Bail Bonds In California - Bail Services

The California Bail Bonds System

In the state of California the bail system is regulated by the State Government under the rights of individuals guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. California law allows a third party to provide money, or a surety of money to guarantee a defendant will appear in court at the scheduled times. Bail is a guaranteed right of people in the U.S. unless the court can provide sufficient reasons for bail not to be posted.

The system of bail used in the U.S. was inherited from the English system created by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1678. This act allowed a county sheriff to allow a defendant to be released from prison with the promise they would return for their scheduled court appearance. The sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees bail as a right of people within the U.S.

The Californian bail system allows different forms of bail to be posted by people known or unknown to a defendant. Once arrested and processed through a law enforcement office or county jail a court will set a monetary figure of bail that must be posted for the defendant to be freed until their case is concluded. The bail figure can be met as cash, which is held by the court until the case is completed. When a defendant fails to meet any scheduled court dates bail can be revoked, and the cash bail held by the court.

Other options include the use of a surety agent who guarantees to provide the required bail amount to a Californian court should the defendant fail to be present at a scheduled court date. The surety agent usually charges around ten percent of the bail value to provide this form of bail insurance. A family member or friend is usually required to cosign with the defendant to guarantee payment to the surety agent. Bail bonds are issued by bonding agents who require collateral to guarantee the bond of the bail value to insure the defendant will arrive at a court date.

How Does Bail Work in California

Within the state of California, the Department of Insurance is responsible for licensing all bail bond agents. Such a license permits an agent to solicit individuals who need bail bond service. It also allows the agent to negotiate and complete the undertakings of bail with regard to any surety insurer. The position gives the agent power of attorney to be able to legally handle and process bail for persons who get released from jail, but who have been ordered to appear at a future court appearance.

When a court in California establishes an amount of bail for a jailed person, the individual is then given the opportunity to post bail. He must pay an amount equal to 10% of the total that is ordered by the judge. In essence, the person who posts bail is saying they promise that the jailed party will appear at the upcoming court hearing.

Should the newly freed person skip the court date and not appear before the judge at the appointed time, the entire amount of the bond that was set by the judge must then be paid to the court. It is the responsibility of the surety insurer who issued the bail bond to pay the court. Because of the liability placed upon the bail bond agent and the surety insurer, it is usual and customary that some type of property or deed is required as collateral for the bond, in case the individual defaults and fails to appear.

Generally, if a person is found by the court to be innocent of the crime, or if the charges in the case are dropped, the individual who posted the bail will receive a refund of the amount paid.

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