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February 10, 2023  |  Posted by jesse  |  Bail Bonds

Need to post bail with a check? If you are short on time, the answer is yes in some cases. Contact us or keep reading to learn more.

If you have been arrested for a crime in San Diego or another part of California, there will be several questions running through your mind. Not least in relation to posting bail. If you’re wondering “can I pay bail with a check?”, this quick guide will provide the answers you need.

Alternatively, if you want to speak to a dedicated bail bondsman about your options, get in touch with Balboa Bail Bonds today.

Posting bail in California

Following an arrest, posting bail is the only way to secure your release from custody. So, if you wish to retain your freedom between now and your trial date, posting bail is the only option. However, the Californian Courts set cash bail amounts to five-figure (or even higher) amounts to prevent the threat of defendants taking flight, which makes it very difficult for the average person to post bail for themselves.

Using a bail bonds company like Balboa Bail Bonds allows you to secure your release (or a loved one’s) by paying a premium that is usually 10% of the cash bail fee. So, if your bail has been set to $25,000, this is a way to secure your release for just $2,500, thus making it far more accessible.

Can I pay bail with a check?

When using a bail bonds company, a wide range of payment options will be available. This includes paying cash, using your tax refund to pay bail, or taking out a bail bond loan. As such, the use of physical checks is uncommon as alternative methods like digital payments are faster and more convenient for most defendants. Furthermore, most banks provide debit cards with all checking accounts, meaning there is no need to visit a physical office or post checks in the mail. 

Nonetheless, individuals that still wish to pay bail with a check may select this option with Balboa Bail Bonds. For example, senior citizens who do not have online banking may find that paying by check is the only suitable option. Meanwhile, some people who need to post bail on behalf of a loved one will want to meet the bail bonds company before committing to the process.

It should be noted that some of California’s jails and county courts accept personal checks for bail too. However, they require the check to be posted in person while you must also present a valid government-issued ID. Furthermore, the limits for check payments are typically set to $5,000. Whether it’s a DUI, DV, or assault case, the check will not cover the cash bail amount. Thankfully, it’s not as much of a problem when paying a bail bonds company with a check, especially as the premium is a far smaller fee.

Most jails and courts also only accept checks during bank hours while they only release the defendant once the check has cleared. Consequently, then, posting bail via check on weekends, nights, and holidays with the jails and courts is ill-advised. Paying bail with a check via a bail bonds company bypasses this problem too.

The benefits of paying bail with a check

Paying for a bail bond via check might not be an overly common solution in today’s world. However, it can be a very useful solution for several reasons, especially when posting bail on behalf of a loved one. Some of the incentives for taking this route include but are not limited to;

  • If you have money at home but can’t access the bank out of hours, using a check gives you time to collect that cash and pay it into the bank before funds leave your account. 
  • Using this option removes all other obstacles linked to bank closing times or location, allowing you to act quickly and get the defendant out of jail in the fastest possible time.
  • When posting on behalf of a loved one, you can get them to cover their bail charges as soon as they’ve been released. This removes the risks of paying bail for a loved one.
  • There will be a bank record of the payment you’ve made, which is another advantage when paying bail for a loved one. Meanwhile, there are no issues relating to card expirations or forgetting the pin.

Crucially, when using a bond agent rather than a direct court payment, the defendant can be released today – before the check has cleared. So, this truly gives you the best of both worlds.

What is an ACH payment?

ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, also referred to as ACH transfers and ACH transactions, are a type of a type of electronic bank-to-bank payment that have been used across the US since the 1970s. While payments can take three days to clear, there are several benefits including accessibility to everyone as well as the fact that the funds are sourced by a bank account and are not connected to debit or credit cards that could expire. 

Many bail bond companies, including Balboa Bail Bonds, utilize payment processors such as Square that offer built-in features to complete payments using ACH systems. By using a direct payment, rather than a direct deposit, funds are transferred to the bail bonds team from the connected ACH account.

Can I set up recurring payments using ACH checking accounts? 

Absolutely. You can set up monthly or weekly payments to Balboa Bail Bonds from any checking account using ACH payments. It is one of several Bail Now, Pay Later options that are available to defendants and their families. 

However, you will be required to make an initial down payment before the bail process started. This is due to the fact that ACH payments are not immediate like Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, or credit/debit card transactions. Following this, though, further weekly/monthly appointments can be arranged as required. 

The final word

If you previously asked “can I pay bail with a check?”, you should now know that it is possible with bail bond companies like Balboa Bail Bonds of San Diego. Better still, it can be a great way to secure a loved one’s release from custody while only making a small down payment today. And once you’ve made the payment, our experts can use their experience of California’s jail and court systems to make the process run smoothly and efficiently.