Having you or a relative arrested for contravening the law can be devastating. After the arrest, you will be processed and placed in a police cell or prison before the trial. Despite the detention, you still have an opportunity to leave custody and return later for trial by paying bail in cash, enlisting bail bond services, or the judge releases you on your recognizance. These options enable you to spend less time in jail and resume normalcy as you prepare for court appearances. If you want to buy a bail bond to leave custody in Santa Clarita, we at Steven Mehr Bail Bonds are ready to offer the expertise that will meet your expectations.
The General View of Bail
Sometimes authorities are not willing to let you out of jail through a written promise called a citation. So, the judge might choose to give you bail to guarantee your court attendance. Bail is a broad term that refers to money paid to the court to allow you to leave jail before your trial begins temporarily. In Santa Clarita, the role of setting bail belongs to the judge, although for some charges, the arresting officer can check the bail schedule to determine the amount to be posted as bail. If you fail to respond to the court dates, the court will issue a warrant for re-arrest and forfeit the money you had paid.
There are money ways you can pay the bail, including using cash, property, and surety or bail bond. When you cannot consolidate money to pay bail in cash or don’t want to use your property, a third person, usually a bondsman, can guarantee your freedom before a verdict. Different from cash bail, in a surety bond, you sign an agreement with the bondsman and cosigner outlining the premium fee to be paid, your role and that of the bail bondsman, and the duration you will be utilizing the bond services.
Your bail amount depends on the circumstances and nature of the charges. Serious offenses attract high bail as the court discourages you from leaving custody, even though this is against the 8th amendment that requires bail not to be excessive or used to punish the offender. And because the money you should pay will impact your future finances, you should request a bail proceeding to reduce the financial burden or eliminate it through a personal recognizance release.
During the setting, modification, or removal of bail, the court puts a lot of factors into account, including:
- Your capacity to consolidate the money
- Your history of crime
- Public safety
- The severity of the offense
- The possibility that you will appear for arraignment and trial
For serious charges, bail reduction below what is provided in the bail schedule is almost impossible unless there are unique circumstances or good cause. It means that it’s only an introduction of new evidence in the charge that can result in bail reduction and not your history of court attendance or being a first-time offender.
Also, it could be a modification in the hearing or a unique situation that results in the lowering of bail. However, it doesn’t mean the judge that arrived at the original bail amount made an error in the bail determination or case evaluation.
If you haven’t posted bail, the court should review your initial bail within five days from the day it arrived. Again, for offenses involving the violation of a protective order, a felony, or domestic violence, you must notify the prosecuting team of your intentions to apply for a hearing two days before doing so.
Apart from lowering bail, the court can choose to increase the amount from what was initially set. The incidents are common when you request a bail reduction. Still, on further evaluation of your background, the court finds out you are on probation or breached parole conditions, something they were unaware of when setting the original bail. Therefore, before initiating a bail review, post the initial bail first so that even if they come across this information, you don’t extend your jail custody.
Furthermore, the judge could grant a personal recognizance release in the bail hearing, but only if the charges in question won’t result in a death penalty when convicted.
Sometimes, when you have an experienced criminal attorney in your corner, they could develop terms and conditions to compel the court to reduce the bail or release you on personal recognizance. The terms you must agree with are:
- Visiting an inpatient center
- Being placed under house arrest via electronic monitoring
- Surrendering your passport to restrict travel
- Confiscation of your driver’s license
Do you need to attend the bail proceeding? Yes. A bail hearing is compulsory if you want freedom before other hearings and the trial.
Posting Bail Using a Bondsman
If you don’t have property or upfront cash to pay bail, you can hire a bail agency in Santa Clarita to pay the bond for you. These agencies expect you to pay a premium fee of 10% of the entire bail upfront. The state regulates the bail bonds fee, and companies are unable to offer discounts below 8%. The discount is offered if you have an attorney, a member of a worker’s union, or the U.S. military.
Your bondsman will require reassurance that you won’t be jumping bail, which is why they will need you to put up your real estate, precious vehicle or jewelry, savings, or investment as collateral. If you miss court, the company should keep or auction these items.
Importance of a Bail Bonds Agent
Defendants who are endowed with money to post bail upfront or to transfer the required amount to the court are the ones who use cash bail. You and many other defendants barely have the savings or jobs that can enable them to pay bail in cash. Also, you want your money gaining interest out there and not seated in court for a long duration without generating any interest.
Your Santa Clarita bail agent comes in during these situations to minimize your stay behind bars before arraignment or during the trial. A bail bond is a surety the bondsman deposits with the court on your behalf, making them bail guarantors. They agree to act as a surety to guarantee the court that they will be responsible for the full bail when you jump bail. The agent then secures the bond not to lose the surety bond paid to the court if you fail to appear.
