail agent is personally responsible, incurring additional costs.

So, why then are bail agents more effective at preventing failures to appear in court than release on own recognizance? The answer is simple. Due to the financial obligation and interests the bail agent has in each defendant, they will guarantee the appearance of their defendant to safeguard their own interests.

Often bail agents utilize bounty hunters to chase down and bring defendants to justice if they attempt to jump bail. Bounty hunters employed by bail agents have rights to arrest and search for clients just as police officers would. Moreover, bounty officers and bail agents have more time to spend searching for defendants, which certifies to actually find the defendant and bring them to justice.

Many opponents of the bail agent or surety bond system have suggested that release on their own recognizance provides more incentive for a defendant to show up in court. Yet, statistics have proven the opposite to be true according to a number of articles, namely the articles by Dr. Michael Block and Eric Helland and Alexander Tabarrok. Dr. Block not only confirms the aforementioned assertions, but he also calculates the projected savings incurred by the use of surety bonds or bail agents over those released on their own recognizance.

Block cites his information by looking at the statistics of the 12 largest counties in California, pointing out that less FTA (failure to appear) rates are produced from surety bonds. Furthermore, Helland and Tabarrok provide persuasive reasoning to concur with the assertions of Block, citing the increased resources and time available to bail agents. They argue that police bureaus are understaffed, so many defendants who fail to appear are issued warrants for rearrest, but rearrest is often impossible due to the importance of other issues in the police precinct. Both articles highlight the convincing evidence in support of surety bonds and bail agents over the defendant’s release on their own recognizance.

 

How Does a Bail Agent Offer Assistance to Defendants?

Bail Bonds are designed to assure that defendants will appear in court for the criminal proceedings at the designated time and date. Consisting of written assurances signed by defendants, bail bonds indicate that a fixed sum must be paid to the court if the defendants fail to appear at their hearing dates. Incapable of posting bail, numerous defendants necessitate the services of a bail agent. By enlisting the services of a bail agent, defendants pay a nonrefundable fee of about 10 to 20 percent of the bail requirement, and the bail agent posts bail.

Upon the payment of bail in the form of a bond, the defendant along with the bail agent agrees to return to court at the specified date. A court clerk supplies a ticket to the defendant to document the payment of the bail, and the defendant is then released from custody. If the defendant fails to appear in court at the given time specified to them by the court, a warrant will be issued for the arrest of the defendant for “jumping bail.”

The United States has popularized the use of bail bondsmen. Bail bondsmen are allowed by the law to force their defendants to appear in court in order to recover the money they have paid. A bail bondsman may enlist the help of a bounty hunter to track down their defendants and bring them under the jurisdiction of the court. Almost all jurisdictions require that a bondsman obtain a license to conduct business. In addition, the bondman may even sue the defendant if the defendant fails to appear in court.

Four states in the United States have prohibited entirely the use of commercial bail bondsmen. These states, in some instances, permit certain organizations to provide bail bond services for members of these organizations. An example of such an organization might be the American Automobile Association (AAA) or various insurance organizations.

There are several options presented to defendants in the forms of bonds upon their release. Cash bonds, surety bonds, and property bonds are among the types of bonds that, when paid, warrant the release of the defendant and the assurance that the defendant will appear in court. A cash bond is generally completely paid in cash. A surety bond enlists the services of a bond agent, as previously indicated. In a property bond situation, the defendant uses property of the corresponding value as security that they will appear in court. If the defendant fails to show up, the foreclosure process is initiated on the property. In many circumstances, surety bonds are utilized, and the assistance of a bond agent is required to handle bail situations.

 

How many times can someone be arrested and still get out of jail on bail?

Does it ever happen that someone can be arrested so many times that they can’t get out of jail anymore?

Yes. When it comes to getting out of jail on bond, each person’s situation is handled differently, within the bounds of certain parameters. After a person gets arrested, a judge will review the case along with a pretrial release representative. The judge will decide that the bail amount will be, if he or she decides that a bail is possible for the defendant and for the crime that the defendant is accused of committing.

In the event that a judge reviews a case and sees that a defendant has either committed the same crime multiple times or that the defendant has an extensive criminal history, the judge may decide not to release the defendant on bail. The circumstances may be different for defendants that have to deal with different judges in different counties as well.

Keep in mind that when a person gets out of jail on bail, the judge is basically stating that he or she believes there is a reasonable enough chance that the person will return to court to stand trial for the crime he or she has been accused of committing. In the majority of cases, if a person is released on bail, there is a higher percent chance that the person will return to court for trial than if the person had been released on his or her own recognizance.

However, if a judge determines that, even though a person might return to court in order to stand trial, the person would not be safe walking around amongst the public, then the judge might deny bail. For example, if a person has been arrested multiple times for the same crime, it could be deduced that the person has not learned a lesson. If the crime is something like creating bodily injury to someone, then the judge could decide that the risk is too great to let the person out on bail.

As such, there is no set amount of times that a person can be arrested and be denied bail. However, there are situations in which a person can be arrested so many times that they have to serve an increased sentence in prison or jail if they are convicted of a crime. Depending on the crime, the person may be eligible for parole or release from jail though.

Every case truly is different. That’s why it’s nearly impossible to affirm blanket statements such as the number of times a person can get arrested before bail is automatically denied.

 

How to bail bonding agencies make their money?

Bail bonding agencies are organizations that step in to lend money to defendants when they would like to be released from jail. Most bail bonding agencies will charge about ten percent of the amount of the bail in order to fork over the full amount of the bail. As such, if a defendant has a bail set at $100,000, then bail bonding agency will charge the defendant $10,000 as a down payment for the full amount of the bail. The bonding agency will give the court the full $100,000, but only as a guarantee that the defendant will show up to court to stand trial.

In the event that the defendant fails to show up to court, the bail bonding agency will lose the full bail bond.

However, if the defendant does show up to court, then the bail bonding agency will get a refund of the amount of the bail bond that is equal to one hundred percent, minus some administrative fees. However, the down payment that the defendant has to make is not refundable. Therefore, if the defendant makes a $10,000 for a $100,000 bail, that defendant will lose all $10,000, even if he or she shows up to court.

Defendants do not have to use bail bonding agencies. In fact, it is cheaper if a defendant can fork over the full amount of the bail on his or her own. When a defendant can pay the full bail amount, as long as the defendant goes to trial on his or her court date, he or she will get a full refund of the bail amount. However, most people do not have enough money in order to post bail, so they require the assistance of a bail bondsman.

If a defendant works with a bail bondsman and does not actually go to court to stand trial, the bondsman will likely send a bounty hunter after the defendant. When the bounty hunter finds the defendant, he can arrest the defendant and make him or her return to jail. In such a case, the bonding agency may receive a refund of the amount of the bail bond. The U.S. is the only country that allows bounty hunting.

Bonding agencies may also make money if a defendant puts up real property as collateral for bail. If the defendant fails to show up to court, then the bail bonding agency may take the real property and sell it for more than it bought it for. Such is the case when a bonding agency takes out a lien on a house and sells the house at foreclosure for the cost of the lost bail bond money.

 

Should you only use trusted Bondsman?

When you work with a bail bondsman, you are engaging in a business practice that is associated with a great deal of money. In many cases, you will pay a down payment to a bail bondsman, show up in court, and never see the bail bondsman again. However, in certain circumstances, you may develop a long term relationship with a bondsman.

Here are those circumstances:


Financing

If you have to finance your bail bond with a bail bonding agency, then you will likely have to make regular payments for a significant amount of time. The amount of your down payment depends on the amount of bail that you have been released on. For example, if you have been released on $100,000, then you have probably paid $10,000 to a bail bondsman, which is about ten percent. Ten percent is an industry standard when it comes to a bail bond down payment.

If you do not have $10,000 and do not have access to family and friends that can loan you the money, then you have a couple of options. One option is to put up collateral, such as stocks or real property, as a promise that you will pay your debt to the bail bonding agency. The agency may hold onto that collateral until your debt to them is entirely paid.

A second option is that you can finance your portion of the bail through the bail bonding agency. Most bail bonding agencies will allow you to finance your debt if you have good credit. Financing may involve using a credit card to pay the debt, or it may involve monthly payments to the bail bonding agency for a period of years. As such, your relationship with the bail bonding agency could be as long as your relationship with a car dealer; the price of both transactions could be the same.

