Topo Padilla of Greg Padilla Bail Bonds Talks Bail Bond Reform on The Legal Hour with Mike Chastaine.
What is the cost of a bail bond and is that cost refundable?
The cost of a bail bond in California is regulated by the California Department of Insurance.
Our insurance companies file rates with the Department of Insurance. In California it is ten percent of the bail bond. However there is the ability of when certain factors are met to have the premium drop to as low as eight percent. So the cost is just like car insurance, house insurance, or life insurance. You pay an insurance premium to those insurance agents. Well we’re insurance agents as well. So the cost of a bail bond, on let’s just talk about it. The standard rate is ten percent. So if the bail is set at twenty-five thousand dollars you would pay a bail bondsman two thousand five hundred dollars. That’s an insurance premium. One of the things that we do at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, is we go through every stitch every line of the contract, so that you understand it before you leave our office or you ever do business with us. And one of the things that we go over time and time again is this: the premium for the bail bond is fully earned upon the release of the defendant from jail the fact that he may have been improperly arrested bail reduced and or if his case is dismissed, shall not obligate return of any portion of said premium. So that fee is earned by us. That’s how we operate and stay in business and that’s how we get paid for taking the risk we do when we bail people out of jail.
So no, the insurance premium is not refundable. Often times it’s unfortunate that we bail people out of jail and then they go to court and the DA decides not to file charges. Well that’s very fortunate. I mean one should be absolutely thrilled about it. However, often times they look at us as though we’re the enemy… as though we ripped them off. Well first and foremost we in the bail industry don’t set the bail amount. Bail amounts are set by a bail schedule that each jail has throughout California. Those are set by judges. We don’t set that. And then secondly, we don’t know if the person that they’re going to file charges or not. I guess one could say, I mean… and I hate to be sarcastic, but I mean would you rather have them file charges so you can get your money’s worth? And in really and truly often times we have to say that to people because I say when we bailed you out, we explained this about the insurance premium. And now that they haven’t file charges it is very fortunate and unfortunate. But I think to the latter it’s very fortunate that they didn’t file charges. And you know with regard to whether they file charges or not. The fact of the matter is it’s it’s not determined that you’re guilty or innocent it. is that the district attorney has decided that this case may not be prosecutable to the extent that they could get a conviction in trial. They’re certainly not saying everybody’s innocent or they were wrongfully arrested if they decide not to file charges. That’s not what they’re saying .They’re just saying we don’t know if we could get a conviction with the evidence and the witnesses we have. So you know to that extent, a bail bond is it is a very good and necessary part of the criminal justice system because it keeps the wheels of justice turning. It helps people get out of jail while they’re going to court.
So that’s that’s how that works as far as a financial end of a bail bond.
What Would Make a Person Choose One Bail Bond Company Over Another? | Topo Padilla of Greg Padilla Bail Bonds Explains
So what would make me choose one bail bond company over another?
Well first and foremost, the bail industry is made up of some of the most dynamic, motivated, hard-working people you’ll ever find in any industry.
In our industry over the past 20 years things have developed. There’s some large corporations that are in the bail bond industry that make up, you know a small segment of our industry. There are a lot of one and two-person operations where they might not have any employees that might just be partners and that’s it. And then there’s a segment, you know, kind of what we fall into here at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds. And that is we’re a family owned and operated business. We have 13 employees, we operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While you’re still dealing with a big company, which we are, we can handle anything and everything you need throughout the country. At the same time you’re going to get personal service. My father and I are here every day, one of my family members is pretty much going to be here every day. But even at that, the employees that work for us are people that have worked with us for us for long term. I have 25 year employees down to 5 year employees… that they’ve been with us.
And so you know what you want to do when picking on a bail bond company is as find one that is going to answer your questions and your concerns… and you feel comfortable those answers and those concerns. You you know, you kind of want to stay away from the fast-talkin’ sales pitch or the high pressured situations you want to make sure that you’re comfortable with what you’re being told your concerns are being addressed and in the timely manner. Because a lot of times when you call some of these smaller companies you know they might be off doing something else they don’t have any other employees they can call and they might not be able to address your situation as quick as you want.