Aspects Surrounding a Bail Bond
Before buying a surety bond, you must learn many elements about it to avoid extra costs. One aspect that is critical to note is you can utilize different properties as collateral, including credit cards, bank accounts, precious metals, and real property.
Also, if you breach the conditions set for the bond by your bail company and the court, you will face brutal repercussions. You must comply with the law when out of jail failure, to which you will be re-arrested, sent to a Santa Clarita jail, and your bail canceled.
And because the surety is forfeited, the bail agency might come after the collateral to recover the money lost.
Again, you should understand that your bail is determined by several factors like the severity of the criminal act, a habit of missing court dates, and an extensive criminal history.
Finally, it’s worth noting that some bail agencies charge annual premiums if your matter in court goes for more than a year without a court ruling. Here, you will incur an extra 10% of the total bail, generally called a renewal fee.
The Criteria a Bondsman Must Meet
At your hour of need, bondmen intervene and use their intellectual property and arbitration skills to raise finances to obtain your freedom. Therefore, these individuals must comply with the strict guidelines provided by The California Department of Insurance (DOI) before issuing a license. This regulates the activities of these experts and ensures they act within the law. Also, any agreement between you and the bond company must involve the insurance agency.
And because of the ever-growing jail and prison population in California, many judges grant bail to defendants before appearing in court to reduce congestion. This means that bondsmen play a critical role in public safety as they are concerned with releasing defendants from custody before a verdict. The professionals play an essential role. Therefore, whenever you want to contact a bond company, you must ensure they meet the following criteria:
1. Meet the Qualification Criteria
A person applying as a bondsman must not be underage. In addition, they must have proof of two years of residency in Santa Clarita. Also, they should have a clean criminal record, a pre-licensing program, and excel in the Commissioner Accrediting test. In addition, the individual must have a sponsorship from a dependable insurance company.
2. Possess the Educational Requirements
A bail agent must have a bachelor’s degree in business management, economics, or finance to sit for the pre-licensing test. The Examination is twenty hours long and includes subjects like licenses protocols, the rights of the accused, bail rules, and ethics. When hiring a bail service, you might want to inquire if the agent being assigned your case meets these academic qualifications.
3. State License Application
The DOI requires a person to be a bondsman to present an application for an insurance license and pay a $468 fee via check or credit card. Further, the party must present proof of pre-licensing course completion. Also, the DOI will require proof of affiliation with a reliable insurer.
Once the license is issued, it must be renewed every twenty-four months, during which one must undergo a six-hour training program when the current permit is still valid.
4. Perform Well in the State Licensing Test
When a candidate fills out their license application, they must undertake the commissioner’s exam, which consists of fifty multiple-choice questions that last for two hours. The pass mark for the exam is 70%, meaning only those above this mark undergo fingerprinting to check their criminal record and proceed to be issued with practicing licenses. These licensed bondsmen can choose to open their agencies or find a job in established companies.
Not all bail agents out there have undergone this procedure or meet these requirements. Therefore, you must be extra careful when hiring to ensure you retain the services of state-licensed professionals with the skills and training necessary to help you leave jail before appearing in court.
Information the Bondsman Will, Require to Set You Free
If the judge sets bail and your only recourse is a surety bond, you will need a profound bondsman to help with the pretrial release. The agent will require:
- The jail location and its name
- Your legal name
- Booking number
- Bail amount
With this information, the bondsman will ensure your release as soon as possible so avoid prolonging your custody in jail.
Jumping bail has many repercussions for the parties involved, including the cosigner and the bail agent. The cosigner is the party that signs the indemnity agreement. If you skip court and the bondsman loses the surety deposited in court, they will be financially liable for the forfeited bond. Most cosigners place their property as collateral, meaning when you don’t show up, the collateral, whether a vehicle or real estate, will be retained or sold by the agency to recover their losses.
Cosigners assume a considerable risk, and the law ensures fairness by requiring them to inform the bondsman or court when you, the defendant, breach the bond terms. If a cosigner makes their complaints known before the next court appearance, bail will be revoked, and you will be placed under arrest.
As the defendant, you don’t only lose the bond money. You might be subject to additional charges for not appearing on top of the baseline offense.
Nonetheless, when you skip court but show up within six months of the bail forfeiture notice and provide adequate evidence showing the valid reasons for not appearing, the judge has the discretion not to cancel your bail. The valid reasons that can prevent bail cancellation are:
- Detention in a different jurisdiction
- Severe illness
- Insanity and disability
Santa Clarita Sheriff Station
Santa Clarita Courthouse
Find the Right Bail Bondsman Near Me
Our Company, Steven Mehr Bail Bonds, assures you of a quick bail process that will result in less time in custody for you or a relative after apprehension. We have flexible payment options and will work quickly to ensure your release on the same day of arrest. Call us today at 800-834-8522 for any inquiries on bail release.