Statistics show a majority of criminal defendants in California remain in detention after arrest. Out of those in jail, only a few will post bail awaiting trial and final sentencing. Given the financial challenges involved in raising cash to pay the court, the services of a bail bonds company make the process affordable. If it's your first time securing bail, here's a highlight of how bail bonds work from the time of your arrest until your exoneration.
If you want to be released on a bail bond, you should work with a reputable bail bond agent. At Mr Nice Guy Bail Bonds, we’ve been serving clients seeking to post bail in San Joaquin County for many years. Over the years, we’ve created a great rapport with the police, prosecutors, and judges. If you need to post bail, feel free to contact us at any time.
The Booking Process
The first step after you’ve been arrested and taken to custody is the booking process which involves taking your fingerprints and mugshot. The arresting officer will also collect your background information. This process can take between two to four hours, and you can't post bail or request visitation until this process is complete. Then, depending on where you got arrested, you can be transferred to a larger San Joaquin County jail.
Once this process is complete, the jail sets bail under the California bail schedule. This means the jail will set bail for a defendant without the need first to hold a bail hearing. You should realize the bail amount in California varies depending on the severity of your accused crime. For example, murder charges may attract bail of over $1,000,000, while you may part with as little as $100 for minor offenses.
Regardless of the amount of bail you receive, you can benefit from the services of Bail Bonds companies if you can't raise the bail amount.
Securing Bail in San Joaquin County With Bail Bond Agents
If your loved one is arrested, you can secure their bail with a bail bond agent. The first step is to contact them via phone or email. They will listen to your concern and ask you a few questions regarding the defendant and the nature of their arrest. Using this information, the bail bond agents will draft a bail application and contract. If you're unable to schedule a face-to-face meeting, they can complete this process via email or fax.
Remember, as a signer of the bond or Indemnitor. You’ll be taking great financial responsibility for the total amount of the bond if the defendant fails to show up during their court hearing. Therefore, before signing any paperwork with any bail bond agent, ensure the defendant will meet the court obligation. Additionally, the bail bond agent will explain your responsibility before you sign the contract.
After completing the necessary paperwork and payments, a bail bond agent will post bail to the jail, and the defendant will be released. Note that San Joaquin County allows bail bond agents to post bail at any time throughout the week. Therefore, regardless of the time you decide to start the bail bond process, your loved one or friend won't have to wait the regular business hours before they're released.
The Cost of San Joaquin County Bail Bonds
In California, the standard cost for bail bonds is 10% of the total bail amount set by the court. However, in cases where your bail amount is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, bail bond companies may charge 5%. In addition, some. You’ll companies will consider giving a discount for:
- Attorney clients
- Police Officers
- Union Members
- AARP Members
- Military Veterans
When a defendant skips court, it's upon the co-signer to pay the pail agent 100% of the bail amount and any costs involved in the recapture of the defendant. Therefore, as an indemnitor, you must accept the terms of a bail agreement, keeping in mind that they will leave you to pay the hefty fees if the defendant runs.
You should also know that most bail agents in San Joaquin County require collateral (valuable asset) as surety that the defendant won't "skip town." If this happens, the bond agent has a right to keep or sell your collateral if the defendant doesn't show up in court.
Exoneration of Bail Bond
If a defendant meets all the court obligations until the case is heard and determined, the judge will consider the bail exonerated. This indicates that a court doesn't have any financial interest in the Indemnitor and the defendant. Still, you need to know that a ruling of innocence or guilt at trial doesn't affect the acquittal of bail once a case is closed. What matters the most is whether or not the defendant was present during all court proceedings as per their bail terms.
Co-Signing Bail Bonds: Important Considerations To Note
When you secure a bond on behalf of a defendant, you are considered a co-signer. This means that you're committing that the defendant will show up to all the court hearing dates. Whether you post bail yourself or request the cash from your friends to post bail, in a situation where the defendant fails to show up during a proceeding, the bail bond agent will try to find and collect the bail from the defendant. However, if their attempt fails, you'll have to repay the bail bond agent the total amount.
Your Rights As A Co-Signer
When you agree to co-sign a bail agreement, you must be familiar with your rights. First, you must know you have a legal right not to be an Indemnitor. Second, the only time you can enter into such an agreement is if you're sure you'll be responsible for paying the full bail amount when the defendant violates the bail terms or doesn't show up to court.
Furthermore, you can choose to revoke a bail bond you have co-signed if you are skeptical about the defendant showing up in court. After you contact a bail bond agent and let them know your need to terminate the contract, the defendant will be taken to custody until their hearing date, and your agreement with the bail bond company will be terminated.
Application Requirements To Be A Bail Bond Co-signer
To qualify to be a co-signer in San Joaquin County, you need a valid driver's license and a government identification document. Other essential application requirements include.
- Proof of employment (copy of two years pay-stubs)
- Proof of Ownership (While it may not be mandatory, some bail agents may demand to see a vehicle title or deed to property).
- Form of payment, including credit card, cash, or any other arrangement.
What Makes a Good Co-Signer?
If you have decided to become an Indemnitor, you should ask yourself critical questions before putting your signature on a contract.
Who’s Your Credit History?
If you have a good credit history, it means you can make timely payments if needed. However, it’s still necessary to have savings and collateral. This signifies that you have financial backing if the defendant skips a court hearing and you're to cater for bond money.
Do You Have A Great Job History?
Before you think of becoming a co-signer, you should have held a stable job for a long time. Given that you'll be financially responsible for the defendant's actions after you post bail, a regular source of income is a surety that you can cover the bail amount if they don't show up in court.
Are You A Responsible Individual?
