California Bail Bonds: Frequently Asked Questions
If a friend or family member is in jail, you need answers fast. The bondsmen at Bail Bonds Professionals are available to answer any questions you may have about the process for a Santa Ana bail bond, Newport Beach bail bonds or anywhere else you might need bail bonds in Orange County. If you've never worked with a bail agent before or you'd like to learn a little more about how Bail Bond Professionals operates, please browse our FAQs to find out.
* How does bail work?
* Where do defendants go when arrested in Orange County?
* What's my first step?
* How do I find out the charges?
* How much does it cost for California bail bonds?
* How do I pay for bail?
* How do I know a good bail company from a bad one?
* What happens if I don't post bail?
* Once bail is posted, how long does it take to be released?
* Does the bail bond expire? What if the case continues for longer than a year?
* Can the defendant travel while out on bail?
* If I bail out a friend or family member, how can I protect myself if I find out he or she isn't going to show up for court?
- How does bail work?
A bail bond is a financial guarantee to the courts. A person who's been arrested may be held in jail until trial unless bail is posted. This is where a professional bail agency can help. The agency posting bail for its client is ensuring to the courts that the defendant will show up to the court on the days required.
- Where do defendants go when arrested in Orange County?
There are three jails operated by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the James A. Musick Facility in Irvine, the Theo Lacy Facility (TLF) in Orange and the Central Jail Complex in Santa Ana. A bail bond expert will be able to tell you the process once the jail has been identified. There are also cities within Orange County that have their own jail facilities that house defendants. Depending on which jail your friend or family member is booked at, a transfer may happen depending on the charges or size of the jail.
- What's my first step?
Contact a professional bondsman to determine the status and location of your friend or loved one. Depending on where in Southern California this person has been arrested, the jail process may vary, and it's important for your bond agency to have an intimate understanding of the local jails so it knows how much time your friend or loved one has in any one location. At Bail Bond Professionals, we've been serving the Orange County area for more than 20 years, and know the process for each jail in the region.
- How do I find out the charges?
If someone you know needs bail bonds in Orange, and is booked in a county or city jail, a bail agent has real-time access to this information. Bail Bond Professionals can help with this process and you can call us 24 hours a day. An owner at Bail Bond Professionals will be waiting to assist you.
- How much does it cost for California bail bonds?
The premium for a bail bond is 10% of the full bail amount (for example, a $10,000 bond would require a $1,000 payment). However, the premium can be as low as 8% based on certain factors that include bail amount and collateral secured. Bail Bond Professionals takes credit cards and also offers very flexible payment plans that don't accrue interest. And we never charge an annual premium, no matter how long the case is open.
- How do I pay for bail?
Bail Bond Professionals takes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, personal checks or cash. We would be happy to discuss a payment arrangement that works with your budget.
- • How long has the bondsman been licensed? A history of experience can be extremely important to the overall outcome.
- • Is the company a member of professional local and state associations such as the California Bail Agents Association or the Orange County Bail Agents Association? This shows a commitment to the professional ethics of the industry.
- • Are they in good standing with the California Department of Insurance? Check to see if any complaints have been filed. You can check here:http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0200-industry/0070-check-license-status/.
- • Does the bail agency stress quality, professionalism and client service over cost savings? Many bond companies that preach nothing other than low costs likely do not have much else going for them.
- • Does the company put client service first before anything else? In your time of need, you need a bail agent that will go above and beyond to assist you professionally and thoroughly. Bail Bond Professionals is run by its owners who are available 24 hours a day to take care of you when you need it most. We also come to you if it's more convenient.
- • Do they have good references from their client base and others in the community? If attorneys and clients alike endorse a bail agent, it's a good sign the company is respected in the industry.
- • Do they have an understanding of the various processes for all the local jails? From Anaheim to Newport Beach, bail bonds in Orange County can be complex to navigate if the bail agent doesn't have an intimate knowledge of the each jail's operations.
- What happens if I don't post bail?
If a person cannot or chooses not to post bail, the defendant will remain in custody until (and if) the court determines bail is not necessary. One such scenario is called releasing on O.R., or "own recognizance." This is when someone is released on his or her word that he or she will show up to court when asked. Some factors in this decision are if the person doesn't have a criminal record of any sort, or has always appeared in court when required.
- Once bail is posted, how long does it take to be released?
If someone you know is booked in an Orange County jail, normal time for release after a bail bond has been posted is three to seven hours. Release times from city jails differ but are generally much quicker. For example, the Santa Ana bail bond process might differ from the Central Jail Complex to the city jail. Other factors may increase time in jail, including short staffing or large number of defendants being processed.
- Does the bail bond expire? What if the case continues for longer than a year?
Unlike most bail companies, Bail Bond Professionals' bonds do not expire. The bond is good for the duration of the case, even if it continues for more than a year. You never have to pay an annual renewal with us.
- Can the defendant travel while out on bail?
Unless there is a specific court order, defendants out on bail with Bail Bond Professionals have no restrictions on travel. However, if the indemnitor (co-signer) requires certain conditions relating to travel must be met, the defendant is contractually bound to follow those conditions.
- If I bail out a friend or family member, how can I protect myself if I find out he or she isn't going to show up for court?
If you are an indemnitor (co-signer) for California bail bonds and have reasonable suspicion and concern that the defendant will not make his or her scheduled court appearances, you have the legal right to have that person surrendered back into custody by the bail company at any time. There are small costs associated with taking this action, which you will be responsible for, but it beats the alternative of potentially having to pay the bondsman the full bail amount in the event the bond forfeits in court.