Bounty Hunter

In the event that a bail bonding agency gets you out of jail, you are obligated to return to court in order to stand trial for your crime. However, it often happens that defendants do not return to court. In such a circumstance, they are considered fugitives. If a bail bonding agency has paid for the individual to get out of jail, then the agency will use bounty hunters to track the individual down.

If a bounty hunter comes after you, you better believe that you have a very particular relationship with your bil bonding agency. This relationship will last for as long as you are on the run.

I have heard that there are different types of bail bonds and am curious to know the difference. Can you enlighten me?

Sure. There are different types of bail bonds that you can choose from if you are getting ready to post bail for someone. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular bail bond forms:

Cash Bail Bond

A cash bail bond is a bond that you can pay with cash collateral. A cash bond is paid in cash and is one of the simplest forms of a bail bond that you can have, simply because there is far less paperwork than other forms of bail bonds. However, if you lose the cash bond when a defendant fails to show up in court, you will not get this cash back. As such, if you post a cash bond, keep in mind that you may never have those funds repaid to you by the defendant.

Surety Bail Bond

A surety bail bond is significantly more drawn-out and is, therefore, not as immediate. In general, a surety bond is used when a bail is set at a level that is too high to be paid in cash. In order to make a surety bail bond, you will need to draw up a contract and have that contract guaranteed by an insurance company. In such a situation, the bail bondsman will contract with an insurance company to ensure that a defendant shows up to court for trial. If the defendant fails to show up to court, then the bonding agency must repay the bond. In the event that the defendant fails to show up to court, the bondsman has a right in the U.S. to track that individual down through bounty hunting methods and return the individual to court.

Property Bail Bond

A property bail bond is similar to a cash bail bond in that the individual that is assisting the defendant with the bond will allow the court to put a lien on his or her property for the amount of the bail. If the defendant fails to show up in court, then the bonding agency may receive a portion of the property after the court initiates a foreclosure on the property. As such, the person helping to post the bail stands to lose real property if the defendant fails to show up in court.

Own Recognizance

Own recognizance occurs when a member of a pre-trial release program speaks with a defendant on the phone for the purpose of determining whether or not the individual truly plans to return to court to stand trial for the crime he or she is accused of.

Citation Release

Many people are released from bail by the arresting officer just prior to being arrested. When this happens, it is called a Citation Release or a Cite-Out. In such a case, the defendant may not be placed in custody and the court believes that the defendant will return to court to stand trial.

Bail Bonds for Counterfeiting Violations

I was arrested for using washers in the toll booth instead of coins and put on bail for $10,000. Why is my bail so high when it’s just a $1.00 toll? I didn’t do this 10,000 times!

You have just learned that counterfeiting of a coin violates penal codes 477, 479, and 480 and is a felony offense. The assumptive rate of bail is set at $10,000. However, if you have violated these codes on multiple occasions, you should consider yourself lucky that the judge did not make your bail higher.

$10,000 is a large bail considering you probably only saved a handful of dollars every time you used a counterfeited coin. The good news is that as long as you show up to court on the day of your trial, you will probably only have to pay $1,000. The $1,000 is the money that you will have to pay for a bail bonding agency to get you out of jail. Here’s how that process works:

In order to get out of jail, as you know, the judge has set a bail for you. The amount of this bail is determined by a bail schedule for certain crimes. The judge will also take other factors into consideration when determining your bail, such as a past criminal history and the risk that you may flee and not return to court in order to stand trial.

Unless you can post the full amount of bail yourself (and it sounds as if you do not have $10,000 to pay bail), then you will rely on a bail bonding company to post the bail for you. When this happens, you will pay the bail bonding agency a down payment for its services. Most bonding agencies require a ten percent down payment and some accept payment through credit cards.

The bonding agency will then pay 100 percent of the bail in order to get you out of jail. The bonding agency then becomes responsible for ensuring that you return to court in order to stand trial. As long as you return to court, the bonding agency will get 100 percent of the money back, less some administrative fees. However, if you do not return to court, then the bonding agency must pay the full bail amount and will likely come after you in order to get payback.

You will never get a refund of your down payment, even if you return to court.

You have learned a valuable lesson about using counterfeited coins!

 

Bail Bonds and Failure to Appear

I have heard that when people are released on their own recognizance versus when they are released on surety bonds, there are most likely to fail to appear in court. Is this true? Where can I find information about it?

Varying FTA (failure to appear) rates have been verified from bonds of defendants released on their own recognizance compared to those who use bail bondsmen for surety bonds. Two articles, in particular, provide numerous statistics, figures, and reasoning to affirm the efficacy of surety bonds over own recognizance.

Dr. Michael Block, professor of Economics and Law at the University of Arizona, produces numerous graphs exploring the cost effectiveness of surety bonds. Block first displays the increased incidence of FTA rates in those released of their own recognizance versus those with surety bonds in his early depictions. Block proves that over a ten percent increase for those released on their own recognizance. Block shows the projected savings that could be accumulated if the number of surety bonds surpassed the number of own recognizance releases.

If virtually all bonds were surety bonds, Block predicts that an estimated $109 could be saved from 12 urban counties in California. Block writes, “We find that if Surety Bond releases comprised 52% of all releases in California’s 12 largest counties in 2000, the budget savings in these urban counties would have been over $1.3 million.” Block reaffirms the advantages of surety bonds through his article’s entirety.

Similarly, Eric Helland and Alexander Tabarrok write convincingly of the advantages of surety bonds by employing theory and equations in their article entitled, “Public versus Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from Bail Jumping.” Helland and Tabarrok indicate the interest a bondsman holds in ensuring a defendant shows up at the appointed court date due to their financial involvement.

Moreover, a bondman can utilize the services of a bounty hunter to force the defendant to be brought under the jurisdiction of the court. Helland and Tabarrok also declare that bondsmen have increased time and resources to spend on ensuring a defendant is brought to justice, whereas often police bureaus lack the resources and staff to hunt down those who have jumped bail.

Helland and Tabarrok, like Block, explore the data and statistics, writing, “In light of the persistent criticism that surety bail encourages FTA it is perhaps surprising that the data consistently indicate that defendants released via surety bond have lower FTA rates than defendants released under other methods.”

Undoubtedly both articles display persuasive arguments advocating surety bonds and the efficacy of the private system over the public system of release on own recognizance.

 

Different Bail Bond Amounts for Various Offenses

I have noticed a huge difference in the amount of bail from one offense to the other. What kind of categories draw what kind of bail amounts? For example, would there be a difference between bail for speeding and bail for an OSHA violation?

You’re right in noting that there can be a huge difference the amount of bail from one offense to the other. In general, the assumptive bail for crimes can range between about $7,500 and $1 million, depending on the offense and other factors that the judge might take into consideration when determining the bail amount. A judge might also deny bail or let a defendant out of jail on his or her own recognizance.

There are five basic penal code categories, which are:

  • General
  • Welfare and institutions
  • Health and safety
  • Business and Professions
  • Vehicle Codes

When you look at the bail amounts for penal code violations within each of these categories, you will find that many of the violations are within the same assumptive bail band. Plus, while some criminal violations may seem like the same thing, the penal system views them differently. For example, burglary may have an assumptive bail between $15,000 and $30,000 for violation of penal code 459. However, burglary with explosives violated penal code 464 and has an assumptive bail of $50,000. It should also be noted that burglary with explosives is a felony, while burglary with tools (penal code violation 466) is only a misdemeanor, but it has the same assumptive bail rate.

In terms of the difference between bail for speeding and bail for an OSHA violation, as you can imagine, there are a number of variations to each penal code violation that can change the assumptive bail amount by a great deal.

In any event, when it comes to posting bail, the bail bonding agencies will treat every type of penal code violation the same way. Bail bondsmen will general post bail no matter what the penal code violation, as long as the defendant is able to come up with a ten percent down payment on the amount of the bail.

 

Who needs a bail bondman?

Many people that are arrested and booked require the services of a bail bondsman. When a judge sets the bail amount that is required in order for an individual to get out of jail, that bail amount is usually too high for people to pay on their own. However, when a defendant enlists the help of a bail bondsman, the defendant merely has to give the bondsman a ten percent (or less) down payment on the cost of the bail and the bail bondsman will fork over 100 percent of the bail amount to the court.

