How to Bail Someone Out of Jail - IE Criminal Defense
I
Basics of Bail

A person who has been arrested and charged with a crime may be required to post bail amount before being released from jail or custody. Every person arrested has the right to have a bail amount set, if they are not to be “Cite Released”, and leave jail the day after their arrest. If you are accused of Murder or have a Felony Probation Violation, then you are not entitled to bail.

II
Posting Bail versus Own Recognize Release

Cite Release: In some cases, the police department releases someone from jail without having the defendant post bond. This is known as an Own Recognize Release. What happens is that a person is arrested and usually kept 8-12 hours to be booked, and then released on a signed promise to appear in Court some time in the near future.

PC 825: In most misdemeanor cases, a person is usually cited by an officer and released. The citation indicates that the defendant is ordered to appear in front of a judge at a later date to answer for the criminal charge in the citation. This means that there is no bail bond necessary to insure that the person will appear in court as indicated on a citation.

In felony cases, the arresting officer sets the amount of bail according to the County’s bail schedule. Every County has their own specific bail schedule that they follow. For example, in San Bernardino County, a person arrested for a violation of PC 288(a) , must post a $250,000 bond in order to be released from custody.

However, sometimes even people accused of felony charges can be released based on the specific charge, lack of criminal history or their possibility of being a flight risk.

III
What is a bail bond and how do I post it?

A bond is insurance that guarantees that if the defendant is released, that they will appear in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bond money is forfeited. Some people post bond in order to leave the jail and flee the jurisdiction to avoid having to face criminal charges. In those circumstances, the bail companies that posted your bail will likely send Bounty Hunters after you, since they are on the hook for the bond.

Anyone can post bond for another person, be it a friend, family member, or significant other. There are two ways to post bail or bond. The most common way to post bail is to use a bail bond company; the second way is to stake the entire amount of the bail with the court. This would mean that, in most big bail cases, a person could put the mortgage of their house as a bond to assure the presence of the defendant in court. The drawback to staking the entire bail amount with the court is obvious: you need a lot of money.

Most people use a bail bond company because bail companies can secure a defendant’s release from custody for a small fraction of the actual bail amount required. If you use a bail company, you do not post the entire bail amount, rather, you pay somewhere in the range of 6-10% of what the bail is. So for example, if your loved one’s bail is $50,000, you would only pay somewhere around $5,000 or less for their release. The money paid to the bonds company is called a “premium”.

The % amount of bail that you post depends on the bail company. For example, some may offer a low down payment, but still require you to pay 10% of the entire amount. Generally, bail companies offer a 2% discount for military veterans, or people who retain legal counsel. The logic behind this, is that hiring legal counsel generally means the defendant does not intend to bail out of jail to run.

The disadvantage is that if you use a bail company, you do not get the premium back at any point in time; that money is paid to a bail company. If you pay the entire bail amount to the Court, then you would receive that back once the case resolves.

In many cases, the bail bond agency will take payments towards the premium. This can sometimes be weekly payments, or monthly payments. Also, bail bond companies can accept credit cards or other forms of payment, whereas staking money with the court requires cash, cashier’s check or money order.

Most crimes are bondable offenses, except crimes for which the death penalty may be sought, immigration hold cases, and cases where the defendant has an active warrant or is otherwise in violation of probation or parole.

The amount of a bail bond that is required is first set by the arresting officer. The bail amount is predetermined by an established bail schedule. However, this does not take in account any prior criminal history, or that there may be additional charges that are added against you. If, for example, you were to post a bond for a single violation of PC 288.5 of $350,000, and when your Court Date arrives two months later, you could be facing additional charges on top of that first arrest charge.

That could mean that your bond could go up, and the money paid simply afforded you two months until you were to go back into custody. The arrest charge is typically not the only charge you would face. That is why being arrested for a crime is not the same thing as being charged with a crime. Being charged with a crime involves a Prosecutor reviewing the Police Reports to determine what charges apply to your case. You generally will only ever be arrested for one charge, but could actually be facing several more.

This could also be affected if there are certain enhancements, such as you have a strike offense. This is why in many circumstances, it is better to let a loved one remain in custody until their court date, which is 48 hours (during business days), to make sure you are losing several thousand dollars on a much higher bail requested by the Prosecutor once the case is filed.

The bail process takes several hours, since it takes up to twelve hours simply to be booked. Once the defendant’s friend or family has hired a bail bond company the bondsman will deliver or post the bond to the jail.

Once bail is posted, you are given a date to appear in Court from your bondsman, usually 45-60 days later.

IV
Modifying or Reducing the Bail Amount

If this is your second DUI: 1-year mandatory Ignition Interlock Device requirement.
If this is your third DUI: 2-year mandatory Ignition Interlock Device requirement.
If this is your fourth DUI: 3-year mandatory Ignition Interlock Device requirement.

If your bail goes up at your Court Date, also known as your Arraignment date, you would be remanded, or re-arrested and taken back into custody at the Court, and your bail will be forfeited. You would not be entitled to a refund from the bail company of the amount already paid to them.

Even if more charges are added, there are occasions where your bail can remain, under the bail schedule. This can be shown by hiring a good attorney to assist you. Your attorney can argue orally at your Arraignment that there are alternatives that can be used instead of bail. These can be things like a Stay Away Order, AA classes, SCRAM devices, among other examples. Your attorney can also file a bail motion on your behalf to have a second chance to reduce your bail amount. This is why it is important to contact an attorney that knows the local courts, and argues bail frequently. As an Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney, I have likely argued bail in cases at least 1-2 times per week. Many times having bail hearings that can over an hour simply to prove that my client is not a danger to the community or a flight risk.

Being prepared for your first Court Date while out on bail is critical to being prepared for the best or worst that can happen.

V
Exonerated, Forfeiting, & Reassumption of the Bond

If you post bail, and eventually your case is dismissed, you are found guilty, or you enter a guilty plea, then your bail will be said to be exonerated. To exonerate a bond means simply that a bond is no longer required and the defendant will remain free on his or her own recognizance. This can happen when a Prosecutor or judge lowers a criminal charge to one that does not require a bond like a misdemeanor offense, or when the defendant has not violated any terms of bond release and a year has expired without resolution of the defendant’s criminal case (bail bonds expire after a year from the date of purchase).

When a person does not appear in court as promised, or has committed a violation of a condition of bond release, such as leave the state of California or violating a law, the bond may be forfeited. To forfeit a bond means that your bond is no longer valid, such as when you fail to appear in court, and a warrant is issued for your arrest.

A reassumption of the bond means that the bail bond was forfeited for some reason but is later reinstated by a judge. This can occur based on missing a Court Date, with a good cause reason, where the Judge allows you to remain on the bond you previously posted. You also need to speak to your bond company as well to make sure they will accept the reassumption.

To learn more about bail information, please contact your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Inland Empire Criminal Defense. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions. Call today at 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.