The last place you want to find yourself is in a cell, but unfortunately, you might find yourself there. Whatever the reason for arrest, the experience is devastating, making it essential to start taking steps to ensure you don’t spend more time in a cell awaiting criminal trial. The law provides multiple pretrial release options, one of the most popular being bail. At Mr Nice Guy Bail Bonds, we understand that obtaining the total bail amount is an uphill task for many defendants, so you will need a bail bond service to help with your case in Tulare County.
The Arrest Process in Tulare County
The most challenging stage of a criminal proceeding is an arrest or apprehension. The police will arrest you if there are crime allegations against you or substantial reason to believe you participated in a crime. After the arrest, you will be placed in the nearest police custody or jail in Tulare County, awaiting your fate to be decided. Once you arrive at a detention facility, you will undergo what is commonly called booking. During this stage, the arresting officer will request identifying information, including:
- Your name
- Date of birth
- Physical address and any other personal information
Further, they will take a picture of you and collect fingerprints. The fingerprints will be fed in the California criminal database to establish a criminal record and pending charges. Any of your personal property will also be recorded and held for the time you will be in custody.
Based on the crime committed, you might even be requested to line up with other suspects of the same crime for witnesses or victims to identify the real perpetrators. Up to this stage, the experience is traumatizing, and the best way to reduce the stress and anxiety is by calling an experienced bond dealer.
After booking, your file will be sent to the prosecutor who will be handling the case. These attorneys will evaluate the case and evidence presented to decide whether to file charges. Charges will only be filed when the evidence is concrete. Otherwise, the file will go back to the investigating officer for further investigations.
You are entitled to a speedy trial after arrest, so the law enforcement authorities will only have 48 hours to file charges and present you before a judge for an arraignment or bail hearing. Legally, you don’t have to stay in custody until formal charges are filed and the matter is tried. Through bail, you can flee jail as you prepare for the trial proceeding. However, you must make a financial commitment and promise to return to court for the criminal proceeding. The money deposited with the court in exchange for your release is held until the criminal proceedings are closed. The court releases you, hoping that you won’t skip town before the trial.
The General Description of a Bail, in Tulare County
Bail describes the money the court demands that you deposit to be released from jail pending trial. By making this deposit of the amount of money the court sets, you give some form of assurance to the court that you will show up for scheduled proceedings to avoid forfeiting the amount. Besides, bail reduces congestion in jail and creates more space for detainees to live in better conditions. Therefore, when you hear the court has imposed a particular amount of bail for your release, it is not a punishment but a way of ensuring you will return to court.
Bail is not for everyone because, based on the nature of your case, the judge might choose not to grant your request. If the court is convinced you are a flight risk and might commit other crimes upon pretrial release, they will deny you bail and force you to stay in jail until the lawsuit is closed.
Similarly, the judge can choose to release you on your own recognizance (OR). Here, you sign a document promising to be back in court for further proceedings in exchange for a release. This type of release happens in rare cases because no financial commitment is required for the pretrial release.
Often, the arresting officer is the person that determines the bail amount utilizing the bail schedule. However, for minor offenses. Bail schedules contain predetermined bail amounts set for various forms of charges to speed up release from custody pending the trial. Therefore, you don’t need to wait for a hearing to post bail. Depending on your crime, the officer can refer to the schedule to establish what you should pay. The amount set is higher but not lower than what is provided in the plan.
However, for violent crimes, the arresting officer only suggests a bail amount using the bail schedule, and from there, it’s up to the judge to determine the amount of bail in the bail hearing. The amount of bail to be set depends on the severity of the crime, but the judge has the discretion to increase or reduce the amount depending on the case’s circumstances. When the judge is determining whether to make changes on the amount of bail provided in the schedule, they consider:
- Your ability to come up with the money
- Prior criminal record
- The severity of the offense in question
- Chances you will appear in court for trial
Note that if yours is a severe crime, the bail amount cannot be adjusted lower than the amount provided in the schedule unless under unique situations. The exceptional circumstances, in this case, don’t include:
- Showing up for all the previous court proceedings
- Not participating in another crime while on bond release
Instead, the case’s circumstances are adjusted due to the introduction of new evidence. The adjustments might be on the court hearings, your situation, or the evidence of the case and not an indicator that the judge set the wrong bail amount or didn't analyze the issue properly.
You can request the court to review your hearing within five days after the bail amount was set if you are yet to post it. If your case involves the violation of a restrictive order or domestic violence, you must submit your request to the prosecutor for a bail hearing in writing within two days before the hearing.
The prosecution can oppose your request for bail reduction and sometimes even table new evidence that you and the court didn’t know existed. The latest proof might be a violation of parole or probation. With this new evidence, the judge might increase the bail instead of reducing it, although they shouldn’t abuse their discretion. Therefore, you are encouraged to post your bail first before commencing another hearing to have the amount reduced.
Besides, the probation officer will release you on bail when the new evidence of probation violation reaches your jurisdiction after posting bail.
Note that there is a probability that the judge might adjust your bail amount if you agree to its terms and conditions. However, this won’t come easy because you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to propose bail terms that might trigger a release by your own recognizance or reduce the bail amount by the judge. These bail conditions are:
- Surrendering your driver’s license and passport
- Limiting your movement
- Being placed under house arrest
- Putting on a Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor Gadget
- Checking in with an inpatient treatment plan
Posting bail is not an easy process, and this is where you will need a bail bonds agency to help you raise the amount you need to deposit with the court. Usually, the agency pays part of the total amount of a bond known as a surety bond. By doing so, the bondsmen assume responsibility for you showing up in court for the scheduled proceedings. If you skip court, they will come looking for you because the amount they deposited with the court might be forfeited, resulting in losses.