Here’s more detail about the process:

When a person is booked, the person will be held in jail until his or her trial unless a judge grants bail. If a judge grants bail, the judge is essentially saying that he believes the defendant will return to court in order to stand trial for a crime, but that he wants a guarantee. The bail is the guarantee. Basically, the bail is money that the court will hang onto until the trial. If the defendant shows up to trial, then the court will release the money back to the defendant or the bail bonding agency (whomever paid the bond in the first place). However, if the defendant fails to show up to court, then the court will keep the money that the bail bonding agency or defendant turned over.

As such, it is in the best interest of all interested parties that the defendant returns to court on the day of his or her trial.

When a bail bond is set, it is generally several thousand dollars, depending on the crime and the circumstances of the individual and the case. Because this bail is generally beyond financial reach for most people, they turn to the bail bonding agencies for help. The defendant (or loved ones of the defendant) will pay ten percent of the bail amount to the bail bonding agency. The defendant will never get this money back, even if he shows up to court and the court released 100 percent of the funds that the bail bonding agency put up. The down payment is a payment to the bonding agency for its services.

So, if a defendant has a bail set at $10,000, then he has to put up $1,000 for a bail bonding agency to fund the full bail bond in order to get him out of jail. Otherwise, if the defendant does not use a bail bonding agency, he will either sit in jail while he awaits his trial or he will have to fund the bail amount on his own.

 

Is Bail allowed for prior escapees?

I was just curious about whether or not bail would be allowed if a person had tried to escape or had actually escaped from prison before.

No. According to penal codes 4530a and b, escape, attempted escape from prison with or without force or violence are both not eligible for bail. This means that if a person has attempted to escape or has escaped from prison in the past and is caught, that person will be booked and will not be able to be released from the booking on bail. The person will have to await trial in jail.

The reason that the defendant will be denied bail is because the judge will determine that the individual is most likely not going to return to court in order to stand trial for an offense. When a judge believes that a person is a certain flight risk, he will not allow bail, no matter how high the bail amount might be.

If the person had committed a letter offense, then chances are good that the judge might grant bail, but would put the bail rate at a high level so as to assure that the defendant will return to court to stand trial.

If a person escaped or attempted to escape from a jail or industrial farm (if the person was serving time for a felony or a misdemeanor), then the person may be eligible for bail, depending on whether or not the person was convicted of the crime. If the person had been convicted of a crime for which he was serving time, then he or she is not eligible for bail. However, if the person was not convicted, then he or she may have a bail amount set at $100,000 plus the bail amount on the original charge for which the person was serving time. Both of these circumstances are listed in penal codes 4532a and b.

 

High Price for Bribery

I was put into jail for bribery of a judge and resisting arrest. My bail was set at $115,000. However, my attorney said that if I had just resisted arrest and not bribed the judge, my bail would be less. About how much less and why?

The assumptive bail amount for resisting arrest is set at $15,000. Resisting arrest or deterring an officer is in violation of penal code 69 and is a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.

The assumptive bail amount for bribery, offering or accepting a bribe by judges, jurors and referees has a much greater amount – starting at $100,000. Bribery of such a person is in violation of penal codes 92 and 93.

When you committed both crimes, the judge looked at the fact that you know only resisted arrest, but you also bribed him (or another judge). The judge would have included both crimes when he determined what your bail would be.

In addition, you will probably have an additional bail for the original crime that you were being arrested for. Therefore, make sure that $115,000 is not the only bail amount that you need to pay; you’ll likely have to pay much more.

If you had not resisted arrest and attempted to bribe a judge, chances are good that you may have been released from jail without having to pay bail. Of course, these chances depend on what your original crime was. If you were arrested for murder, for example, you would not be able to get out of jail on bail (in most cases.) However, if you had been arrested for shoplifting, it is possible that the judge would have let you out of jail on your own recognizance, which means that you might have been able to leave jail without paying any bail money at all.

Now that you have to pay bail in order to get out of jail, the most important thing for you to do is find a bail bonding agency that you can trust. The agency should be licensed and you should be able to get a good rate for a down payment. Most bonding agencies charge a ten percent down payment, which means that in order to get out of jail while you await your trial, you will have to pay $15,000. However, if you cannot pay this amount, you can either borrow it, or you may want to just wait out your trial in jail.

The down payment is non-refundable, so be careful about borrowing money in order to pay for it – that’s a pretty large expense that you will have to make – and it’s optional!

Why did I have to pay more bail for my DUI than my friend did for his?

I was recently released from jail after a DUI. My bail was higher than a friend’s bail. Why?

The bails are set by a judge based on a number of conditions. Each judge is different and each jurisdiction is different. Even if you have a friend that was booked on the same night by the same judge for the same offense, you could have very different bail amounts. Here is a brief overview of some of the things that the judge may take into consideration when he sets a bail amount:

Type of the Offense

The nature of the offense has a direct correlation to the amount of the bail. While all offenses are in violation of the law, the bail is set at different levels depending on the severity of the offense. Sometimes, if an offense is truly heinous, the judge may not even grant bail. For example, if someone is in jail for murder, the judge will either refuse bail or set a bail rate very high because the crime is so great. However, if someone is in jail for shoplifting, the bail may be lower, depending on the amount that was shoplifted and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The History of the Defendant

Those defendants that have a criminal history will generally have a higher bail than those individuals that are first-time offenders. Defendants that are booked on the same crime or on an additional crime will almost always have a higher bail rate than those defendants that have never been convicted of a crime. As such, if you have a criminal history of any kind and your friend does not, it would make sense that your bail would be set at a higher rate.

Likelihood of Fleeing

The bail rate also changes based on the judge’s determination that the defendant may not show up in court. The judge wants to ensure that a defendant does arrive in court to serve trial and for any subsequent hearings. As such, if the judge believes for any reason that the defendant will flee, he will most likely set the bail rate at a higher level than if the judge had no reason to believe that the defendant would flee.

Jurisdiction

Every jurisdiction and judge is different. If your friend is in a different jurisdiction, had a different judge, or if any of the other circumstances were different, it would make sense that the judge would not make an identical decision to your judge in your jurisdiction. To increase your chances of getting a lower bail, you should behave while in front of the judge and around police officers so that your record is favorable.

 

Doesn’t the bail bonding agency make the down payment?

I went to a bail bonding agency to bail out my cousin and they asked me for $200 for a down payment. I thought the bonding agency made that payment. What’s the deal?

When you have a bail bonding agency help to pay the bail for someone to get out of jail, that bonding agency generally requires a down payment. The down payment helps to ensure that the defendant that you are bailing out of jail will return to court to stand trial. If the individual fails to return to court, then you will forfeit the down payment that you have made to get your cousin out of jail.

Most bail bonding agencies charge a ten percent down payment on the cost of the bail. In your case, it sounds as if your cousin has a bail set at $2,000. This means that in order to get your cousin out of jail, the bonding agency will post a bond of $2,000. This bond may be in cash, sureties, or real property, depending on the assets that you have to contribute.

In the event that your cousin fails to show up to court for his or her trial, the bonding agency will be required to pay the full amount of the bail. If you have put any money up for the bond, such as cash or collateral, then you will forfeit that money as well. As such, the bonding agency is, in a sense, giving you a loan until the date of the trial.

The bonding agency is responsible for ensuring that the defendant shows up for trial as long as the agency pays the bail bond. As such, most bonding agencies recruit bounty hunters and police officers to escort a defendant to court to stand trial. The U.S. is the only country that still allows bounty hunting.

When you are asked to make the $200, you may or may not get this money back, depending largely on whether or not your cousin shows up to court. Therefore, it is wise to only put the money up if you trust that your cousin will follow-through with court. Otherwise, you should ask your cousin to use his or her own money or to wait out the time until the trial in jail.

 

What is real property?

I went to fill out the paperwork at a bail bonding agency to get a friend of mine out of jail and they asked me to list my real property on the form. Do I need to do this? If so, what kind of things do I list as real property?

Real property is a legal term for property that is tangible. Generally, real property refers to larger, high-dollar items, such as a boat, a house, or a car. Sometimes, real property can also refer to high-dollar items such as a television or other collateral that does not appreciate too fast and might have a greater resale value.

Chances are good that you will not actually have to list your real property, unless your friend’s bail is set at a level that makes it impossible for you to pay a down payment in cash. Sound confusing? Here’s how the bail bond system works:

When your friend it booked in jail for a crime, a judge may decide that your friend can be released from jail on bail bond as long as he or she returns to court in order to stand trial for the accused crime. The bail bond is an amount of money that needs to be paid to the court in order to ensure that the defendant shows up in court. If the defendant fails to show up, then the court will get the full amount of the money.

