Even if you're upstanding and a law-abiding citizen, you might find yourself in trouble with the law on suspicion of committing an offense. We all make mistakes as we grow, but that does not make you a criminal or "bad" person. If you run afoul with the law, you need to beware of the steps that can help you obtain your freedom, awaiting the outcome of the alleged crime.
Posting bail is one of the ways you can obtain your release from jail, and that is where we at Steven Mehr Bail Bonds step in to make this process seamless for you during these confusing times. Don't hesitate to contact us if you’re in police custody on suspicion of committing a crime in the city of Baldwin Park, California.
Facts That You Ought to Know About Bail
One of the most critical steps that you should take following an arrest is posting or paying bail. Generally, bail is the money you pay to the court's clerk upon an arrest to regain your freedom, pending the case's outcome. After an arrest and the booking procedure, the police officer may allow you to call someone to inform him/her of your situation.
If you have a chance to make a call after an arrest, you should call a bail bondsman or a friend who can call one on your behalf to begin the bail process without unnecessary delay. Whoever you choose to call, you should give them the following information to make your bail process seamless:
- The address of the jail you're in custody
- Your names
- The type of charge you're up against
- Your date of birth
- Your booking number
If you or your friend is under arrest and you're unfamiliar with the bail process, the following facts can help you make an informed decision during these nerve-racking times:
Most People Post Bail Through a Bail Bond
While paying bail using cash or an equivalent property is possible, doing so can be challenging and risky, especially when you decide to use property/asset as collateral for your release. Under the law, the court presiding over your case has the authority to seize your cash bail or property if your friend fails to adhere to his/her pretrial release conditions.
To avoid these possible complications or repercussions, most people or defendants use a bail bond. With a bail bond, also known as a surety bond, you have to talk to a bail bond agent. The agent will help you obtain your deserved freedom without a hassle under certain conditions.
The agent will sign a legal contract with the court, promising to pay your full bail amount when you refuse to show up for trial. However, you have to pay them up to ten percent of your scheduled or required bail amount. That means if your required bail amount is $5000, you can obtain a bail bond for $500 to stay out of jail as the alleged charge continues through various court procedures.
You Might Have to Surrender a Collateral
Depending on the full scheduled bail amount for the alleged case, the agent may also require you to surrender a valuable asset or property as collateral for your freedom. The collateral you will surrender to the agent must be significant, for example, a piece of land or house.
The collateral will act as security for your release to give you a reason to show up in court for future hearings or proceedings to counter the alleged offense. When you fail to abide by the bond agreement or conditions, the agent will keep your collateral.
The Bail Amounts the Court Sets Can Vary Greatly
Most non-severe offenses have a predetermined bail amount listed on the bail schedule. If your specific alleged offense is listed on the bail schedule, the court will have leeway to determine your ideal bail amount. However, in most instances, the following factors will help the court determine the appropriate bail amount for your case:
Nature of the Accused Offense
How high your bail will be will typically depend on the sophistication and nature of the accused charge. If the accused charge is a violent offense or a felony, your bail is likely to be high to give you a reason to appear in your future court dates.
Your Ability or Capability to Pay
The judge will also consider the defendant’s ability to afford bail when determining his/her ideal and fair bail amount because bail is not a punishment for the alleged offense. If you believe your required bail amount is punitive or unreasonably high, your defense attorney can help you convince the court to make it minimum.
Your Criminal History
A defendant without a criminal record is likely to pay a reduced bail amount than a defendant with a past arrest or conviction record. Generally, in the court's eyes, a defendant with a past criminal record is a habitual offender, meaning he/she deserves a high bail amount.
If you pose a danger or threat to the community, the higher your bail amount will be for the community's best interest. For instance, if you're in police custody on suspicion of a terrorist threat charge, the court might hold you in jail without bail or schedule a high bail amount for your case.
Whether or Not You Might Flee the Area After Stepping Out of Jail
If the court sees you as a "flight risk" or likely to flee after stepping out of jail, your bail will likely be high to discourage or prevent you from fleeing. Although you can post bail without an attorney, it is advisable to have one during your bail hearing to raise mitigating arguments that convince the court to lower your bail amount.
Myths and Misconceptions About Bail Bonds
There are several myths and misconceptions about bail that cost most people a lot of resources and time if they are on a mission to bail someone out of police custody. If you do not have facts about the bail bonds and the process of bailing someone out of police custody, you should talk to a bail bond dealer or agent for help.