In exchange for posting the full or part of the surety bond, you are required to pay the bonds agency a premium or fee, usually 10 to 20% of the total bail amount.
The 8th amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that any U.S. citizen arrested for an offense has a right to bail and a speedy trial. Although fast or quick trials meaning might change over time, everyone has a right to bail unless, by being granted bail, someone else’s rights are impeded. This means that if the judge feels that you might be of flight risk or threat to the community when they allow a pretrial release, they might deny you bail. Bail denial is the only measure the court has to safeguard the community. Still, if you feel your rights have been violated by posting bail, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to appeal the court’s decision.
Your Release Options Under Bail Bonds
An arrest for a crime is the most frightening stage of the criminal process, but this doesn’t make some bail decisions easier. You must work closely with an experienced bail bonds agency to help you with some of these complex decisions.
Different bail bonds can apply in your case depending on the circumstances like your jurisdiction, the severity of the crime, and your previous offenses. The common forms of bail bonds that may apply in your case are:
The cash bond option applies when you feel the need to pay the total amount of bail in cash, credit card payment, money order, or certified check. The cash bond acts as an incentive that you will appear for court proceedings as scheduled. If you honor the court dates and the case is closed, you will receive the amount within two to six weeks. However, if you miss court, you will forfeit the entire amount to the court.
Paying bail in cash is a potent tool, but it has its shortcomings. It appears like a straightforward way of obtaining pretrial release, but it’s not wise because you may end up bankrupting yourself. As a defendant, you can’t bear to part with this amount of money, usually in thousands, without warning.
After the incentive has been finished, it takes up to six weeks before they deposit money into your account, which is an extremely long time to wait for your money. Additionally, when the case is closed, your legal team wants fee payment and other prosecution expenses, which might be challenging to raise, considering the court is still holding your money.
Even if you have money to pay bail in cash, you should not consider this option because your efforts should be geared towards hiring the best legal team and not emptying your bank accounts to pay cash bonds. You should explore other alternatives like surety bonds.
Surety Bail Bonds
Surety bonds are the best alternatives for cash bail. This type of bond is usually an agreement between you, the defendant, and your bail bonds agency, where they post bail on your behalf. In return, you pay premiums equal to the predetermined amount of the total bond. The predetermined amount is usually 10% of the full bail. You can deposit the bond in cash, assets, or collateral. As of now, this premium is non-refundable, though avoiding the hardship that is associated with a cash bail is worth paying this small fee.
When you pay the fee, the agency posts bail on your behalf and assumes all the risks in the event you skip bail. Therefore, when your bail agency pays a surety bond, it becomes their obligation to ensure you show up in court for the proceedings. To mitigate this risk, some agencies will require a co-signer who promises to pay the total bond amount in its entirety if you fail to show up. That way, when you skip town on the day of the hearing, and they can’t track you down, they will go after the co-signer for the payment. So, if you are looking for a sensible and practical way of posting bail, then a surety bond or bail bond is the way to go.
Another way to avoid paying bail in full is through property bonds. Under this option, you can post
Bail in the form of a property, but you cannot pass it on to another individual under unfavorable circumstances. Therefore, if the cosigner of the property denies a hold on it, they will cancel the bond, forcing you to go back to jail until they write a new one.
Most courts will demand a property bond at least twice the amount of a property bond to ensure that the property anchors all the necessary costs. The process of posting property bonds is lengthy because a professional appraisal company must appraise the property to establish its value before it is used to post bail. If you fail to appear before a judge as scheduled, the court will foreclose the property to raise the bail amount. This type of bond is used in significant cases where the set bail amounts are colossal.
Also, property bonds are used in immigration cases to stay within the country until the issue is complete.
Tulare County Bail Bonds Process
The first step of posting bail is contacting your bail bonds agent. You can call the agent by yourself, but the most effective way is to have a friend or relative outside the jail help you with the process. The bail agent will inquire about the crime the defendant has been arrested for and their personal details. The information will help with drafting a bail application and contract.
Once both parties fill out the contract, you will pay the premium agreed upon by the agent. Some contracts might even require you to use collateral as a guarantee for payment of bail amount. If you put up your property as collateral but fail to show up in court, the bondsman will seize your property and sell it to raise the forfeited money.
After the payment is processed, a bail agent will visit the Tulare County Main Jail or police custody, where you are held to commence your pretrial release process. Bond processing happens around the clock, so you mustn’t feel the need to reach out to your bondsman at a specific time. Once they deposit the money with the court, you will be released within a few hours if the paperwork is correct.
If you have been released on bail pending trial, you must adhere to particular conditions set out by the court; the primary one appears in court for proceedings. You will have up to 30 days to return to court after missing an appearance. Otherwise, the company will seize the cosigner’s property and sell it to recover the forfeited bail. Therefore, cosigners are encouraged to understand their role and responsibility before agreeing to use their property as collateral.
Not all cases require defendants to post collateral. A bail agency can post bonds and request only for the premium fee with no collateral. In events like those, a bounty hunter is sent after you when you skip bail. Bounty hunters have up to weeks to arrest and bring you back to court; otherwise, the bail agency will lose the amount they posted a bond.
Information for Tulare County Jail and Court
Tulare County Main Jail
Tulare County Superior Court
Find the Right Tulare County Bail Agent Near Me
If you are looking for a quick release from jail, you must find the right bail agent in Tulare County. We, Mr Nice Guy Bail Bonds, have built a name in the industry for years and are ready to ensure that your bail goes smoothly to obtain your freedom. For further questions regarding the bail process and expectations, call us today at 844-400-2245 for a free consultation.