Because bail bonds are generally several thousand dollars (depending on the crime and the jurisdiction), most individuals require a bonding agency to help post the bond. When you have a bondsman post the bond for a defendant, the defendant or a friend of the defendant will have to pay a down payment. The down payment is generally ten percent of the bond amount set by the judge. You should not expect to get these funds returned to you.

If the bail is high enough, the down payment for the bail can be difficult to pay. If you do not have cash to pay the down payment, then you may have to sign over the rights to a certain percentage of your real property as collateral. For example, if you own a house, the bondsman might take out a mortgage on a percentage of that house in order to cover the cost of the bond.

In your case, since you are being asked to help post bail for your friend, it is probably not a wise move to sign over a portion of your real assets to help post your friend’s bond. You may, however, be able to sign over a portion of your friend’s assets. Make sure that you check with the bondsman before you list your real assets as well, because it is just as likely that you will be able to skip that line on the bond application.

 

 Bail agent can bail out your family members!

I went to the jail to get my sister out and was told that I would need to post bail money. An attendant at the jail suggested that I go to a bail bonding agency, but I am not familiar with those places. She directed me down the street from the jail where there are a few. I really didn’t know what to do about it and they wanted a lot of money up front as a deposit so I had to come home and find the money. What can I do to get my sister out of jail if I don’t have any money?

You are in a tricky situation. It is understandable that because your sister is in jail, you want to be a good sister by bailing her out. However, you should not feel guilty if you do not have the money. A lot of friends and family members are put into the same situation as you and they truly have to struggle to come up with the money after their loved one has committed a crime.

With that being said, your feelings of obligation towards your sister are very common. You must recognize that your sister might not ever pay you back for the money that you put up in order to bail her out. Therefore, you will want to be sure that whatever money you are able to put up, you are okay with not having returned.

When people are in your situation (which is a common situation), they have two options: find the money, or refuse to pay for your sister’s bail. Here is some more information about how to handle each option:

Refuse to Pay

If you refuse to pay for your sister’s bail, understand that it may stress the relationship. Ideally, your sister will understand that she is the person that committed a crime and that it is up to her to handle her problem on her own. If you do not pay her down payment for bail and she is unable to tell you how to get money (from one of her bank accounts, for example), then your sister will stay in jail until her court date. This period of time can vary from days to months, depending on your locality and court system. However, if you are unable or unwilling to use your own many for her bail, remember that her problem is not your problem; she could just as easily provide you with access to her money to post the bail.

Find Funds

If your sister does not have money to post her own bail and is, therefore, asking you to post her bail for her, you may have to find the funds, if you are going to post her bail. The first thing you need to do is find out how much her bail will cost. A bonding agency will charge a ten percent down payment. For example, if your sister’s bail is $1,000, then the bail bonding agency will probably charge $100 from you.

If you do not have these funds, then you may be able to put up real property or a portion of real property as collateral. Real property includes things such as a car, boat, or a house. Be very careful if you are tempted to do this because if your sister fails to show up to court on her court date, you stand to lose a portion of that real property.

 

I wrote a check for more than I had in my account.

I wrote a check for more money than I had in my account. When my bank called me, they charged me a fee. I got upset about the fee, but the bank agent said that if they had not covered the cost for me, that I could have been sent to jail and if I had been sent to jail, I’d have to pay $5,000 bail just to get out. Is this true or was he trying to scare me?

Many people write checks even though they do not have to funds in their bank accounts. This often happens when an individual plans on putting the money into their account but hasn’t had the time yet, or it can happen when someone simply does poor math and overdraws a checking account. In most cases, a bank has a policy that it will lend the money to its client and charge the client a small fee for the transaction (usually less than $50.) However, if you are dealing with a bank that does not have his security feature, then you do face serious consequences.

One of the consequences for writing a check though you have insufficient funds is that you could be charged serious fees from the merchant, if your bank doesn’t automatically pay the amount of the check for you. You could also be arrested. While it is not generally heard of for a person to be arrested for innocuously writing a check though you have insufficient funds, you may have committed a serious offense.

For example, if you knowingly wrote a check for a large sum of money, full aware that you did not and would not have the funds to cover the amount of that check, then you are committing a crime for which you could be arrested. Such a crime is generally associated with a $5,000 bail, per offense. This is set in penal code 476a. As such, after you are booked, you may not be able to get out of jail before your trial date unless you pay the bail amount.

Of course, it is unlikely that you will be arrested for a first-time offense or for a simple error in calculation. However, a judge will determine whether or not he believes that you should be let out on bail or let out of jail on your own recognizance. If a judge believes for any reason that the arrest was made in haste, he will likely let you go free on your own recognizance pending your trial. However, if the judge believes that you purposefully owner drew your account, then he may actually set your bail starting at $5,000 (and it could be higher.)

Therefore, your bank representative is correct in telling you that writing a check though you have insufficient funds to cover the amount of the check is illegal and could result in hefty fines. That’s why you should always double check your math and your bank account before writing a check. You should also always make sure that you deal with a bank that covers the cost of insufficient funds either by offering you credit or by charging you a small fee for what is, essentially, a loan of the amount of money required to pay the amount of the check.

 

Is Bail tax deductible?

Is it kind of like a tax?

No. Bail is not tax-deductible. Bail is actually not like a tax. The only reason that you might think it was like a tax is because it is a payment that is made to the government. However, bail is actually a guarantee that helps to ensure that you will return to court in order to stand trial for a crime that you have been accused of committing.

When you are arrested and put into jail, you are given the option of posting bail. If you post the full amount of the bail on your own (without the help of a bail bonding agency) then you will get a full refund for the amount of the bail bond as long as you turn up in court to stand trial. The only time that you will actually lose money in a bail situation is if you enlist the help of a bail bonding agency.

A bail bondsman will generally require a down payment for the amount of the bail that is about ten percent of the total bail. The bail bonding agency will then provide the additional 90 percent of the bail bond for the court. As such, you are paying the bail bonding agency to pay for your bail. The bail bonding agency will then get a full refund of the amount of money that was required for your bail. However, you will not get any of that money back.

To recap, bail is not tax deductible and is not actually a tax.

 

Do judges deny bail to people they think won’t show up to court?

Is it true that a judge will deny bail if he or she thinks that a defendant won’t come to court? If so, how does a judge know that someone won’t show up to court?

Yes, a judge may deny bail if he thinks that a defendant will not show up to court. For this reason, it is important that defendants have an attorney that will represent them in front of the judge. No judge can know for certain in advance whether or not a defendant will show up in court. When a judge denies bail on speculation that a defendant will be a no-show, the judge probably has a significant reason to think so.

Some of the red flags that alert judges that a defendant may not show up to court include the following:

  • A history of not showing up to court
  • A statement to a court representative or officer that the defendant will not show up to court
  • A belligerent attitude about the court system
  • The seriousness of the crime and of the sentence if convicted
  • A foreigner that may return to his or her native country
  • A mentally impaired individual that does not have a family or friend to ensure that he or she shows up in court

There are also situations in which a judge might automatically deny bail based on the seriousness of the crime. For example, if a person is accused of committing murder or if a person has escaped or attempted to escape from prison, then the judge will most likely enact his right to deny bail.

In the majority of cases, bail will be granted, but the level of the bail may vary greatly from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars. It is important to keep in mind that when dealing with bail issues, every judge behaves slightly different and every locality will work off of a slightly different bail schedule. As such, no two situations are the same.

In order to ensure that you or a loved one are granted bail, the best thing you can do is continue to tell the judge, your attorney, and representatives of the court that you have every intention of showing up to court for your trial. Showing respect for the legal system and the government is a good way to make a favorable impression on the judge.

Is it True that Bail Jumping Is Mostly Prevented by Bail Agents?

When bail must be paid, many defendants recruit the services of a bail agent. When a bail agent is utilized, the bond is known as a surety bond. In such a bond a bail agent provides the bail money while the defendant pays a fee of usually 10% of the actual bail cost. When a defendant enters into such an agreement, they must guarantee they will show up in court on the date provided to them by the court. If the defendants choose not to show up in court, known as bail jumping, bail agents often use bounty hunters to track down these defendants to bring them under the jurisdiction of the courts. These bounty hunters have similar rights to police officers, and they are responsible for the rearrest of these defendants.

