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The first thing you want to do when the police arrests you is to get out of custody as soon as possible. This may require posting a bail. Where the bail amount is higher than you can afford, it is best to hire a bail bonds company to act as surety. This is what El Don Bail Bonds company does. Our agents are located in Temecula, California, and offer fast and affordable bail bond services for any person who wants to post bail. But first, you need to understand the bail bond process and know how to seek out our services.
Why You Need to Understand the Bail Bond Process
Understanding the bail bond process is essential to both the defendant and the cosigner (if any). This includes knowing what your rights and responsibilities are as the defendant and cosigner. You also need to understand how the bail bonds processes work, the charges you will pay for, and how long your bond will last.
Furthermore, the defendant and cosigner need to have a clear understanding of the contents of the agreement and the implication to them, their friends, and families.
To avoid being tricked, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic laws and regulation in the state regarding bail bonds. For instance, legitimate bail bonds agents should have a license and an accessible office. Also, there are legal repercussions of breaking the conditions set by the judge as well as those in the bail bond agreement.
Setting the Bail Amount
After the arrest and booking of the defendant, they are kept in custody awaiting their court appearances. The arrestee is entitled to apply for a release on bail. The judge sets the bail amount in accordance with the Riverside Bail Schedule. The nature of the crime, the threat the defendant poses to the society, and the criminal record of the defendant will affect the bail amount. The judge may fail to award bail where the defendant is a high flight risk, committed a dangerous crime, and poses a big threat to the community.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are three main types of bonds in Temecula include:
- Property bail bonds in which a property is pledged to the court as a guarantee that the defendant will attend court hearings,
- Cash bonds in which the defendant posts the full bail amount through cash or other acceptable means such as money orders, and
- Surety bonds in which the defendant looks for a bail bonds agent who pledges money on their behalf to persuade for their release and guarantee their appearance in court as scheduled. Most people go for surety bonds since raising the full amount for cash bails can be a challenge.
After the bail amount is set, you can contact a bail bonds agent to raise the bail amount on your behalf. You are required to pay 10 percent of the bail amount as the non-refundable premium. You can raise the premium yourself; but a family member, colleague, or friend can raise it for you as the cosigner. Bail bond agents will require some collateral, which is of equal value to the full bail amount to secure their risk in case the defendant skips court proceedings.
What Happens When the Defendant Skips Court?
In the event that a defendant skips a court hearing, the judge issues a bench warrant and a grace period. If the defendant is arrested or surrenders during the grace period, with a valid reason for skipping court, the bail still stands. However, when the defendant fails to turn up, the full bail amount must be repaid or the collateral seized. Usually, the defendant is rearrested and stays in custody until the conclusion of his/her case. The bail bond agent has the authority to apprehend and arrest the defendant, or hire someone to do it, should they skip the court hearings. In case there is a cosigner, they are expected to help in locating the defendant.
Bail Bond Enforcement Agents (Booty Hunters)
These are individuals hired by the bail bondsmen to enforce bail bond agreements. They do this by arresting defendants who have violated the bail agreements. The signing of the bail bond agreements releases a defendant’s constitutional right from unwarranted arrest. The bail enforcement agent can arrest the defendant and present him/her to court. The bail bond enforcement agents are crucial in arresting suspects as they can arrest them and transport them to any state within the US.
Bond enforcement agents operating in Temecula, CA should follow the regulation under California law. They are supposed to carry a license and documentation to prove their identity before making an arrest. In addition, they inform law enforcement officers of their intention to arrest the defendants. They are, however, not allowed to forcibly enter your place of residency except under a few rare circumstances.
When the defendant fails to turn up for a scheduled hearing, the court rescinds their rights to the bond. The bail bond agent will be required to pay the full bail amount. When the bail bond agent pays the amount, they may use the attached collateral to recover their losses. In the case of forfeiture, there is a high probability of not getting a refund. Bail forfeiture in California is under the PC1305, which stipulates the conditions under which bail can be forfeited.
Under PC1305, the court clerk is required to mail a notice of the forfeiture to the bail agent and surety within 30 days of the forfeiture. After mailing the notice, the court allows 180 days after which the court enters a summary judgment. The court then demands payment within 30 days.
The bail forfeiture may be set aside under the following conditions:
- After the dismissal of the case or when no complaint is filed within 15 days of arraignment;
- Failure of the court clerk to mail the forfeiture notice within 30 days of the forfeiture;
- The defendant appears in court within the 180 days;
- The defendant has a temporary or permanent disability, deceased or in custody outside the jurisdiction of the court;
- Where the court finds out that there is a valid reason for the defendant’s failure to show up in court;
- Where the bail agent files for a motion before the end of the 180-day period. The case is heard within 30 days after the elapse of the 180 days.
How to Protect Yourself as the Cosigner
As a cosigner, it is your responsibility to settle the full bail amount set out by a bondsman should the defendant fail to uphold the bond agreement. It is essential to observe the following tips to protect yourself during this process:
- Seek clarification before signing: Ask the bail bonds agent to clarify issues you do not understand. Make sure you know your responsibilities and the risk you are taking in signing for the defendant;
- Keep contact: As a cosigner, you should keep regular contact with the defendant through phone or physical visits. This will keep you informed of the whereabouts and behavior of the defendant. If possible, visit or call the defendant daily;
- Check the place of work: Regularly visit the place where the defendant works to ensure that they are upholding their responsibilities. Speak with their employer to stay informed on their behavior at the workplace;
- Sign for a person you trust: When cosigning a bail bond, you are taking responsibility for ascertaining that the defendant appears in court. Make sure the defendant is someone you trust and know well;
- Revoke the Bail Bond: If you feel the defendant may fail to appear in court, you still have the right to revoke the bond. Once you revoke a bond, the defendant is taken in custody and has to reapply for bail.
Motion to Revoke Bond
The prosecutor or crime victim can call for the withdrawal or revocation of a defendant’s bail bond. The motion is initiated when the court or crime victim believes you violated the terms of your release. During the hearing, the court will determine whether you have broken the terms of your agreement before making a decision.
Committing another crime while on bail will automatically lead to a bail bond revocation. Crimes such as robbery will result in instant arrest and disqualify you for bail. Other factors that may lead to a bail bond revocation include:
- When the defendant is considered a flight risk
- New information emerges that indicates the defendant may be a risk to the community
Bail Bond Exoneration
Bail bond exoneration happens after the termination of the criminal proceedings, or after the surrender of the defendant into custody. Bail bond exoneration relieves all parties off of any bail responsibilities.
When you use a bail bond agent to pay the 10% premium, you will not have any refund. The premium is the payment to the bail bond agent for the services they offered. However, any property or valuables you attached as collateral will be returned within a few weeks in most cases.
Bail Bondsman Near Me
El Don Bail Bonds is dedicated to helping you through the bail bond process, clarifying issues in a fast, reliable, and professional way. If you reside in Temecula, California or the surrounding regions, contact our bail bond office today at 760-342-0444.