How Bail Works in California

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When you are in need of a bail bond service in California, contact the experts at Bail Central. We provide fast and reliable bail services for many clients all throughout California. We list below all the bail types that we typically provide bail for. No matter why you were arrested, we’re here to help.

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How Bail Works in California according to Penal Code Sections 1269, 1276 and 1276.5

How Bail Works in California according to Penal Code Sections 1269, 1276 and 1276.5

Bail in California works in very specific ways. There are three different ways to post bail. There are cash, property, and bail bonds. These are based on penal codes that help to make sure that alleged criminals stay where they need to be, while allowing them to get their affairs in order. Or, to keep up their responsibilities. We will go over these Penal Code sections now.

Property Bond - Penal Code 1275.5

According to the California Penal Code Section 1275.5, the property bond is an alternative that is only beneficial to those that own their own property. You would be using the equity interest of the property you own to post bail. There are a few details when it is time to consider this option.

  • Your equity interest must be double the bail amount at the very least.
  • The property in question must have been appraised within recent times.
  • The equity must be estimated by a professional before the courts take it seriously.
  • You must be open about any previous liens on the property before they will consider it a viable option.

You must keep in mind that should you go this route and not keep up your end of the bargain, this could lead to a lien against your property. The lien will ensure that the county can sell the property to recover the bail fees that they provided. It is a huge risk. It is very useful for those that are confident in their innocence. Remember that the county must be agreeable to how much equity there is before approving this particular option.

Cash Bail - Penal Code 1269

This option is for those rare times that people have enough cash to be able to do this. According to California Penal Code Section 1269, you must have the cash available to you immediately or you must be able to get a cashier's check of the complete amount. This happens when you are at the jail. It is not typical that people will be able to do this. But, it is the quickest and most efficient way to be released from custody.

Things to remember:
  • Bail typically starts at $10,000 minimum. This makes it unlikely that one would be able to just post bail without extra help.
  • Should you use your savings for this, it is important to remember that if you go to all of your court dates and do what the county needs you to do, you will get your money back.
  • Court cases last for a very long time fairly often. It could last over a year. This money will be untouchable for at least that long. If this is money you need in your immediate future, or your family needs it; it is best to go another route.
  • You will not get your cash bail back if you miss court appearances or get in trouble again during the case.
  • It can take 2-4 months to receive the cash bail back once the case has been closed.

Should the accused go missing, the person that has posted the bail has 180 days to locate them and report them. If they fail to do so, they will lose the money that they posted. This is a financial risk that one must take time to seriously consider before making any major decisions. It is understandable to want to support a loved one throughout this difficult time. Just remember the risks involved.

Bail Bond - Penal Code 1276

According to the California Penal Code 1276, bail bonds are the most common option taken advantage of during legal issues. This is due to the fact that most people don't have as much money necessary to post their bail. The accused speaks to a bail bond agent and opens up a contract for the amount needed. It is a fairly simple contract. You make the promise that you will go to court when required and they make the promise that they will post bail for you.

Important Facts to Remember:
  • There is a premium percentage that must be paid to the bail bond agent. That amount is typically 10 percent.
  • The premium may be reduced to eight percent, if referred by a lawyer.
  • The premium is non-refundable.
  • There needs to be some sort of collateral. This could be a car, house, yacht, business, etc. This is to ensure that they do not lose out on the money they have invested in your freedom.
  • If you do not follow the directions and end up fleeing, the bail bond agent loses their money. They will then take the collateral and sell it to make up for their loss.

When working with bail bond agents, it is imperative to remember that they will be incredibly driven to make sure that you do not drop the ball on your end. They will want to make sure that you are where you say you are at all times. Most of their job is just making sure that their clients are keeping up their end of the bargain. This makes it much easier on everyone in the long run. Losing your collateral could mean losing your home or something else you have worked hard to own. It isn't a risk that anyone should be willing to take, even for their own freedom.

Other issues that come about when there is failure to appear include having a bounty hunter that may spend some serious amounts of energy trying to find you. It is important to keep your word when it comes down to this, because the consequences for failure to appear are extreme enough without owing someone bail money.

Release on Your Own Recognizance - ARTICLE 1, SECTION12(C)

This is rare, but there is an option of being released on your own recognizance. This is based on whether you will flee. Essentially, the court must trust that you have strong ties to the community and are going to stay rooted where you are. While this is an option, it often does not occur. This is available for misdemeanors. You won't even have to post bail. You simply will have to provide a written promise that you will appear in court. As stated above, it is a rare option.

Knowing what your options are is important. There are bail bond agents willing to work with you to make this process much easier. You must be willing to work with them equally. They have your best interest at heart, which means that must be returned for the risks they are willing to take.

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