The bigger corporations, you know they’re they’re great. I can’t say anything too bad about them other than the fact that those corporate dollars that they make may not stay in the community and not something you want to think about and they might have a bigger mindset of taking care of you personally you know just like some of the big fast food chains or not as good as the local restaurants that you can go to that good burger you can get at the hometown feel. And again, knowing that when doing business with a company like Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, your money is going to stay local. We’re going to stay in our communities, we’re involved in our communities, we take care of a lot of non-profit organizations we give to a lot of organizations in our community and you know that’s one of the reasons why I think a company like ours stays in business. We take care of our employees and at the end of the day our customers leave here knowing they came in with a handshake and often times they leave with a hug.
What Should a Person Do If They Miss Court?
If a person is released on bail bond and they miss court the first thing they want to understand is this that the court is going to issue a bench warrant that bench warrant is for any officer that sees you or it comes in contact with you to take you back to jail.So what you want to do is immediately call your bail bondsman. Your bail bondsman is able to help you in a couple ways. One thing you can do is put you back on calendar immediately and get the bail bond reinstated.
You see when you purchase a bail bond you pay for it, one of the benefits is that we can get you back in court without you having to go back to jail. So call your bail bondsman immediately… we can do that we’re going to be the same person we are when we got you out of jail. You see our objective is to keep you out on bond the entire time you’re going to court. The last thing we want to see you do is pay us for a bail bond and go back to jail really truly do not want to do that. So we can get your new court date if you missed court.
You know to the contrary if you released on O R you have no advocate for you the only really way for you to get back on calendar is to go back to jail to turn yourself in and go to jail. That’s why you know a benefit of a bail bond is so that we can help you know to continue on remain out of custody the entire time.
Now one of the biggest things we face when people do miss court is them listening to their friends out on the street. Them listening to “oh my gosh the bounty hunters are going to come for you the cops are gonna come for everybody’s going to come for you and you need to become a fugitive. And the biggest thing I want to say is that you can’t trust the bondsman.” That’s false.If you can’t trust us and we burn our faith with you or anybody else in the community, I’m done in my industry. My bail bond company is done, so I don’t want to lie to you, I want to tell you the truth the facts what I can do, because if
I help you and somebody else in your family or friend goes to jail you’re going to advertisement I have to be truthful with you honest with you and tell you the reality is what’s going to happen. So, the bottom line is if you miss court, call your bail bondsman, we can get you back on calendar.
Now there’s gonna be times that you failed to appear maybe you’ve had multiple failures to appear of your case is pretty serious and a judge wants you back in his courtroom, that we may not be able to keep you out on bond. They may say we’re going to increase your bond.That too, we can help you. So you’re out on a twenty-five-thousand-dollar bond and you missed court and the judge is pretty hot at you for missing court and the DAwants your bail raised because they said “hey, you missed court once” yes they can raise your bail.
If they do that one of the other benefits that we can do, is if you are out on twenty-five-thousand-dollar bond and they raise your bill to 50 thousand dollars and this is something that everybody should know, I, as a bail bondsman, if you come to me and say I missed court,I can give you credit for that initial bond that you paid before so it’s 25,000our bond and they raise your bill that $50,000, I can give you credit for that bail bond that you’ve already paid for and then you would only have to pay the difference which is another $25,000. Granted, we don’t want to see that happen.I mean we’re not in this to just you know to make money at every turn every corner.
We want to help you, but there is times where the court is going to raise bail. So with that being said, the bottom line is this, we in the bail bond industry trust you to get you out of jail to have you go to court, You have to trust us, have faith in us, we are here to help you.That’s how we make a living… is by helping people, getting them out of jail while they’re going to court. So that they can go to court and resolve their matter and we want to help you through that process all the way.
You mentioned, “O R.” What is “O R?”
