Bail bonds in California work much like bail bonds in many states. A bail bond is a method used for a defendant to be temporarily released from jail while awaiting their designated trial date. Bail bonds are legally binding documents with a set amount of money determined by the court depending on the severity of the alleged offense(s) if the defendant fails to appear on the date of the trail.
A bail bond is a type of surety bond provided by a surety bond company. Bail Bonds can be requested by the defendant, or the defendant’s family/ friends. This proceeds through a Bail Bondsman in a criminal or civil case. The process of a bail bond can range because of the state as well as the county.
Bail bonds in California vary by county because each has a local bail schedule.
For example, Los Angeles has a misdemeanor and felony bail schedule. It’s used as a system to calculate and as a result determine the total bail amount.
There are several factors that come into play when it comes to determining the amount of bail. Factors include the severity of the offenses, weapons were involved, current employment, and previous criminal history. There is secured (little money upfront), and unsecured (no money upfront) payments. They can be in the form of cashier’s check, money order, traveler’s checks, and likewise even cash.
Bail Bonds in California High Amounts
Bails are typically set at a high amount which can prove difficult for the defendant to post bail themselves because can lead to the defendant seeking different options. One option is to use a bail bondsman, who posts the bail bonds for them. Bail bonds in California are typically posted for 10% of the total set bail amount. Hence, there is one of two things that can happen either the defendant can appear or fail to appear in court on the trial date.
If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond will forfeit and the remaining balance of the bail will be paid. Therefore, the defendant’s collateral, such as their estate, possessions, or stocks will be used to pay the remainder. If the defendant does appear in court, the trial will proceed to completion. In which the collateral will be returned and the bondsman retains a fee as profit.
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