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April 24, 2023  |  Posted by jesse  |  Bail Bonds

Discovering that a loved one has been arrested is an upsetting experience. Your first thought is probably to get them out of jail and do it quickly. But knowing how to bail someone out of jail in California and how the process works can seem overwhelming. It can be hard to think straight when all you want is to see your loved one and get them back home. Understanding how to bail your loved one out of jail will ensure you can approach the situation calmly and bring your family member or friend home faster. Firstly, try not to panic. You may feel stressed, anxious, and unsure of what to do next, but you will find the information you need right here.

Here we will provide all the information you need to know on how to bail someone out of jail in California. 

What is Bail?

You may have heard bail referred to in TV shows and in the news, but be less sure what it actually means. Bail is a payment made to secure the release of a defendant from custody while they await their hearing. Bail acts as a guarantee the defendant will show up in court for their trial hearing, acting as a form of surety. 

If the charges against the defendant are dropped, and regardless of whether the defendant is found guilty or not guilty, the bail money will be refunded to whoever posted the bail, but only if they attend all of their court dates. When the bond amount is refunded, it will be less any charges or fees you have incurred, such as those payable to a bail bond company or court fees. 

If a defendant jumps bail and does not show up in court, this is known as failure to appear. In this situation, the bail payment will be forfeited. 

Bail Payment Methods

There are a few different ways to pay the bail amount for defendants in California. You could pay cash or use real estate you own as collateral, which is known as property bail. Property bail is rarely used. One of the most popular ways to post bail is through bail bonds. 

What is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond or surety bond is posted by a bail bondsman and is used to post bail in lieu of making a cash payment for the entire bail amount. The bail bondsman will co-sign the bail bond as a guarantee they will pay the full amount if the defendant fails to attend court. The bail bond agent will then charge you a fee for this service, which is a percentage of the total bail amount.

How Does a Judge Set Bail in California?

After being charged with a crime, the defendant will usually face a bail hearing in front of a judge. During the hearing, the judge will decide if the defendant can be granted bail. The judge may refuse bail altogether. In this case, the defendant will remain in jail until their case goes to trial. In most cases, a judge will grant bail and specify the amount to be paid as a surety that the defendant will return to court for their trial.

How Much is Bail in California?

The bail amount for defendants in California will vary based on a few different factors. Firstly, the county where your loved one is being held will impact the bail amount. Different counties set their own bail schedule, which details bail amounts for different offenses. Individual judges can apply their own discretion when setting a bail amount, so this will affect how bail will cost. Finally, the type of offense your loved one has been charged with will impact how much the bail amount will be set at. For misdemeanors, the bail amount will be far lower than for a felony offense. So, there are a number of factors at play when figuring out how much you need to post to bail out your loved one.

First Steps to Bailing Someone Out of Jail in California

Now you know more about what bail is and the different ways it can be paid, it is time to explain the first steps to take to bail someone out of jail in California. Different counties in California may follow slightly different processes when it comes to bail. But, generally, you can follow these steps to bail someone out of jail in California:

  1. Find out which jail your loved one is being held at. 

Finding out where your loved one is being held in custody is the first step to take. Try not to worry if it takes a little while to find out where your loved one is being held. It will take time for them to go through the booking process and for their details to be uploaded into the system, so try not to panic if you do not find them right away. 

To access information to find out where your loved one is being held, you will need to have their full name, date of birth, and, if possible, their booking number. It is also helpful to find out what your loved one has been charged with, as this can make it easier to find where they are. You can use this information to search for your loved one online. You can find out if your loved one is being held in the following counties by searching their websites:

2. Check that bail is granted for your loved one.

After tracking down where your loved one is being held in jail, it is time to check whether they are eligible for bail. A bail hearing will be held, and the judge will decide whether or not your loved one is eligible for bail. The judge’s decision will likely be based on the crime your loved one has been accused of, along with their perceived risk. For example, if your loved one is believed to be a high flight risk and likely to jump bail, they may not be granted bail and will need to remain in jail until their trial.

3. Find out how much the bail amount will cost.

Once you know the judge has granted bail for your loved one, it is time to find out how much their bail amount will be. There are a few ways to find out how much you need to post in bail. You can find this information by looking online, calling the jail, or contacting a bail bond agent, such as our team at Balboa Bail Bonds, for free advice regarding bail amounts.

4. Choose your bail payment method.

Now you know the bail amount, you can decide on how you will pay it. You could post bail using property bail, cash bail, or bail bonds from a bail bond agent. Don’t forget if you use a bail bond agent, you will not need to post the total amount of bail. Instead, you will pay a fee that equates to 10 percent of the total bail amount, and the bail bondsman will guarantee the rest of the amount. 

How to Post Bail in California

Once you have followed the first steps above, it is time to complete the process, ready for your loved one to get released from jail and to bring them back home.

Pay the Bail Amount

Now you know how much the bail amount is and have decided how you will pay, it is time to post bail to get your loved one home. Different counties may have different requirements for posting bail, but in most cases, you can attend the jail where your loved one is held and post bail for them to be released. If you used a bail bondsman, they will take care of posting bail on your behalf.

Wait for the Release Process

After posting bail, your loved one’s release process will take place. Processing the release can take a while, especially if it is busy in the jail that day. But be patient, and you will be reunited with your loved one soon enough. Don’t forget your loved one may not have enough cash to pay for a cab, so you will need to arrange a way for them to get back home once they are released.

Posting Bail: How Balboa Bail Bonds Can Help

Choosing the best bail bondsman is essential to get your loved one released as fast as possible. Here at Balboa Bail Bonds, we can help you with bailing someone out of jail in California and make the process as easy as possible. 

  • Pay the bail bond premium only –  no mobile service fees, posting fees, or processing fees.
  • Flexible financing options are available.
  • Licensed bail agents.
  • Bail advice and support are available 24/7.
  • Veteran-owned company offering discounts for veterans.

Contact Balboa Bail Bonds today for a free consultation.