Well there’s two or three ways to the three ways actually get out of jail. One is a person can be released on an O R which is an “own recognizance” release or a citation and that’s where the court or the sheriff can release you on your signature… with no guarantee you know other than your promise to appear.
A bail bond is what we do and then there’s a property bond, where a person can put up property, which not and I’m talking about real property they have to have equity and real property and they can put that up to the court and you can be released from jail.
And that’s collateral…
How Does a Bail Bond Work?
A bail bond is an insurance policy. We’re insurance agency and it is an insurance policy that guarantees to the court that a person will make will make all of his or her court appearances. So when bail somebody out of jail we don’t take money to the jail or to the court, we take an insurance policy to the court and that guarantee that we make to them is guaranteed by us making an agreement with the person that we’re getting out of jail…. and most of the time it’s with a co-signer… a third party that is going to help us guarantee that person will make it to court.
So with that said…. I’m arrested, I’m in the jail, I make the call… you know, “Greg Padilla Bail Bonds please bail me out.” If you could walk me through the steps of exactly what happens. We make the call… what do you do? what do I do? What does my family do?
When we receive a call, about 50% of the time, it’s from the person in jail.. or a family member from the outside. So we’ll just talk in general terms… say it’s a family member that’s calling us. They’re going to call us and talk to one of our staff members and find out where the person is in jail, if they may know the information on how much their bail is and when they were arrested. We’re going to call the jail and get that information. That way we’re talking about factual information. We’re not talking about “I think they’re arrested” or “I think this is how much their bail is” We’re going to get that information and not at that point, what we’re going to do first and foremost is explain how a bail bond Works. What is a bond is. And what they see, if they choose to do so in co-signing on the bond…what their responsibilities are are going to be. Because it does me no good to assume that they know how this whole process works. We want to explain to them the way we do it. Not how everybody else does it. The way we had Greg Padilla Bail Bonds do it. So, we’re going to explain it to them and once they have a full understanding then we’re going to start talking about the terms and conditions. How much the bail is, how much it’s going to cost, what their guarantee is going to be that this person is going to make it to court. We don’t get into the legal maneuvering of the criminal case… that’s not our job that’s for the attorney to do.
So then OK you establish their contact with the family and its to determine can they come up with the 10%, they pay you, then you call… who do you specifically do you talk to at the jail? What title does the person you talk to have?
When we’re ready to post bail bond throughout the state of California they’re mostly consistent in that we would go to a window at the jail that’s set aside for not only helping us but and also help with other things… we would go to that entity, we give them the bail bond and give them insurance policy, they review it and make sure all the information is correct and begin the process of releasing the person. As far as releasing people, each jail is different… some take one hour some take 15 minutes. Some take unfortunately 6, 8, 10 hours. Bigger counties can take a lot longer. But that’s who we deal with is the jail Personnel that accepts our bonds and processes them.
So typically, within one day you could figure on being bailed out of jail… within a day?
It’s going to be a lot quicker than that. When we receive the call, we can receive a call from somebody if they meet all the criteria that we need credits we can start the process without them even being at our office. We can go over and post the bond and get the ball rolling… that way when the family member or friend came to our office the person would already be processed and all their way out of jail. And then know when they get there we can do the paperwork and take the money and get them out of jail. And that can all be done sometimes within an hour . Sometimes within a couple 2 or 3 hours. It never would take a day to do to get somebody out of jail.
That’s really important information. When they are physically released from jail… I’m just trying to get a picture of exactly what happens. They come out with their stuff I would imagine that they took their clothes and you have paperwork sitting there waiting for them to sign… and then you collect your fee from the family or them or whatever. Or you get signatures from that person and the family?
Yeah, just like when I was talking about the family members… want we want them to understand what’s going on. We also, if we have not yet talked to the person that’s being released from jail, we definitely have to meet with them, go over what the bail bond is, how much it costs, who’s paying, and what the terms and conditions are. We need them to understand that they need to make all their court appearances and if they don’t make all their court appearances they and their family members or their friends are in jeopardy of losing their entire amount of the bail bond. So it’s very important and 100% necessary that we do meet with them and that they are going to sign documents and contracts with us, so that they guarantee their appearance in court and our ability to monitor them and to do what we need to do that they make all of their court dates
Perfect… thank you.