When co-signing a bail bond, you should know that it comes with responsibilities. When you don't meet these responsibilities, you'll bear the consequences stipulated in the bail bond agreement. You're also responsible for ensuring that the defendant shows up to court for the hearing until the trial is over.
Essential Facts About Bail Bond Agreements
When acting as an Indemnitor for a loved one or friend, it's a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. However, this is a step you should take following careful considerations of your ability to fulfill your agreement’s obligation and the defendant’s level of responsibility.
Here Are Essential Facts About Bail Bond Agreements You Should Keep In Mind.
Bail Bond Agreements Are Binding Until A Case is Exonerated
Most people believe that bail bond contracts come into effect following the first court appearance, but this isn't the case. These agreements are binding in all stages of court proceedings. This means that as a co-signer, you're bonded to the contract until the court gives a ruling. This is a process that can take months or years. This is why you should know the defendant well before making such a long-term commitment.
A Court Indemnity Can Enforce Agreements
Forfeiting bail bond agreements can entangle co-signers in a civil suit. For instance, if they have any outstanding judgments due to defaulted bail bond contracts, it can lead to seizure of their property and impact the renewal of some professional licenses.
Always Keep Your Records
It would help if you never relied on your memory to recall the terms of your agreements. You have the right to keep a copy of the contract you sign. Therefore, you must request a bail bond company for copies if they don't provide them to you.
Your Credit Could Be Adversely Affected
Some bail bond agencies make credit inquiries before determining the suitability of an Indemnitor. This is why you should read the contract carefully and understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. If the contract doesn't clearly outline whether they use credit card ratings, ask the agents and request the same in writing.
Remember that bail bond agents can take legal action against you in case of bond forfeiture, and this may impact your credit rating.
Critical Questions To Ask A Bail Bond Company Before Committing to Their Services
When signing an agreement with a bail bond company as an Indemnitor, you'll be their guarantor if the defendant doesn’t show up to court. Given the responsibility that comes with being a co-signer, you should ask bail bond agents crucial questions to be confident you're working with the right professionals.
What Happens After A Defendant Is Released?
A bail bond company should explain what you have to do to satisfy your bail agreement. Additionally, they should help you understand what happens if a defendant decides not to attend court dates or violate their terms of release. If you've got any concerns regarding the defendant being released, ensure that you're satisfied with the answers you receive before committing to any agreement.
What Bail Bond Size Do The Bail Bond Agents Offer?
Some bail bond agents only offer small bonds, while others have a threshold of hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the average bail amount in the United States is about $10,000, so it's advisable to work with a bail bond agent in San Joaquin County who can cover bail over this amount.
When speaking with a bail bond representative, ensure that you let them know the amount you need before a defendant is released from jail. It's also crucial that a bail bond company covers the amount you wish to borrow. If they find your request impossible, proceed with your search.
Do They Have a License?
San Joaquin County regulates bail bond companies, and you must confirm whether the company you're dealing with has an operating license from the state. The lack of a license means that you can’t be sure that they'll offer bail and stand by their agreement. Therefore, if a company doesn't tell you that they're licensed or provide proof of their license, keep searching.
Are they A Member of the Better Business Bureau?
Before working with a bail bond company, you have to be sure that they have experience. One way to confirm this is by checking reviews of their quality of service from previous clients. In addition, when you contact a company for the first time, try to establish whether they're members of the Better Business Bureau. If a company is a member, it's a sign that they value their reputation and strive to ensure their clients are comfortable with their services.
If they have a high score, you should expect to receive high-quality services. On the other hand, lower essential scores may mean regular complaints, and if this is the case, proceed with your search.
Do They Offer Services In Your Location?
Bail bond agents serve specific regions. So, when you contact a company, they should offer their services even when you're incarcerated in a different city or county. If they can't help you in your location, search for an alternative. It's also advisable that you settle on a company that can serve a city or county. This is the surest way to be certain the agent can post your friend’s or loved one's bail quickly so that they don't spend a lot of time in jail.
How Much Does the Bail Bondsman Charge For The Bail Services?
When you contact a bail bond agent, you should expect to part with a particular percentage of the total bail amount before you can secure the full amount to post bail. This is necessary because it lets the bond agents know you're serious about posting bail. This also protects the company if you fail to pay the bond in full. This amount is payable in cash when applying for a bond. In cases where you can't afford this upfront payment, your personal property can be used as collateral.
You should know that the percentage of bail payable to a bail bond company varies. That’s why you should ensure whatever you pay is fair. When speaking to a company, inquire about their rates and fees, and you should settle on a firm that you can afford. Additionally, be sure to ask whether they offer flexible payment plans.
San Joaquin County Jail And Court Information
San Joaquin County Jail & Juvenile Hall
San Joaquin County Juvenile Hall
Superior Court of California - San Joaquin
Phone: 209 239 1316
San Joaquin County District Attorney
Stanislaus County Superior Court
Phone: 209 530 3100
Sahara Mobile Court
Phone: 209 464 9392
Call A San Joaquin County Bail Bond Agent Near Me
When working with a company that will help your friend or loved one be released from jail on bond, ensure you find the right professional. You should realize the bail bond industry has many rouge agents purporting to offer the best services. That's why it’s critical to ask important questions about their operation to be sure about their credibility.
Another critical consideration when posting bail for your loved one or friend is to know them in person. By signing an agreement with a bail bond agent, you'll be putting your property on the line. That’s why you should be confident the defendant won't fail to attend court proceedings. If you or your loved one is in San Joaquin County and needs to post bail, do not hesitate to contact Mr Nice Guy Bail bonds at 844-400-2245.