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How Do Bail Bonds Work in California?

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime, you may be wondering how to get out of jail as soon as possible. One of the most common ways to do so is by posting bail, which is a sum of money that the court requires as a guarantee that you will show up for your future court dates. However, bail can be very expensive, and not everyone can afford to pay it in cash. That’s where bail bonds come in. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Red Bluff criminal lawyer from Cohen Criminal Law to learn more about bail bonds, how they work, and how our legal team can assist you if you’ve been charged with a crime. Here are some of the questions you may have:

How do bail bonds work?

A bail bond is a contract between you and a bail bond agent, also known as a bail bondsman. The agent agrees to pay the full amount of your bail to the court on your behalf, in exchange for a fee that is usually 10% of the bail amount. The fee that you pay to the agent is non-refundable, even if your case is dismissed or you are found not guilty. However, some agents may offer discounts or payment plans if you have a good credit score or a stable job.

In addition to the fee, the agent may also require some form of collateral from you or someone who co-signs the bond for you. Collateral is something of value that you pledge to the agent as a security for the bond, such as your house, car, jewelry, or other assets, and if you fail to appear in court as required, the agent can seize and sell your collateral to cover the loss of the bail money.

What are the benefits of a bail bond?

The main benefit of a bail bond is that it allows you to get out of jail quickly and resume your normal life while your case is pending. You can continue working, spending time with your family and friends, and preparing your defense with your lawyer. Being out of jail can also improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome in your case, as you can demonstrate to the judge and jury that you are a responsible and law-abiding citizen.

That being said, importantly, if you’re issued a bail bond, you’ll need to comply with all the conditions of your release, such as reporting to the agent regularly, staying within a certain area, avoiding contact with certain people or places, refraining from committing any new crimes, and attending all your court hearings on time. If you miss any court dates or violate any conditions of your release, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest and forfeit your bail. This means that the agent will lose the money that they posted for you, and they will try to find you and bring you back to jail.

If you have any further questions or you’re currently being charged with a crime, simply contact Cohen Criminal Law today. We are here to fight for you and your future, every step of the way.