Once you are arrested in Ojai, Ventura County, and charged with a criminal offense, chances are you will have to post bail to secure your release from custody pending the resolution of your case. Bail is the money you post with the court as a promise that you will show up for your case proceedings once out of custody. If you cannot pay bail by yourself, you can hire a bail bond company to help you out. At Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds, we will post bail for you as quickly as possible to help you out of jail. We also have flexible payment plans, so you do not strain financially. We are available 24/7, so you can reach out to us any time you are arrested. Call us, and we will start working on your case right away.
What Is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is an agreement you make with an Ojai bail bond agent, or someone else makes with a bail agent on your behalf. A bond serves to ensure you attend court on all the appointed times and dates. You must pay a given percentage (usually 10%) of the set bail amount to the bail agent, known as the premium. This percentage is usually not refunded even if you show up on all your court dates because it is a fee for the bond. If you do not attend court on even one of the designated dates, the bail agent will lose the bail money. As a result, they may need to monitor all your movements and make sure you show up in court as required.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are various types of bail bonds, including:
- Citation release— a citation release is merely a written notice the arresting officer gives, whereby after an arrest, you are permitted to go home right away without being transferred to custody. The only requirement for this release is that you are given a written citation to attend court. This type of release is often granted for minor offenses.
- Release on your own recognizance (OR release) or personal recognizance release— you will be granted this form of release if you are not considered a flight risk or threat to public safety. It typically applied to defendants charged with minor offenses. When released OR, you do not have to post bail money.
- Cash bonds— the most straightforward form of payment is through cash. Here, you pay the whole bail value to the court or jail facility in cash, at times by credit or check if the court accepts it.
- Surety bonds— a surety bond is also called a bail bond. It is what this article is predominantly about. Thus is a third party stepping in to pay the bond for you should you fail to show up in court.
- Federal bail bonds— if you have been charged with an interstate or federal offense, you may have to post a federal bond for release. Usually, a higher premium and additional collateral are required for federal bonds. Federal offenses include, among others, hate crimes, bank robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.
- Property bonds— for a property bond, you put up a property instead of cash, and the court might seize that property should you fail to attend court.
- Immigration bonds— these kinds of bonds are paid by defendants arrested for immigration-related crimes, which is the primary difference between this bond and other bonds. These bonds work similarly to surety bonds. They are usually set a little higher than most bail amounts because of the federal nature of the offense.
What to Know About the Ojai Bail Bonds Procedure
The bail process is usually scary and confusing when you are facing arrest for the first time and have to work with an agency that offers bonds. Most people do not have any clue about bonds. They only hear stories about them in the media. Understanding how the bonds services and procedure work is crucial. You will know what to anticipate. Understanding how bail bonds work and selecting a reliable bail agent makes the process more straightforward and assists you in securing your release from custody soon enough.
Arrest, Your Booking, and the Bail Bond Processes
After being arrested in Ojai, you will be taken in, booked, and placed in a holding cell. Booking involves personal detail verification, searching to see whether you have any warrants on your name, capturing fingerprints, and taking photos. The police officer in charge will also search you and confiscate your personal effects before detaining you. The seized items will be returned to you when you are released from custody.
The authorities' primary concern will be that you appear in court as required for your case hearing. Ojai judges consider these factors before deciding whether or not to set you free without making bail (OR release).
- Whether you will flee the country after your release
- Whether or not you pose any danger to the public
- How severe your alleged offense is
- Whether you have a criminal history
If you were set free without making bail, a judge would issue an arrest warrant against you should you fail to appear in court on the required dates. In some cases, a mere written promise that you will come for court proceedings is not enough. Thus, a financial promise becomes the ideal assurance that you will appear. This financial assurance is what we call bail. The bail process differs among courts. The court must schedule a hearing to determine whether to grant bail or not and the precise bail amount. At this hearing, the judge considers these factors:
- Family or community ties
- Criminal history
- Your place of residence and the period you have been living there
- Any alcohol or drug abuse history
- Your source of funding
- Your mental and physical condition
The judge could also place limitations if they have granted bail, for instance, order a curfew or restrict your travel from the country.
