What to expect
What are the most asked questions and concerns with this legal process
The bail process is something that most people aren’t extremely familiar with, but it is actually a fairly simple process designed to protect the rights of arrestees to a fair trial for their alleged crime.
The bail bonds industry as a whole exists in a couple different avenues throughout the United States-federal crimes carry their own bail bonds regulations while State crimes have a bail process that can vary slightly depending on local laws.
For the most part, bail bonds work the same way regardless of location, though the bail process may be affected logistically depending on what type of holding facility your loved one is at, as well as the crime they are being charged with. If you’re looking for bail info, here are a few questions to ask a bail bondsman before agreeing to pay for their services.
While it may seem obvious that a customer would want to know how much bail bonds services cost, there’s actually a very important reason to do so that you may not be aware of.
The California department of Insurance has laws in place that state a bail bondsman may only charge 10% of the total bail amount as a commission for their services. It is technically illegal to charge any more or less, and getting involved with a company that does can lead to additional trouble.
Make sure your bail bondsman is charging the proper amount, especially if you or a loved one is putting up valuable assets as collateral. The 10% bail cost rule is true for bail bonds, as well as those throughout the state of California.
Licensed Bail Bondsman
Only State-licensed agents or companies, (also licensed through the California Department of Insurance) are permitted to post bail bonds in Los Angeles.
Bail costs are usually set extremely high-commonly 10s of thousands of dollars, though bail amounts can reach hundreds of thousands or even millions for high profile crimes. A licensed bail bondsman is always backed by a specialized insurance company in order to cover these large amounts in the event a suspect attempts to flee their trial.
Be sure the bail bonds company you’re considering is licensed by the State Department of Insurance and all of their licensing is current as well.
Speed of Bail
This is obviously a very important issue, but it is important to understand that bail bondsman are most often at the mercy of the police station or other law enforcement holding facility when it comes to how quickly they can get you freed.
Many bail bonds companies will stress that they are extremely fast at releasing customers from custody because it is still necessary for a bail bondsman to physically appear in order to release an arrestee.
However, it is possible today to initiate the release process by fax and email, allowing the bail process to be expedited. As long as a bail bonds company or agent acknowledges that they can do this, you’re pretty certain to be released from jail as soon as bureaucratically possible.
Recognize that each particular jail is different and how busy the facility is can change day to day.
It’s never a bad idea to ask your bail bondsman for attorney resources if you are in need of them. Bail bonds companies work with attorneys pretty frequently and usually have relationships with attorneys that may specialize in the crime you or your loved one is being charged with.
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