Understanding Bail                   home / faq / step by step / directions / Trust / Facts/ Contact Us/rate us /e-mail

Sometimes the process of bailing someone out is confusing. For many it is a first time experience.

We understand how you feel and have put together the following pages to help clear up some of the common questions we hear. Hopefully this will help to educate you about this process.

 Legal Process 

A defendant is charged with a crime by the arresting agency. The District Attorney [D.A.] reviews the case and makes a decision whether or not to file charges. If the D.A. does not file charges, the case is dismissed.

If however, the D.A. does file charges, there will be an arraignment where the defendant would plead either innocent or guilty.

If the defendant pleads guilty, he/she would be sentenced and the case would be closed. If the defendant pleads innocent then a court date would be set.

The court would then hear the case, reach a verdict, and the case would be closed

 How Bail Works  

Scenario One:

When someone is arrested on a BAILABLE  offense, and the bail is set, the defendant can forfeit his/her right to see a judge within 72 hours of arrest (weekends and holidays excluded) and bail out.

This is done most commonly using of two methods:

The defendant or someone other than the defendant will post cash bail at the jail.

This dollar amount is 100% of the set bail for the defendant's offense.

If the set bail is $5000, the $5000 cash will need to be posted.

When the defendant has fulfilled all of his/her obligations by appearing in court on all matters until the case is resolved the cash posted for his/her release will then be returned to the party who posted it.

Scenario Two:

If neither the defendant nor any family members or friends have access to the entire bail amount, they can call a Licensed Bail Agent and arrange to post a Bail Bond.

To post a Bail Bond, typically you would need two things: PREMIUM and COLLATERAL.

Premium is 10% of the set bail (bail = $5000, premium = $500), and is considered earned once the defendant is released on said bond and at that time is non-refundable.

Collateral is something for the Bail Agent to hold until the defendant has finished all required appearances with the court, at which time it would be returned.

Collateral is usually one of four things: CASH, CARS, REAL ESTATE and in some cases, SIGNATURES of someone who qualifies to be financially responsible to secure the bond.

     Your Rights    

You are innocent until proven guilty

You are entitled to a fair and speedy trial

You are entitled to make a phone call after being arrested

You are entitled to know what you are being charged with

You are entitled to an attorney or a public defender

You are entitled to have your property returned to you when you are released from jail (excluding evidence)