Q: Can a Person Bail Themselves Out of Jail?
Yes, technically a person can bail themselves out of jail. That all comes down to when we bail someone out of jail, we underwrite the bond, just like car insurance our house insurance, we would take down information about the person and find out if they qualify and in many times people do qualify to bail themselves out of jail. We just gotta make sure that they have enough around them in their surrounding environment that they’re not going to miss court and take off and run on us. Because the bottom line is if they make all their court appearance… nothing ever happens. If they were to miss court and we didn’t have a co-signer then we would have nobody to turn to; to assist us in getting them back into court. So you know again, yes, somebody can, but it comes down to the underwriting and us talking to the person see if they qualify.
Q: So overall it seems it would be best if they did deal with a professional in this, because there are probably many streams of red tape that someone, the lay person, might not be aware of.
Yeah, just like a lot of businesses people want to work on volume in our industry. And hey, we want to work on volume, because we went to work on giving and helping as many people as we can, the bottom line is this… this comes down to us to be productive at what we do and for us to be productive, we’ve got to make sure that people appear in court. If people don’t appear in court and run on us the that causes a problem. We’re going to start losing money and then the court is going to start losing faith in US. So we have to make sure that people appear in court, so that is very important when we underwrite a bond that doesn’t have to be that a hundred percent of them have to make it to court but it certainly does mean we want to have the statistic on our side that 100% get returned to court when they missed court.
So it is important that we underwrite a bond properly that we educate the client and their family and friends, and make sure that that person is going to appear in court.
Q: Which begs the final question here, what happens to the person if they do run and you do catch them and they don’t make their original court appearance.. Does the bail increase? Do they incur any additional charges? What happens?
If and when the person does miss court, it is not the end of the world. We can get them a new court date. We can get them a new court date and reinstate that bond back to the original amount. What that person has to have first and foremost, is faith in us. Because when we got them out of jail, we told them this. And if they miss court, all they have to do is call us up and tell us that I missed court I got scared, I got a flat tire, I’m sick, something happened… We can schedule a new court date and go tell the court what happened. The person appears with us and we can reinstate the bond back to the original amount. Now a great majority of people who missed court on us, that’s what they do because they have faith in us and they believe in us.
However, you know you’re going to run into those few people that will turn around and get scared because their attorney told them they’re going to prison or they’re going to do this and that, and you’re not prepared for it. When those people run, that’s when we have to, at times, turn to the other side of our industry and that is to go find them. We have that duty and obligation to do that. So at that point we will go out and start looking for them just like you would think of a bounty hunter doing… but you know we’re not bounty hunters, or bail bondsman doing our job and that is returning someone to court. So at that point we will go out we’ll start looking for them. Our hope is to easily find them, return them to court or jail if they have to go back and have them understand it that we are here to help you. And yes, if you miss court on us and we have to chase you, that doesn’t say that I’ll never bail you out again. I’ll mail you back out. Because now you’re going to have better faith in me in the fact that I have gotten you back out of jail if I do a second time that I’m going to get you back out I want to keep you out through the entire time you’re going to court.
So, the bottom line is that if a person misses court, is to call us, we will get you a new court date
Interviewer: What Would You Say to Someone Who Missed Court and Has a Warrant?
Topo: Well if I could speak to someone directly… If you’re out there and you missed court, the thing of it is… is that it’s not going to go away. You have a warrant, you’re wanted, you’re living with the anxiety you’re not able to go home and see your family. You’re constantly nervous. Every time you see a cop car I know you’re nervous. The fact of the matter is this we want to help you get this thing resolved. We can help you. We can help you sometimes without you going back to jail .
