How Bail Works And Other Frequently Asked Questions
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Everyone know bail bonds exist. However, most people don’t understand what a bail bond is or how 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.
A bail bond is an “insurance policy” that serves the sole purpose of making sure that defendants 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 giving answers to the most common questions asked by bail bonds customers. 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.
Bail bonds work as an “insurance policy” that guarantees a person’s appearance in court. This “insurance policy” has nothing to do with the merits or facts of the case. The bail agency posts this bond with the court and guarantees the appearance of the defendant in court. If the defendant appears in court as ordered, then the bail bond is never in jeopardy. However, if the defendant fails to appear, the bail agency has 180 days to return the defendant to court. If the bail agency fails to do so, then the bond is forfeited and the full amount of the bond must be paid to the court ultimately by the co-signers of the bail bond.
That depends on the bail set by a judge, which is determined by a number of factors. These include the offence the defendant is charged with, the defendant’s previous record and their estimated flight risk. The cost of the bail bond itself is regulated by the State of California and is 10% of the bail amount, with a minimum of $500.
The only time one would have to pay the full amount of the bail bond is if the defendant “failed to appear” in court and was not returned to the court within 180 days. Although this bail bond is an insurance policy guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant in court, the insurance policy is guaranteed by the co-signers, thus they would be held fully liable for the bail amount if the defendant was not returned to the court.
As stated in the first Clause of the indemnity agreement, the premium is the cost of the bail bond and it is fully earned upon the release of the person from jail. Once the bail bond is posted and accepted by the jail, there is no refund of the premium. If you are on a payment plan, the payments are still due no matter the outcome of the case.
If someone misses court for any reason, we have the ability to file a motion with the court and have the bail bond reinstated back to the original terms. Even if an obligation is missed, it is still our objective to keep our client out on bail throughout court proceedings. Call our office immediately if there has been a failure to appear and we will schedule a new court date.
Upon the completion of the case, the judge will “Exonerate” the bail bond in open court. At this point the bond is no longer active and the indemnitor and defendant are no longer liable for the bail bond; however, they are still liable for any outstanding premium and/or expenses incurred.
We issue our customers credit in an effort to work with the economic realities we all have. Therefore, we attempt to set up payment plans that can be afforded. These payment plans are very important to our existence; therefore, it is important that the payments are made timely. However we understand that, in reality, things don’t go according to plan. If you miss a payment or you know you’re going to miss a payment, just call us and we’ll work it out together.