Posting a Bail: What You Need to Know

If you’re lucky, you may never have to know what it’s like to post bail bonds, whether you’re posting it for yourself or a loved one. If bail is involved, it means you or someone close to you has been charged with a crime and is waiting to get released from jail. Though being charged with a crime is never a good thing, you can avoid the unpleasantness of needless incarceration by posting bail bonds at the San Joaquin County jail.

However, if you’re unfamiliar with the bail bonding process, there are some things you should know before attempting to post bail. The bail process can be complicated and involve many intricacies that aren’t familiar to the average person. Therefore, read on to learn more about it so that you can navigate the legal landscape surrounding it.

What Is a Bail Bond?

Bail is a promissory payment that the accused, or a representative of the accused, makes to guarantee that he or she will not flee the arm of the law throughout the pending legal proceedings. In other words, the accused or a representative of the accused can post bail, and that money serves as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court and comply with all orders issued by the court.

A bail bondsman is usually the proxy who offers the guarantee on behalf of the defendant, and the defendant or a personal proxy, in turn, pays a sum equaling 10% of the bail amount to the bail agency as a guarantee of compliance.

Who Is Eligible for Bail?

Back of Person in Orange Jail Suit and Handcuffed and in Jail

In short, almost anyone who is accused of a crime has the right to seek bail. While the laws governing the bail process may differ by state to some degree, most people charged with crimes are given a bail amount that is set by the court at a bail hearing or preliminary hearing. 

The exception would be those who are accused of violent crimes and considered a legitimate flight risk or who could represent a continued danger to members of the public. In such instances, bail may be denied in some jurisdictions.

How Does the Bail Process Work?

The process begins with an arrest, at which time a preliminary hearing date is set. For some routine minor crimes, bail amounts are automatic and can be paid on the spot without further need for jail time. However, some other charges may require a bail hearing. 

At that hearing, the court sets the bail amount for the defendant. Regardless, once the bail amount is set, the accused or representatives of the accused may raise the total amount of the bail, or they may seek out a bail bondsman to offer a bond. Representatives of the accused must usually pay the bondsman 10% of the total bail amount; then, the bondsman gives the remaining balance of the bail to the court on behalf of the defendant.

In some cases, there is also collateral provided by the defendant to the bondsman to secure the bail amount. The bondsman monitors the court appearances of the defendant, and if the defendant fails to appear, bounty hunters seek to capture the defendant and remand him or her to the custody of the court. If the defendant skips bail altogether, the court takes the bond, and the bondsman keeps the 10% and the collateral offered on behalf of the defendant. If the defendant makes all court appearances, the bail amount is released back to the bond agency.

If you or a loved one have been arrested and accused of a crime, bail bonds in Stockton, CA, may be your quickest path to getting out of jail. With the help of a knowledgeable bail bondsman, you can post bail and go about your life while awaiting your court date. Contact BailSmart Bail Bonds at (866) 377-6080 to learn more about the bail process and what you should know before posting bail.