The thing you’ve got to do is to trust us. Call us. We can schedule a new court date and we can help you walk through the front doors of the courthouse with us. With the objective of speaking to the court that we want to get you a new court date, we want to reinstate your bond without you having to go back to jail. And oftentimes when you do that, we can reinstate your bond. It’s when you do the latter and that is where you take off and you run and you get apprehended by law enforcement or you’re apprehended by Fugitive Recovery Agent that then your chances of getting your bond reinstated and staying out on the same bond are less.
The thing of it is, when they won’t reinstate your bond for you to get caught by law enforcement, it’s it’s still not the end of the world. We will get you back out of jail . Yes they might raise your bail because you’ve missed court but you know what? it’s not the end of the world the whole objective of the bail industry us to get people out of jail that you don’t have to sit in jail while you’re waiting for your court date. It’s not so you can run from the situation. So we want to help you… our integrity means everything in the world to us, so if you do miss court let me tell you something we really truly mean it . If you don’t trust us and you play games with us, unfortunately we might have to come get you. But we don’t want to do that.
So if there’s one thing I can say to you is this… if you’ve missed court, if you think you have a warrant I don’t care if you’re not even out on bail with us, you call my office, we will talk to you we will help you get through this situation so that you can get your life back you can get rid of all of the agony and anxiety you can be with your family and you can get on with life.
How Bail Works And Other Frequently Asked Questions
Although bail bonds are a term that has cemented itself in the American lexicon, many people don’t understand what a bail bond is or how bail works, what the cost of a bail bond will be, or how posting bail works. We’re here to answer all of these questions (and many others) to help make the bail bonds process as simple as possible.
So, What is a Bail Bond?
When a person is arrested, they are booked into the county jail. That process takes several hours; however, and can vary from jail to jail. Bail is then set based on the charges that they were arrested for.
The bail bond is an “insurance policy” that serves the sole purpose of making sure that the defendant appears in court. As bail bondsmen, we underwrite the bail bond securing a co-signer (or co-signers) that will guarantee these appearances in court. Collateral such as your car or property is not required with a qualified co-signor.
The cost of a bail bond is 10% of the bail amount and is regulated by the California Department of Insurance and cannot legally be discounted.
Below you will find a video which explains the answers to some of the most common questions asked by bail bonds customers in the Sacramento area. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at (916) 446-2663 or toll free (888) 449-2663, 24 hours a day.
While no one wants to go to jail, and at the same time the victim and their family doesn’t want the accused released from jail, please understand the bail bond industry is not in a position to sit in judgment of the guilt or innocence of a person in jail.
However, it IS our job to provide a person the right to be released from jail by guaranteeing their appearance in court with a bail bond.
The United States Constitution, specifically the 8th Amendment, guarantees this right, and this is another reason the United States is the greatest and most civilized country in the world.
So if you ever find yourself in need of calling a bail bondsman, make sure not to just call any bail agency, call Greg or Topo at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds at 446-BOND (2663).
That is Greg Padilla Bail Bonds at 446-B-O-N-D (2-6-6-3), or you find more information about us right here on our website at PadillaBailBonds.com.
Imagine you are sitting in jail… what do you do?
Well, you can throw a dart at the listing of all of the bail bondsman, or you can call on a name that has been trusted in the bail bond industry throughout California for the past 35 years. Then you will want to call Topo or Greg Padilla at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds.
Why should you call on us?
Because we have taken care of our clients and their family and friends in a way that the majority of our business comes through referals. Not only do our past clients appreciate the service we provide, but their families appreciate the fact that we do not sit in judgment of them or the person that is in jail. It is our number one priority to provide you and your family with compassion, truth and dignity when you call on us.
Now all of this might sound like a sales pitch or too much for a bail bondsman to be saying, but the fact of the matter is that we are a business, just like any other business and you should expect to be treated with the utmost repsect.
So if you ever find yourself in need of calling a bail bondsman in Sacramento or anywhere in the state of California for a bail bond, call Greg Padilla Bail Bonds at 916-446-2663, and learn more about us here on our website at PadillaBailBonds.com.