Bounty hunters provide incentives for defendants to show up in court since the thought of being tracked down by a bounty hunter is generally intimidating enough to make a defendant show up in jail. Moreover, due to the financial position in which a bail agent has been placed, they will do anything to ensure the safety of their own money, which means bringing the defendants to justice. It is a bail agent’s sole duty to guarantee the appearance of defendants in court at the specified time, and often, as statistics show, surety bonds prove to be the more effective means of preventing failed appearances in court.

Bounty hunters and bail agents also do not have the imposing limitations of a publicly funded police bureau. Often, when defendants are release on their own recognizance, warrants for their rearrest are issued upon bail jumping, but due to the lack of time and resources available for these police bureaus, these defendants often go without rearrest. Therefore, a substantial amount of time and money is wasted by not forcing these defendants to serve under the jurisdiction of the court.

Frequently the terms of the own recognizance releases is not substantial enough to entice defendants into court appearances. Yet, the thought of a bounty hunter and the binding duty a bail agent has to the defendant or more accurately to the money they have put up on behalf of the defendant, surety bonds will efficiently and effectively guarantee that a defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of the court, thus serving justice to the defendants.

 

Are bail fees different in different counties?

Is there a difference between getting bail in Santa Ana and Sacramento? I ask because I was booked for the same thing as my friend in Sacramento but he got a lesser bail amount. What’s the deal?

Your question is actually one of the most common questions that are asked about bail; many people want to know why one bail is set higher than another bail for the exact same crime. In actuality, there is a major difference between the amount of bail in Santa Ana and Sacramento, just as there is a major difference in bail amounts for jurisdictions across the state of California and around the country.

There are a number of factors that might account for the difference in the amount of bail that you got and the amount of bail that your friend got. Clearly, you have recognized that the locality may be playing a major role in the monetary difference. Each locality has a different bail schedule, just as each judge sets bail differently. Therefore, you two are not only working with different bail scheduled, but the judges may react to the same situation in very different ways.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that your situation may not actually be identical to your friend’s situation when it comes to being in jail in the first place. If you were both booked on the same thing, then on this particular instance, you may have both violated the same law. However, you may have different temperaments and you may have different criminal histories. In addition to accounting for the bail variations that could be caused by the difference in judges and localities, you must also take your personal characteristics into account. Here are some things that could contribute to the difference:

Criminal History

The judge will review your criminal history and determine whether or not you deserve a higher or lesser bail. If you are a repeat offender or a repeat criminal, you may get higher bail, or you may be denied bail altogether. On the contrary, if you are a first-time offender, you may get a lesser bail, or you may be released from jail on your own recognizance. Therefore, you may be able to find answers by reviewing your criminal history and your friend’s criminal history.

Attitude

The judge will also take a look at your attitude. If you resisted arrest or said certain things that caused the judge to note red flags in your file, then the judge may give you a higher bail or may even deny your bail. For example, if you said to an arresting officer that you would not return to court to stand trial, chances are good that the judge would deny your bail or set it at a very high rate. On the contrary, if you were very compliant and apologetic, the judge would likely believe that you would return to court to stand trial and, therefore, grant you a lesser bail amount or allow you to be released from jail on your own recognizance.

Every situation and individual is treated uniquely within the bounds of the law. Therefore, you and your friend would not necessarily get the same bail amount and that’s perfectly normal and okay; you don’t need to be concerned with any wrong-doings by the government or your judges.

 

Kidnapping. Carjacking. What’s the difference?

Is there a difference in the bail amount between carjacking and kidnapping? A friend of a friend was carjacked and her kidnapper was released on bail. I don’t understand how because now she is afraid that her kidnapper will come after her for retaliation.

Yes, there is a difference between the amount of assumptive bail that is required for a general kidnapping versus the amount of bail that may be required for a kidnapping that occurred during a carjacking. It is unfortunate that an associate of yours is worried about her kidnapper coming after her. She may be able to get special protection from the police during this time until the defendant has a court date and returns to stand trial.

A simple kidnapping is a violation of penal code 207, which is a felony with an assumptive bail rate of $100,000. Of course, the judge will take other matters into consideration when determining the rate of the bail, such as the risk that the individual would not return to court to stand trial, and the risk that the individual would be a threat to others. A judge will also take a look at the person’s prior criminal offense.

The carjacking with a kidnapping is also a felony and is a violation of penal code 209.5. The assumptive bail is set at $500,000, with potential increases also associated with other circumstances in the case, such as a prior criminal offense.

In addition to these forms of kidnapping, the penal code breaks down other kidnapping situations and assigns separate assumptive codes to each of them. For example, kidnapping a victim under the age of 14 is a violation of penal code 407b and has an assumptive bail of $500,000. Kidnapping for ransom or extortion is a felony offense in violation of penal code 209a. It comes with an assumptive bail of $500,000. Also kidnapping for robbery is a felony offense and is a violation of penal code 409b. There is an assumptive bail of $500,000. Finally, posing as a kidnapper to demand a ransom or reward violates penal code 210 and is a felony with an assumptive bail set at $500,000.

Ironically, when someone takes a hostage, the bail is only $100,000, but it is a felony and a violation of penal code 210.5

 

Why was my boyfriend denied bail?

My boyfriend is in jail and he was denied bail. He had already been in jail before, but I don’t know why he’s not getting out this time. What’s going on?

If your boyfriend has already been in jail and he has been denied bail on this occasion, it is likely that the judge has determined that your boyfriend will either not show up for his court date or that the crime that your boyfriend committed was particularly offensive and poses and eminent threat to those around him.

When a judge determines bail and the amount of bail that a particular defendant will get, the judge takes a variety of factors into consideration. It is certainly fairly common for a judge to deny bail based on his assessment of a situation. As such, you should never be certain that just because your boyfriend was sent to jail that he will be able to get out on bail.

Here are some simple explanations that might help to shed some light on your boyfriend’s situation, but keep in mind that you can always call the court system or the police station to ask why your boyfriend might not be out:

Seriousness of the Crime and History of Offenses

While all crimes are considered to be serious, some crimes are classified on more serious terms than others. If your boyfriend was booked on a DUI and it was his first DUI, the chances are good that he would be out on bail. However, if your boyfriend was booked on murder, then chances are good that he will not get out on bail.

Also, if your boyfriend was booked for a crime in the past and has either committed the same crime again or a different kind of crime, then the judge could decide that he is just not a safe person to have walking around freely, so the judge could deny his bail.

Make sure that you ask your boyfriend why he was denied bail when you speak to him. He might know more than he is telling you.

Locality and Judge

You will always here that there are some localities and judges that are harsher on criminals. If you are in a locality that has such a reputation, then it would make sense that your boyfriend might have a harder time getting bail. Unfortunately, if this is the case then there is simply not much that you can do from your vantage point to help him, as it is up to the judge to determine what happens to the defendant.

 

My boyfriend was booked on a DUI tonight.

How can I get him out of jail with the little money I have?

First, if you have a boyfriend that was booked on a DUI who is relying on you to provide the money to bail him out, make sure that you are either going to be repaid by him when he gets released or that the money that you shell out will be money that you can easily throw away. Chances are good that this money will never come back to you.

In most cases, a bonding agent will require that you put a 10 percent down payment down on the cost of the bail. This down payment will help to ensure that the defendant returns to jail in order to serve trial. You may also have to put down additional money or collateral that will act as a surety that the individual returns to court for the court date. The additional money that you may have to put down will be determined by your bonding agent depending on your unique circumstances.

As far as the cost of the bail that you may have to pay for, here’s some information that may help you understand what you’re getting involved with : Bails are all set by a judge. The judge will take several factors into consideration when determining the amount of the bail. First, the judge will look at any past offenses that the defendant may have committed. If your boyfriend has had a past offense (either DUI or otherwise) the bail might be higher than it would otherwise be.

The judge will also look at the flight risk for the defendant. The bail will be set higher if the judge thinks that the defendant may not show up for a court date. Also, the judge will decide the bail based on the nature of the offense. Unfortunately, DUI’s are rather common offenses, so they are usually associated with lower fine rates. The bail rates vary according to the county as well and could be vastly different from one county to the next.

