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How Does Bail Bonds Work?
Ending up in jail is an incredibly stressful experience, and you’ll undoubtedly hear some new terms as you attempt to navigate the situation. Of course, your goal is to gain your release as quickly as possible, and bail bonds can make that happen.
In short, a bail bond is a way for defendants to post bail when they don’t have the necessary funds. A bail bond agency will provide the cash you need to secure your release from jail as you await trial, and you’ll pay a premium for the assistance.
Understanding how this service works can help secure your freedom without draining your bank account. No matter your circumstances, there’s aid available through a bail bond agency like Santa Ana Bail Bonds.
What is Bail?
When a suspect is placed in custody, they will quickly see a judge who will approve or deny bail and set a bail amount. Bail is a likely outcome unless you’re accused of a violent offense or considered a flight risk.
The bail amount is a monetary figure the courts will charge you before granting your release. This money is returned to you as long as you appear for your next court date. A bail bond might be your only option if you don’t have the money.
An Overview of Bail Bonds
Once your bail amount is set, you’ll have three options: stay in jail, pay the bail amount, or seek a bail bond. Staying in prison is the least desirable outcome, so pursuing the other two is probably your next step.
Paying your bail out-of-pocket is the most straightforward option, but it isn’t possible for everyone. If your bail is set at $20,000, for example, and you don’t have the cash on hand, a bail bond might be your only option.
Contacting a bail bond agent helps secure the cash you need for your release. These agents will post your bail and charge you a service fee for a certain percentage of the bond amount. In California, the premium is 10%, with a few exceptions. They could also require collateral to ensure you show up for your hearing.
You’re promising the bail agency you’ll return to court for your next appearance by taking this money.
Your Responsibilities as a Defendant
Once your bail bond agent posts bail, you’ll have to pay the service fee. A $20,000 bail bond will cost $2,000. You’ll also have to ensure you appear for your next court appearance.
The bail bond agent will do everything in their power to get you to your next hearing. They might even physically track you down and return you to jail if you fail to do so.
You’re responsible for paying the entire bail amount if you fail to show up, and you could lose your collateral if you don’t have the money. You’ll also go back to jail because you’ll be in violation of your bail conditions.
How to Get a Bail Bond
Getting a bail bond is relatively straightforward, as your family can contact an agent to meet you at the county jail or courthouse to begin the process. There will be some paperwork to fill out, but it goes pretty quickly, and you will typically be released within a few hours.
Going with an experienced bail bond agency that has the respect of the courts is ideal because it ensures the bonding process is as quick and problem-free as possible. High-end agencies are also more likely to be discreet, so you can begin moving past this challenging part of your life.
Santa Ana Bail Bonds has more than 20 years of experience providing this service in Orange County. Contact us at (714) 224-5688 to start the process.