Whatever situation caused your arrest in Cathedral City, the experience is devastating. It is, therefore, essential to take reasonable steps to ensure that you don't end up spending more time in police custody while awaiting your trial. One of these steps is posting bail. We at El Don Bail Bonds are here to stand with you if the total bail amount set is too high for you to afford.
An Overview of Bail
If you watch TV a lot, you have probably seen a judge banging a gavel and announcing that bail has been set at one hundred and fifty dollars. The accused looks despondent as they consult with their attorneys. However, if the defendant ends up free while waiting for their trial to start. Well, $150,000 is a huge sum of money to come up with. How did the defendant afford it?
With the help of bail, a defendant is released from police custody in exchange for money which the jurisdiction holds until the trial and proceedings surrounding the defendant are closed. The court hopes that the accused will both appear in court and adhere to the bail conditions in order to recover their bail.
How Bail Works
After you are arrested, you are first taken to a police station to be booked. When you are booked, the arresting police officer records your details such as your name, appearance, and date of birth, and the alleged offense. The officer will also conduct:
- A background check,
- Take the defendant's mugshot and fingerprints, and
- Seize personal property that will be returned to the defendant when they are released.
For less severe offenses, the defendant could be permitted to post bail immediately after being booked.
How Bail in Cathedral City is Set
The amount of bail is mainly determined by the seriousness of the offense committed. More often than not, the amount can affect your finances negatively. That is why it's essential to request a hearing to reduce this burden. The bail hearing gives you a chance to ask the judge to either release you on your own recognizance or lower the bail amount.
Reducing the Bail
The law allows the judge to set, modify, or eliminate your bail. When determining whether to adjust the bail, the court puts the following into consideration:
- Capability to pay,
- Previous criminal history,
- How severe is the crime,
- Public safety, and
- The probability of showing up in court for trial and proceedings.
If you are charged with a severe offense, the judge can't reduce the bail below the total set amount unless they find a good cause or unusual circumstances. It is crucial to note that good cause or unusual circumstances don't include the following facts:
- You have attended all previous court hearings, and
- You have not committed another offense, but
- There is a change in circumstances that is proved by new proof.
The term change in circumstances means a change in your situation, proceedings, and the case's facts. It doesn't imply that the judge made a legal mistake when setting your bail or did not analyze your case properly.
If you have not posted bail, you have a right to a review hearing within five days from the date the bail was initially set. And if you are charged with violating a protective order or a domestic violence law or committing a felony, you are required to give the prosecutor a 2-day written notice of the intention to request a bail hearing.
Raising the Bail
The judge also has the power to increase your bail. When seeking bail reduction, a prosecutor could mention information that the court may be unaware of like parole or probation violation. It is, therefore, recommended that you post your bail immediately before initiating any hearing. If you post bail before the jurisdiction acquires that information, the odds are that the parole or probation officer will release you on bail.
If the judge decides to raise the bail, it's within their freedom of choice unless they have abused that discretion.
Releasing on Your Own Recognizance
Provided you are accused of committing a crime that does not attract the death penalty as a punishment; you have a right to own recognizance release. Unless the release does not guarantee your appearance for court hearings or compromises public safety.
Will the Judge Reduce your Bail if You Agree to Bail Terms and Conditions?
It could. This is where a skilled criminal defense lawyer comes in handy. Any experienced attorney will propose bail terms and conditions that may secure an own recognizance or reduce bail from a hesitant judge. Common bail conditions include:
- Wearing a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor gadget,
- Putting you under house arrest through electronic monitoring,
- Limiting your travel,
- Surrendering your driver's license and passport, and
- Checking in an inpatient treatment center.
Generally, there are three main ways to post your bail in Cathedral City:
To be released from custody on cash bail, a defendant needs to deposit the entire bail amount with the court. Depending on the jurisdiction, the defendant can pay by money order, cashier's check, personal check, traveler's check, or even cash.
If you comply with all court terms and conditions and show up in all your court hearings, you will get a refund within sixty to ninety days after your case is closed. Should you fail to show up, you forfeit the entire bail amount to the court.
If the judge, prosecutor, or police believe that you acquired your bail through an illegal act, occurrence, or transaction that is a felony, the jurisdiction will not release you. It is, therefore, your responsibility to present evidence that the money was lawfully acquired. Otherwise, the court won't accept the bail and subject to the case's facts; it may raise the bail.
Cathedral City Bail Bonds
Because most defendants do not have the ability to pay cash bail, Cathedral City bail bonds are more popular. Securing a bond can take approximately twenty minutes. There are instances the release occurs almost immediately because the cashier or clerk is in the same location as the jail.
Also referred as to bail bond agents, the bondsman will post the Cathedral City bail bond in return for a ten percent non-refundable fee. That means, if the total bail amount is $25,000, the defendant will pay their bail agent $2,500.
Additionally, the Cathedral City bail bondsman will require collateral that will assure the bondsman that the defendant will not skip bail. The collateral can be a home, vehicle, or jewelry. If the defendant does, the bondsman will sell or keep the collateral.
A property bond or secured bond is a Cathedral City bail bond that you give the court as a security interest in an asset whose worth is equivalent to the entire bail amount.
What are the Responsibilities of a Co-signer?
A bail co-signer is a person who willfully signs an indemnity agreement that holds them financially accountable to pay the bail should the accused fail to appear in court. Normally, the bail amount is too huge for the co-signer to pay it in cash. Therefore, you will be required to put up a property as collateral.
You need to be cautious with the property you put forward as collateral. This is because should the defendant fail to appear in court, the asset could be forfeited.
To be fair to the co-signer, the law allows you to reach the bondsman or court if you feel the defendant will violate the bail conditions. If you communicate before the court hearing date, the bail will be pulled and the accused re-arrested. However, you will remain accountable for the bail you co-signed until the accused is taken back into custody.
What Occurs if You Skip Your Bail?
Skipping bail in Cathedral City is an offense, and the defendant:
- May lose the entire bond,
- Will face the pending charges, and
- Could face additional charges for failing to appear (FTA) in court.
FTA is well-thought-out to be contempt of court, and as a result, the judge may order a bench warrant for your arrest. If you posted cash bail, the entire amount will be forfeited. And if you used a bondsman, the bail bond agent will try locating you before seeking reimbursement from your co-signer.
Nevertheless, if you show up in court within one hundred and eighty days of the bail forfeiture notice and give a satisfactory reason why you did not appear, the judge could exonerate and vacate the bond. Common convincing excuses include disability, insanity, being detained in another jurisdiction, and serious illness.
Find a Reliable Bondsman Near Me
Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and if you are arrested, there are consequences that securing a Cathedral City bail bond can avoid. For instance, being in police custody not only results in missing work but also jeopardizes your employment status. Engaging a reliable bondsman in Cathedral City like El Don Bail Bonds can get you home in only one day depending on the jurisdiction. This is a huge advantage since it safeguards your job, career, and future. Call us at 760-342-0444; we are ready to walk you through every step of the process to make sure your life remains intact.