After your boyfriend’s bail has been set, you will approach a bonding agency and be asked to make a ten percent down payment. If the bail it set at $1,000, then you will likely have to put a $100 down payment. You may also have to turn over some collateral if the bonding agent requests it. In such a case, you want to be very certain that you can trust your boyfriend to return to court to serve trial or that he will pay you back. You stand to lose substantial funds if he does not.

In order to find the money to pay this down payment (and perhaps for the collateral), you may be able to take out a loan from the bank, if it is open. Some bonding agencies accept credit cards, while others don’t. However, you can always request a check from your credit card company that you can use to pay the bail. Also, you can borrow money from your family and friends if you are truly in dire straits and desire to free your boyfriend.

 

Forgot the little bottle was in his pocket when visiting sister in jail.

My brother was going to visit our sister and entered the jail with a sample-sized bottle of alcohol in his pocket. He did not intend to give it to our sister, but had simply forgotten it was there. He is now in jail and has asked me to post bail. What should I do?

In terms of what you should do, the answer to that question is entirely up to you. According to penal code 4573, bringing controlled substances into jail has an assumptive bail amount automatically assigned at $10,000. That means that your brother’s bail will most likely be set at a minimum of $10,000.

If you are going to post bail for your brother, you will probably have to partner with a bail bonding agency in order to actually get enough money for the bail bond. Most bonding agencies will charge a ten percent down payment for the total cost of the bail. The bonding agency will then pay the court the full amount of the bail. After the trial, the bail bonding agency will get a full refund, less some administrative fees, but you will be out your ten percent.

So, in your situation, unless you can pay the full amount of the bail for your brother, you will have to pay a bail bondsman $1,000, which you will not get back. Before you fork over the money, it’s always a wise idea to ask your brother if he has the money or any assets to pay the bond.

Alternatively, you can ask your brother to speak with an attorney (the courts will provide an attorney for free). The attorney may be able to speak with the judge to get your brother released on his own recognizance, which means that he will not have to pay a bail, but he will have to return to court in order to stand trial for his offense.

Keep in mind that no matter how much you love your brother, you may lose the money that you give to a bail bonding agent as a down payment if your brother cannot pay you back. It is always a wise idea to get the money directly from your brother instead (so you don’t lose money), or to simply let your brother away his trial in jail if neither of you feels comfortable shelling out that much cash.

Also, the $10,000 is only an assumptive bail. In many cases, the bail amount will vary based on how cooperative your brother is, how much of a flight risk the judge thinks he will be, and whether or not he has a past offense. Before you go out looking for a bail bonding agency, you may want to make sure of the bail amount so that you are not thrown off guard.

 

Drag Racing

My friend and I were drag racing in Santa Ana. We were both pulled over and because we both had been drinking, we were taken to jail. My friend had to get a bondsman to post bail for him, but I got out on OR. Why was I let off and he wasn’t?

When you are arrested, taken to jail and booked for a crime, such as drag racing or drinking and driving (or both in your case), a judge will determine the amount of bail that you will have to pay in order to be released from jail. In some cases, a judge determines that no bail is needed. In other cases, a judge denies bail. In your case, a judge determined that you did not need to post bail because you would be able to be released from jail on OR, which is an acronym that stands for Own Recognizance. Most likely, you were released on OR because you did not have any prior offenses and the judge believed that you would return to court to stand trial.

However, your friend may have been released on bail for a variety of reasons. He could have had a prior arrest, which would have showed the judge that his behavior is potentially dangerous. Your friend may have said something to an arresting officer that could lead the judge to believe that the friend may not return to court to stand trial for the arrest. Or your friend could simply have had a different judge than the judge that determined your OR release. It is also likely that the judge thought that your friend deserved a harsher punishment for the same crime for any reason.

Both of you are required to return to court in order to stand trial for the drag racing and the drunk driving. You may both have to serve more time in jail, depending on what the judge determines at the time.

The biggest thing that you can take away from this situation is the knowledge that the court does not treat all people the same way. The judge truly will take exogenous factors into consideration when determining your bail and the amount of time that you need to serve in jail for the crimes that you have committed. The best thing that you can do in order to receive a lesser sentence (and to avoid having to pay bail in the future) is to always be compliant with the judge and arresting officer, always remind the representative from a trial release program that you are willing and planning to return to court to serve trial and, most of all, be polite.

 

Arrested for stalking ex-girlfriend

My friend was arrested for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend. He was not actually stalking her and I think his case will be proven in court. However, in the meantime, he has asked me to help him pay his $150,000 bail. How can I do that when I don’t have nearly that much money? What other options are there?

If your boyfriend has been arrested for stalking, chances are good that there is sufficient evidence that he was stalking his ex. Therefore, it is important for you to leave your emotional connection to your boyfriend out of the situation when you are deciding whether or not you are going to help him pay for bail. Keep in mind that in order to arrest someone for stalking, you can’t just have someone’s word; you also need to have evidence. If the judge has determined that the evidence is strong enough that a bail is warranted, chances are good that you may not be fully aware of your boyfriend’s behavior.

Before you offer to help your boyfriend post bail, make sure that he and his attorney have done everything possible to have the judge let your boyfriend out on his own recognizance. If the judge believes that your boyfriend is not a flight risk, if your boyfriend has not had any prior offenses, and if the judge has any other reasons to think that your boyfriend may not require a bail, then the judge could let your boyfriend go without requiring that he post bail. Such a situation would save him (and perhaps you) a great deal of money.

However, if the judge has set bail and is firm that the bail should stay at $150,000, then you need to seriously consider whether or not you should help your boyfriend pay that amount. First, you need to find out how much money your boyfriend can put up for the cost of his bail. If he can put up the full amount, that’s the cheapest way to go because he will get the full amount back when he goes to court. However, if he cannot afford to put up the full amount (as is the case in most situations), then you or he will have to hire a bail bonding agent to help post his bail.

When a bail bonding agent becomes involved, making bail becomes expensive. Generally, the defendant or loved ones of the defendant will have to pay the down payment for the bail in the amount of $15,000 in your case, which is equal to ten percent of the amount of the bail. If you do enough research, you may find less expensive bail bonding agencies, but make sure that they are licensed before you proceed. You can also pay this amount via credit card, by using collateral (such as a house or a car), or by getting a surety.

If you use a bail bonding agency, you will not get the full amount of the down payment back if the defendant fails to show up to court. That $15,000 will be gone, so make sure you have all of the information before getting into this situation.

 

Why is the bail so high for a school prank?

My son and his friends were playing a senior prank at their school in which they toilet-papered the grounds of the school and set fire to a tree (they thought it would be funny for some reason). They were actually arrested and each booked on $50,000 because the school is attached to a church (it’s a Catholic school outside of Los Angeles). What I want to know is why the bail is so high and how we can go about paying it.

Penal code 594.3 states that vandalism of a church is a felony misdemeanor that comes with an assumptive bail of $50,000. Many students have senior pranks and it is unfortunate that your son and his friends were arrested for vandalizing their school grounds as part of a prank. It is even more unfortunate that the school grounds are associated with a church. In your son’s situation, he has been arrested for felony vandalism of a church, which is very serious.

The good news is that some judges are more lenient on such circumstances than others. Your son may get a judge that will release him on his own recognizance, after making him spend some time in jail. However, some judges may be harsher in such situations. When dealing with the bail amount, you are truly at the mercy of the judge and the jurisdiction.

Make sure that you and your son consult with an attorney before you post the bail for him. An attorney will be assigned to your son’s case by the court. This attorney will fight to let your son go on his own recognizance, but if he fails to persuade the judge, then the attorney will then fight for your son’s rights in court when he goes back to stand trial.

The good news is that the judge set the bail right at the assumptive rate of $50,000, which probably means that the judge took note of the fact that this is your son’s first criminal offense (it sounds like) and that your son is not a flight risk. Depending on the judge and your son’s background and temperament with officials, the bail could be set at a much higher rate.

In terms of paying the bail, most people require the assistance of a bail bonding agency. The way the process with bail bondsmen works is that the bail bonding agency will put up 100 percent of the amount of money required by the court for the bail. This amount of money is a bond and it guarantees that your son will return to court on the day of his trial. If he fails to return to court, then the bail bonding agency loses this money. However, if he returns to court, then the bonding agency will get 100 percent of it back, less some administrative fees.

Most bail bonding agencies charge a fee for their services that is equal to about ten percent of the bail bond fee. In your son’s case, you would have to pay $5,000 to a bail bonding agency to get your son out of jail. This money is not refundable. You can use a credit card to pay for it, you can use cash, you can use collateral, or you can work out a payment plan with your bail bonding agent. In your case, you might also want to work out a plan with your son to have him pay the amount back to you after you have given it to the bonding agency.

