California Bail Bond Laws
All California Bail Agents are licensed and regulated by the California Department of Insurance (DOI) and are required to conduct business in a manner meeting all rules and regulation set forth under the California Insurance Codes. Additionally, the California Penal Code and California Code of Regulations include many laws that pertain to the actions and conduct of Orange County bail agents. I have summarized relevant laws that you as a consumer should be aware of. Click on the links to view the laws in their entirety.
Title 10, California Code of Regulations:
2054.4. Payment of Commissions; Unlawful Rebates: Prohibited
No person may receive commission on bail unless he holds a bail license. Orange County Bail Bond business owners cannot pay unlicensed people to refer business to them.
2071. Suggesting or Recommending Attorney; Prohibited
No bail licensee shall in any manner, directly or indirectly, suggest the name of or recommend any attorney to any arrestee or person purporting to act for or represent an arrestee.
2074. Unlawful Solicitations; Place
No bail licensee shall solicit any person for bail in any prison, jail or other place of detention of persons, court or public institution connected with the administration of justice; or in the halls or corridors adjacent thereto. Orange County Bail Bond Agents soliciting outside of the Orange County Jail are in violation of this law.
2079. Soliciting of Bail; Persons
No bail licensee shall give, directly or indirectly, any gift of any kind to any public official or employee of any governmental agency who has duties, functions or responsibilities in respect to the administration of justice or a lace wherein detention of persons charged with crime may occur, or to a prisoner any jail or place of detention. Orange County Bail Bondsman cannot give gifts to peace officers, court clerks, judges, Public defenders, etc., etc.
California Penal Code:
Illegal for Jail Inmates to Solicit for bail companies
160. (a) No bail licensee in Orange County or anywhere in California may employ, engage, solicit, pay, or promise any payment, compensation, consideration or thing of value to any person incarcerated in any prison, jail, or other place of detention for the purpose of that person soliciting bail on behalf of the licensee. This includes inmates in the Orange County Jail and conspiring with Bail Agents. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
Defendants entitled to a bail review hearing
1270.2 When a person is detained in custody on a criminal charge prior to conviction, that person is entitled to an automatic review of the order fixing the amount of the bail by a judge or magistrate within 5 days.
Judge or Magistrates setting bail amount
1275 (a) In setting, reducing or denying bail, the judge or magistrate shall take into consideration the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record, and the probability of a flight risk. In other words, Orange County Judges can set bail at whatever level they deem appropriate.
Examination of the source of funds for bail
1275.1 Bail shall not be accepted unless a judge or magistrate finds that no portion of the bail bond premium and collateral was received by the bail bond company feloniously. This is common with cases involving charges of grand theft, financial fraud and larger drug cases. The Orange County Court has the right to examine how a defendant is arranging to bail out of jail and will prevent their release if "dirty" money is being used to do so.
Disclosure of Lien against your home
1276.5 (a) If using properties to secure a bond and a lien will be placed on the home, it is required that the property owner(s) read and sign the following statement and a copy be given to them after signing:
"DISCLOSURE OF LIEN AGAINST REAL PROPERTY, DO NOT SIGN THIS DOCUMENT UNTIL YOU READ AND UNDERSTAND IT! THIS BAIL BOND WILL BE SECURED BY REAL PROPERTY YOU OWN OR IN WHICH YOU HAVE AN INTEREST. THE FAILURE TO PAY THE BAIL BOND PREMIUMS WHEN DUE OR THE FAILURE OF THE DEFENDANT TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BAIL COULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF YOU PROPERTY"!
If an Orange County Bail Bond agent does not present this document to you before using your home as collateral, find a different bail agent.
Bail Bond Agent’s right to Surrender Defendant
1300. (a) At any time before the forfeiture, a bail agent may surrender the defendant back into custody. The bail agent must show just cause for the surrender to the court within 48 hours or the judge can order that part or the entire premium be returned to the defendant or other person who has paid the premium.
No complaint filed, Automatic 15 day Bail Bond Exoneration
1303. If a defendant is out on bail and no complaint has been filed against them on or before their first court appearance, the bail bond is automatically exonerated after 15 court days from the first appearance date.
California Insurance Code:
1726. (a) A person who is licensed in this state as an insurance agent or broker, advertises on the Internet, and transacts insurance in this state, shall identify all of the following information on the Internet:
1. Name as it appears on his or her insurance license.
2. The state of his or her domicile and principal place of business.
3. License number
4. A person shall be deemed to be transacting insurance in this state when the person advertises on the Internet, regardless of whether the insurance agent or broker maintains his or her internet presence.
No Soliciting/Advertising without a License:
1800. (a) Unless one has a current bail license it is illegal to solicit for bail. "Solicit" includes any form of advertising; directly in person, by mail, internet, radio, television or other without a valid license.