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Frequently Asked Questions about Bail Bonds
Why do I need a bail bond company?
A bail bond company is important to use for these reasons. First, release time can happen quickly -any time of the day. Secondly, financial help is always available through a bail bond company- just ask. Last, the bail bond company can explain, in very easy terms, your charges and what to expect in court, as well as how bail works.
How does bail work?
An arrest occurs, a charge is determined, and the bail amount is set according to that charge as outlined in the California Bail Schedule. That’s the fundamentals of the bail process. In between, there occurs a bail bond transaction with the bail company and the guarantor, or defendant to secure the bond before posting; it is an agreed liability between parties. You have the right to bail according to the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment; exceptions are capital offense murder charges.
When forfeiture occurs what happens?
A bench warrant is issued when a failure to appear in court occurs. To clear the warrant, the person must appear in court. Your bail company can prepare a motion to the courts for this purpose, and if all other court appearances are met (medical conditions are the exception) the bond will be exonerated. A bail company can be a filter between you and the courts. Some processes are within the normal scope of business for a bail company, such as filing a motion, or appearing in court with the defendant.
What is the cost of a bail bond versus the total bail amount?
The California Department of Insurance has set a standardized 10% fee to all companies known as a Premium. A ‘Filed Rate’ with the Department of Insurance permits an 8% Premium to those who have legal counsel, and to those who are members of a Union or the Armed Forces.
The 10% is based on the total amount of the bond. For example, 10% of a $10,000 bond is $1,000. This is the fee charged by the bail company for a bond. It is non-refundable. The total bond amount will become due, if forfeiture occurs. The Premium is not deducted for the original amount and the Premium is the earned fee for the bail company.
What is a bail bond?
A bail bond is a legal paper presented to the jail in return for the release of an arrestee. This paper instrument, once accepted by the jailer, assures the court the person who is named on the bond will appear as mandated. The bond will become payable to the courts, in its entirety, should forfeiture occur. Both parties have certain liabilities from this point forward.