You will then need to work with the bail bonding agency to ensure that your son returns to court on the day of his trial.

 

Our son was arrested for making a fake ID in college

His bail was set at $10,000. We are pretty angry and have not decided whether or not to get him out on bail. He’s been in jail for two days and has had to skip a day of classes. If we do decide to let him out on bail, what do we need to know about bail?

Penal code 470a states that it is a felony offense to forge or counterfeit a driver’s license or an ID card. Many young people that are under the age of 18 or 21 choose to make their own fake IDs so that they can buy alcohol and get into clubs that have age limits. However, it is important to teach your children that making and using a fake ID is illegal and comes with hefty fines if your young ones are caught.

If your son has gone to jail, the assumptive bail amount is $10,000. This means that bail will be set at about $10,000. However, keep in mind that the judge will take a variety of other factors into consideration when determining your son’s bail, so the bail could be much higher or it could be eliminate altogether.

One of the things that the judge will look at when determining bail is whether or not your son has a criminal history. If this is your son’s first offense, chances are good that the judge might not be quite as harsh on him as he would if this was your son’s tenth offense.

The judge will also examine the circumstances around the situation, including your son’s attitude. If the judge believes for any reason that your son may not show up to court to stand trial, then the judge would probably set the bail at a higher rate. However, because your son has made fake IDs, chances are good that the judge would not believe that he is a flight risk.

In terms of affording bail, make sure that before you pay bail, you have investigated your options. You will want to be sure that your son and his attorney have spoken with the judge about the possibility of letting your son go on his own recognizance, which means that the judge believes that your son will return to court for trial, so he will not demand that your son pay bail.

If you do, indeed, need to post bail for your son, then make sure that you have explored all of your options. If you choose to go with a bonding agency, then make sure that you choose an agency that is licensed for bail bonding. The agency will then pay the full amount of the bail. In order to have this service performed, you will need to pay ten percent of the amount of the bail as a down payment.

While the payment that the bonding agency makes is refundable as long as your son shows up to court on his trial day, the amount of money that you pay the bail bonding agency is not refundable. As such, when you go with the agency, you will lose $1,000. This is money that you will likely want to have your son bay back, since, after all, it is his bail.

 

Is it legit to use stocks as collateral?

The bail bondsman asked me to use my stocks as collateral for the bail bond that I need. Is this legitimate?

Yes. There are a wide variety of ways in which you may be able to pay the down payment for your bail bond. Using any stocks that you have is one way that many bail bonding agencies suggest. These stocks can either be cashed in order to pay the bail bond down payment in full, or they can be retained as collateral by the bail bonding agency.

Many bail bonding agencies will also want to look at your other collateral as well before they agree to pay for your bail. Stocks are only one form of collateral. Other collateral may include cash or it could include real property, such as a boat, a car, or a house. This collateral is an assurance that if you do not show up to court on your day of trial, the bail bonding agency will have access to funds that will help to cover the cost of the money that they lost. This collateral may also be used to pay the down payment.

Keep in mind that when you hire a bail bonding agency to get you out of jail, you are paying a hefty fee for the services of the company. These services will actually pay the full amount of your bail. You only have to pay a down payment, which is usually about ten percent of the cost of the bail. This down payment is not refundable to you, so whatever money you turn over to a bail bonding agency is lost. However, as long as you show up in court on the day of your trial, the money that the bail bonding agency out up for your bond is 100 percent refundable, less some administrative fees.

Now, just because a bail bondsman asked you to put up your stocks as collateral does not necessarily mean that you have to do so. When you put the stocks up, you may lose the full amount of the stocks. If you are uncomfortable turning over your assets to a bonding agency, you can simply refuse to do so. If you refuse to do so, then you are always entitled to refuse the bail bonding service. If you refuse, then you can either stay in jail while you await your trial, or you can find another means of paying for your bail. The other means may involve taking on a private loan or appealing to friends and family members for help.

When it comes to affording your bail, sometimes if you can pay cash, you will have to turn over your assets as collateral. This is entirely normal and should not concern you one bit. However, it is important that you are comfortable with this arrangement before you sign over your assets as collateral; you could stand to lose them completely.

 

There seems to be thousands of bail bonding agencies in Los Angeles

How do I choose?

There are, indeed, a great deal of bail bonding agencies in a Los Angeles area. If you are in need of a bail bonding agencies, there are a variety of ways that you can go about finding one that will suit your needs. When it comes to bail bonding agencies, you will find that many of them are very similar in that they require about ten percent of the bail amount up front and they will provide one hundred percent of the bail for the court.

However, it is important to note that not all bail bonding agencies are the same. Here are some critical things to think about when you are looking for a bail bonding agency in California:

License

In order to find a reliable bail bonding agency, make sure that he or she has a license for bail bonding. If a bail bondsman does not have a license, he or she may still be able to post your bail, but having the license is a crucial step in ensuring that you will get the best service and information available.

Check the Records

If you have the time to do so, you may want to check the records for a bail bonding agency in the Better Business Bureau files as well as court records. These records will ideally have no black marks and no complaints filed against the bail bonding agency. In the event that you find a bail bonding agency that does have unfavorable records, you may want to choose another agency.

Ask the Courts or Jail

Most courts and jails will have a list of bail bonding agencies and bail bondsmen that they recommend. This list will often be posted on a bulletin board within the jail, or it can be requested by a defendant.

Directories

You can also find a bail bonding agency by looking online or through a phone book. Make sure that you speak with the bonding agency before you sign up, as each bail bonding agency is different and requires different terms or down payments for the bail bond.

Remember, you should find a bail bonding agency that is reputable and that charges the lowest down payment possible. After all, you will not get the down payment back and down payments can be very high.

 

More information on Bail Bonds and the surety of Bail Agents

We are studying about bail in my law class right now. I was just wondering if there are resources that discuss bail bonds and the surety of bail agents. Can you provide more information?

While people often hear the term bail bonds, they might not be completely familiarized with the process. Upon the arrest of a defendant, a sum determined by the court is posted as a bail sum. In order for the defendant to be released, bail must be provided, usually in the form of a bond. When the bail bond is furnished to the court clerk, the defendant and the bail agent also sign an agreement.

This agreement stipulates that the defendant must return to court at the specified date determined by the court. If the defendant fails to show up to court at their designated time, a warrant is issued for their rearrest. In this case, the defendant must be hunted down. The responsibility of rearrest may differ, depending on the type of bond.

The two major differing categories of bond payment are surety bonds and the release of their own recognizance. In the case of a surety bond, a third party, known as a bail agent, is requested by the defendant to pay the bail sum in exchange for a small percentage provided by the defendant.

The defendant also agrees to show up in court as specified. In the case of release on their own recognizance the court determines the probability that the defendant will return to court. In most cases, the defendant will be released, and if they fail to show in court, this becomes the responsibility of the police bureau.

Most obviously, the major difference lies in who takes responsibility for the defendant. While many have argued that police responsibility provides a more efficient situation to guarantee the appearance of the defendant in court, several individuals recently have confirmed that surety bonds provide a better outcome.

As affirmed by Dr. Michael Block, who examined the 12 largest counties in California, failure to show percentages were much higher for those released on their own recognizance compared to those released with surety bonds. Block also confirms the wastefulness of the recognizance methods, citing the increased savings that could have accumulated for the police bureaus and state if the matter had been privatized by surety bonds.

In conclusion, the two main types of bonds provide different outcomes, and the responsibilities differentiate them. While surety bonds rely on a bounty hunter for the rearrest of a defendant, recognizance relies upon an understaffed police bureau whose focus is often on greater issues.

 

No Bail

What happens if someone fails to post bail?

Nothing terribly bad happens if someone is unable to post bail. In fact, it is rather common that someone will simply not have the money that is required in order to post bail. In such a situation, the person will most likely have to await his or her trial date in jail. This amount of time may last for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the court system that has to hear the case.

When someone is arrested and booked for a crime, the person will be assigned an attorney at no cost to the individual. This attorney is tasked with the job of trying to get the defendant out of jail on his own recognizance. This means that the attorney will work hard to make sure that the defendant does not have to pay bail, but is released from jail on what is, essentially, faith that the defendant will return to jail to stand trial for the crime that he or she is accused of committing.