Don't let the following myths and misconceptions about bail hinder you from helping a friend secure his/her freedom during these challenging times:
The Bail Bondsman Can Make a Favourable Bail Deal for You
One of the misconceptions most people have about bail is that a bail bond agent can influence the court decision on the amount of bail you should pay for the specific alleged case, which is untrue. The decision on whether or not you're eligible to post bail and the amount of payment you should make to the court's clerk is in the hands of the judge with the jurisdiction over your case.
You Need the Full Scheduled Bail Amount in Cash to Secure Your Release
The myth that you need the total scheduled bail amount in cash to obtain your freedom is the reason that prevents most people from bailing their friends out of jail because they typically assume they cannot afford the money. In reality, you need the total bail amount in cash if you decide to post your friend's bail using cash.
The main point in paying a bail bond is to help your friend secure his/her freedom without necessarily needing the full bail amount in cash.
You Will Receive the Bail Bond Fee After the Judgment of the Alleged Case
Regardless of whether or not you're innocent of the alleged charge, the bail bond fee you'll pay to your bail bond agent is non-refundable. Typically, the fee you'll pay the agent will be his/her earnings for helping your friend secure his or her freedom, pending the outcome of the alleged case.
As you might beware, time is of the essence when someone is behind bars on suspicion of committing a crime. Ensure you talk to a reputable bail bondsman if you or your friend is in trouble with the law on suspicion of committing an offense or crime.
Conditions You Will Have to Adhere to After Posting Bail
If you're eligible for this pretrial release option, the judge will permit you to go home under particular strict conditions, including:
- Avail yourself in court during the scheduled hearings or proceedings to defend your case
- Surrender your passport and driving license to limit your likelihood of fleeing the country or state
- Enroll in a court-approved drug and alcohol treatment program
- Wear an electronic monitoring device
- Stop visiting or contacting the alleged victim (restraining order)
- Periodic check-ins or meetings with a probation officer
Typically, the judge presiding over the alleged case has discretion on the conditions you must adhere to after securing your deserved freedom on bail. However, none of these conditions or requirements should violate your constitutional protections.
If you're unsure of what you can and cannot do after your release on bail, you should talk with your attorney or bail bond agent for clarification to avoid a re-arrest.
Exoneration of Bail
Upon resolution of the alleged crime, the court will exonerate your bail regardless of the case's verdict. Exoneration or release of your bail occurs when:
- The court declares that you're incompetent to stand trial due to insanity reasons
- The court dismisses your case due to inadequate evidence to prove you guilty
- The court permits you to engage in a drug diversion program under Penal Code 1000 instead of serving a jail term
- You are subject to an incarceration term after an adverse judgment
After exoneration of your bail, the bail bond agent will have no reason to retain your asset as collateral, meaning you'll receive it back as soon as possible. When you decide to "jump bail" or fail to show up on your court dates, the bail bond dealer will pay your full bail amount to the court. In an attempt to recover this money, the agent will have to sell your collateral.
Note, if your sentence attracts a fine or requires you to pay restitution to the victims of this case, the judge will apply a portion of your bail amount to settle these penalties.
Finding a Dependable Bail Bondsman to Hire
If you want to find a dependable bail bondsman in Baldwin Park, you should keep the following tips in mind to find the right one without a hassle:
Check Whether or Not They Have Physical Office
It shows some sense of professionalism working with an agent with a physical office. If possible, you should schedule an appointment with your prospective bail bondsman to see whether his/his office looks like a place of business or not.
If he/she doesn't have a physical office, you should continue with your search because that is a red flag of his/her incompetence.
Check Whether or Not They Have a Licensing
As a requirement by the law, every bail bond dealer or agent must have a licensing before commencing with bail bond business. Ensure you ask your prospective agent relevant questions about his/her licensing before you make a significant commitment with him/her or his/her company to avoid settling for the services of a mediocre expert.
Check Out His/her Past Client Reviews
To know whether or not your prospective agent's services are reliable, you may want to check out his/her website and social media profiles to see his/her past client comments. Several positive comments from his/her past clients mean the agent has reliable services you can count on during these challenging times.
The City of Baldwin Park Jail and Courthouse Addresses/Information
You might need the following addresses of some of the courthouses and jails in the city of Baldwin Park when bailing a loved one out of jail:
El Monte Courthouse
West Covina Courthouse
Baldwin Park Police Department
Find a Baldwin Park Bail Bond Company Near Me
At Steven Mehr Bail Bonds, we understand how important it is to have your loved one home within the shortest time possible if he/she is under arrest for any alleged crime. We invite you to call us at 800-834-8522 for speedy and affordable bail bond services if you or anyone you love is in police custody in the city of Baldwin Park, California.