Walking down the street in a normal town, one won’t find very many people with any knowledge whatsoever of the bail bonds industry. As a Santa Clarita Bail Bonds company, we’ve been in this business for over 40 years and know the industry inside and out. So we thought we would put together a short list of four common bail bonds questions and answer them for you. All answers are with regards to the laws of California.
Question 1: How much does a bail bonds cost?
Explanation: All bail bonds companies are regulated by the California Department of Insurance. It is they who mandate that every bail agency charge 10% of the total bail. There are companies out there that both advertise and charge less and in both instances, they are operating illegally. The one and only time that a company can charge less is if they utilize the Prop 103 loophole and charge 8% of the total bail.
So in the end, you will be charged 10% of the total bail, for example; say bail is set at $20,000, you would pay a bail bonds company $2000 to put up a $20,000 bail bond.
Question 2: What types of bail bonds are there?
1. Cash: this is where the defendant will have someone (the signor) take the entire amount of bail ($20,000) to the court. The court will then hold on to the $20,000 until the defendant attends all court dates and the case is finished. At that time, the $20,000 will be given back.
2. Surety: This is the type of bail when you work with, say, the bail bonds Santa Clarita company. It is a contract with the bail bonds company who in turn has a contract with an insurance company who backs all bail bonds written by the bail bonds company. So in essence when you bail someone out, you are in a contract with an insurance company for the total amount of bail.
3. Property: If you have property that has enough equity or more in it, you may put up a lien on this property and sign it over to the court for bail. When the case is finished, the paperwork will be sent back and the lien will be taken off.
4. Own Recognizance: The judge may order the defendant out on their own recognizance which means that the judge believes that the defendant will make all their court dates with out providing any money or collateral.
5. Citation Release: The arresting office may release the arrestee before they even go to court. This is called “cite-out”. The defendant is still responsible for attending all of their courts dates until the case is over.
Question 3: How is the cost determined?
Answer: by the bail schedule for that county or state. Every county and state has their own bail schedule. A bail schedule is a lot of written material explaining all the ways one can break the law. There are two types; Felony and Misdemeanor and each charge is assigned a code, called the Penal Code. For example: PC 243 (3) Domestic Battery Without Traumatic Injury 20,000. This is basically an altercation between a couple where the police where called. There were no marks or other traumatic types of injuries. So if you are arrested for this, you bail is set at $20,000. Now, if one of the couples injures the other, the result is PC 273.5 Domestic Battery With Traumatic Injury 30,000 and your bail is set at $30,000.
Question 4: What is an indemnitor or signer?
Answer: This is the person who is signing for the defendant and accepting responsibility for the defendant to meet all of their court requirements and money requirements. On rare occasions a bail bonds company will accept the defendant to be their own indemnitor, but that is very rare. Most of the time the defendant usually calls someone they are close to and that person in turn calls a bail bonds company and they become the indemnitor.
Our Ventura Bail Bonds company has been writing bail bonds for over 40 years. Of those 40 years we feel that these are the most popular questions that come up and we hope that we have shed more light on the industry and how things work.