If an attorney is able to get the defendant released on his or her own recognizance, then defendant does not have to pay money. However, the defendant will have to return to court to stand trial. If the defendant fails to return to court, the police will track him or her down. If the situation is serious enough (if the person committed a violent crime, for example), then private bounty hunters may be employed to track the person down and return him or her to court.

When a judge releases a person on his or her own recognizance, he is aware of the statistics that individuals that are released on their own recognizance are less likely to return to court to stand trial than those individuals that are released from jail on bail. As such, judges are very careful about who they release without requiring bail. For example, they might release a shoplifter on his or her own recognizance, but they would probably not release a carjacker on his or her own recognizance.

If you are unable to afford bail, you may wish to contact a bail bonding agency anyway. Many bail bonding agencies will accept credit cards for their services. You will be charged about ten percent of the amount of the bail in order to get out of jail.

Also, many bonding agencies will work with you to develop a payment plan, especially if you have a good credit history. You could also enlist the help of family and friends to help pay your bail bond down payment with the bonding agency. Consult with your attorney and a bail bonding agency for more information about what possibilities may suit your unique circumstances.

 

Own Recognizance

What is the difference between getting out of jail on bail and getting out of jail on your own recognizance?

When you are put into jail after you are arrested, a judge will review your situation and asses you on a number of different levels. If the judge (or a pre-trial representative) believes that you will return to court in order to stand trial for a crime that you have been accused of committing, then the judge may decide the let you go from jail on your own recognizance. When you are let out without having to pay bail, the courts are basically saying that they believe that you will return to stand trial. Generally, this only happens with misdemeanors, such as shoplifting.

When a judge determines that you need to have a bail, the judge is, in part, requiring a guarantee that you will return to court in order to stand trial for a crime that you have been accused of committing. When a judge determines your bail amount, he will take a look at a variety of factors, including the following:

The Locality

Different localities and even different judges will set bails at different levels. All jurisdictions go by a schedule that can help the judge to determine the bail amount.

Past Offenses

The judge will look at an individual’s past criminal history. If a person has a criminal history, then the judge will probably not let the person go on his or her own recognizance. Instead, the judge will determine that bail is necessary. Bail will be higher if an individual has a good deal of criminal offenses on his or her record. A judge may even deny bail based on the number of criminal offenses on a record.

Likelihood of Flight

A judge will determine whether or not you will return to court in order to stand trial. If the judge believes that you may flee, then the judge may set a higher bail or may even determine that no bail should be granted.

Crime

The crime also largely determines the amount of bail. If you are in jail for murder, for example, the bail will be set at $1 million or more, or the bail may be denied altogether.

Basically, the difference between being released from jail on your own recognizance and on bail depends on your criminal history, the nature of the crime, and the risk that you may flee. First time offenders on misdemeanors will sometimes (depending on the judge and locality) be let go on their own recognizance.

 

Public vs. Private

What is the Difference Between Own Recognizance Release versus Private Bail Bonds in Terms of Follow-up?

The efficacy of public versus private is a longstanding debate that many researchers have examined, including notable writers, Eric Helland and Alexander Tabarrok (who are referenced in this article, as well as other articles that have to do with bail bonds). Many people reason that private organizations have an increased responsibility and interest to ensure their success. While those preferring the public method argue in favor of relying on the government to ensure the success of a system or agency.

Helland and Tabarrok wrote an article in which they debate the two different forms of bail bonds: “Public versus Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from Bail Jumping.” The article points out the importance of the commitment that a defendant has in fulfilling a surety bond, stating, “Most obviously, a defendant who skips town will owe the bond dealer the entire amount of the bond just as with the deposit bond system…If a defendant does fail to appear the bond dealer is granted some time to capture him before the bond dealer’s bond is forfeited. Thus, bond dealers have a credible threat to rearrest any defendant who flees.”

Moreover, Helland and Tabarrok believe that a major issue that leads to the role of private bounty hunters has to do with the lack of available resources at public police bureaus to employ on bringing defendants to justice, writing, “…public police bureaus are often strained for resources and the rearrest of defendants…is usually given low precedence. The flow of arrest warrants for failure to appear has overwhelmed many police departments so that today many counties are faced with a massive stock of unserved arrest warrants.” As such, private bounty hunters are often the only available resources to get the defendants that have skipped their trial dates.

Dr. Michael Block, a professor of Economics and Law at the University of Arizona, also studied the role of private versus public bail bonds in an academic setting. He wrote about the advantages of surety bonds in his article entitled, “The Effectiveness and Cost of Secured and Unsecured Pretrial Release in California’s Large Urban Counties: 1990-2000.” In the article, Block first examines the FTA (failure to appear) rates of surety bonds versus those released on their own recognizance, finding a large increase in the FTA rates of those released on their own recognizance. As such, a judge is taking a statistically greater risk when he releases a defendant on his own recognizance.

Block also projects the savings that would result from an increase in surety bonds, stating, “We find that if Surety Bond releases comprised 52% rather than 45% of all releases in California’s 12 largest counties in 2000, the budget savings in these urban counties would have been over $1.3 million…In addition, we estimate there would have been a savings in social costs due to a reduction in the number of fugitives of about $13.3 million.” Certainly the arguments of both articles provide convincing proof of the advantages of surety bonds.

 

Bail Levels

Why are bails set at different levels for what is essentially the same crime?

There are a variety of reasons that might explain why bails could be set at different levels for what you perceive to be the same crime. In the eyes of the law, no two crimes are the same. Also, the law gets very specific about some types of crime.

Take the example of arson, for example. To a non-legal person, arson might seem like the same crime, no matter who is hurt or what sort of structure is burned. However, to law enforcement officials and to the court system, arson varies a great deal depending on who is hurt and what kind of structure was burned. The difference is so great that different violations get their own classification in the penal code system.

For example, arson of an inhabited structure violates penal code 451b and has an assumptive bail set at $250,000. However, arson of a structure or forest land that is not inhabited is a violation of penal code 451c and has an assumptive bail of $75,000. As you can see, what a layman might think of as just simple arson is actually very specific in the eyes of the law. As a result, the level of assumptive bail is set at different rates depending on the perceived severity of the crime.

In addition to the assumptive bail schedule, bail is determined based on a variety of other factors. While one crime may appear to be identical to another, the circumstances surrounding the crime are never the same. The judge will not only take a look at the assumptive bail schedule for his jurisdiction, but the judge will also look at the defendant’s criminal history, the crime itself, and the risk that the defendant might flee.

For example, if a homeless person sets fire to a small structure in the middle of the winter in order to avoid dying from the cold, then the judge might treat that individual differently then he would treat a group of angry teenagers that set structure to a small building for the purpose of watching the building burn or simply being mean. As you can see, the circumstances of the case will help to determine the amount of bail.

 

Why Bail?

Why do people have to post bail?

They don’t. If a judge grants you bail, you are under no obligation to pay it. Bail is an opportunity for you to get out of jail while the date for your trial is pending. After most people are arrested, they would rather get out of jail than wait in jail until their trial comes up. After all, it is difficult to work from jail, see friends while in jail, and participate in a family life while in jail.

If you are interested in paying bail, then there are a number of options available to you:

Post Bail on Your Own

If you have enough money sitting around, you can post a bail bond in your own, which means that you pay for your own bail bond. Because bails are often several thousand dollars, most people do not have the money to post a bail bond without assistance. In some cases, you may have a friend or a family member that can lend you whatever money you do not have so that you can get out of jail. Posting bail on your own is the most cost-effective way to get out of jail because you will get this money back as long as you show up in court for your trial.

Work with a Bonding Agency

There are many bail bonding agencies that will become available to you if you are in jail. The majority of the bail bonding agencies will charge a ten percent down payment in order to get you out of jail. In essence, you are paying the bail bonding agency to take a risk on you. The down payment is made based on a percentage of your bail amount. A defendant will not get this money back. However, the bonding agency will get 100 percent of the money that is forks over to the court back as long as the defendant shows up to court. For this reason, bail bonding agencies have a financial interest in hiring bounty hunters and other officials to make sure that you show up in court or that you are apprehended in a timely manner if you fail to show up in court.

As you can see, bail bonds are strictly optional, but most people that have the opportunity to get out of jail take advantage of it so that they can return to work or return to their families. Luna Bail Bonds San Jose or Hollister can help!

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