As we mentioned, you can contact an Ojai bail bond company for help if posting the set bail amount out of your pocket is too expensive. The company will collect information concerning your situation through a bail agent. The agent will ask where you are being detained, your place of work, what you have been accused of, how long you have been under arrest, among other details. Once the agent has this information, they will prepare a bond contract and application documents and require you to complete them. After completing the paperwork, the agent will need you to pay the 10% premium. Some bail bond companies also request collateral, especially if the bail amount is too high. After giving the premium and collateral (if required), the bail agent will come to where you are being detained to post bail and secure your release.
After posting bail, defendants in city jails are generally set free faster than those held in county detention facilities, where the release procedure is generally longer. One of the factors determining the bail process efficiency is how many occupants are in the jail. The number of these occupants is often higher in county jails compared to city jails. Another factor is how busy the jail is. However, you have the same legal rights before securing a bond regardless of where you are held.
If you cannot transact with the bail bond company because of being detained, you can contact your friend or loved one to transact on your behalf and act as a co-signer. Most agencies require that you have a cosigner to sign the paperwork and provide collateral.
Skipping Bail and Bail Forfeiture
If you miss even a single court date with no valid excuse, the judge will issue a bail forfeiture order. If you do not show up after a given period (usually 180 days), the judge will execute the forfeiture notice, and you will lose the bail amount. This means the cash or property you gave as bail will belong to the court, and it will not be refunded. If you posted the bail using a bonds agency, the company would lose the amount. The company will then sell the collateral you provided to recover the bail amount or track you or your co-signer down to recover the money.
However, if you appear before the 180 days are over and provide a valid reason why you skipped bail, the judge may exonerate the bail amount and allow your case to proceed. Legitimate reasons you can give for not showing up in court after posting bail include:
- You sustain an injury or injuries that prevented you from appearing in court
- You were ill and could not attend. Provide a medical statement or report to corroborate this reason
- You are disabled or became disabled and were unable to attend
- You have a mental health condition
- You were arrested and detained in another jurisdiction
The judge may also issue a warrant of arrest against you if you fail to show up in court. This means if the authorities find you, they will arrest and take you in custody. You will have to stay in custody until your case is resolved, as you will not be granted bail a second time.
Skipping bail could also lead to criminal charges of failure to appear (FTA) under PC 1320. If you are found guilty, you will face criminal consequences such as incarceration and fines.
Who Bounty Hunters Are and What They Do
In Ojai, a private citizen who is not a police officer is also permitted to locate, arrest, and take fugitives of law back in custody. A person who does this kind of work is called a bounty hunter. Although a bounty hunter must be a private citizen, most have undergone police training. A bounty hunter should have these qualifications:
- They must not have any felony conviction record
- They must be eighteen years old or more
- They have to do a bail license exam where the least score should be 70%
- They have to undergo a fugitive recovery training
- They have to enroll in a special program to acquire their licenses
A bounty hunter is usually hired by a bonds company when you fail to show up in court. Their work is to hunt you down and hand you back to the authorities. After they have found you, the bail bond company will pay them a percentage of the bail amount. If you are not found, the bail agent will forfeit their money. For some agencies, bail agents can also be bounty hunters.
Legal Restrictions for Bounty Ojai Bounty Hunters
California State has set strict rules and regulations concerning bounty hunting and hunters. For example, they must possess legal documentation from their employer (bail company) allowing them to arrest you. They should also notify the authorities that they are hunting for you to arrest you. They must do this six hours before they make the arrest.
A bounty hunter is prohibited from forcibly entering a residence unless the circumstances warrant it. Thus, they cannot force their way in a home or other lived-in premises except if any laws dictate so.
A bounty hunter should also not pass themself off as a law enforcement officer. They are prohibited from wearing anything that can mislead people into thinking they are a police officer. They should always have their paperwork and license to prove they are a bounty hunter. A licensed private detective can work as a bounty hunter without applying for another license.
A bounty hunter is permitted to conduct investigations, which involves interviewing your friends and family and surveilling them if it helps them to catch you. But they should be within the law when doing so. Therefore, they must understand law requirements to avoid overstepping and finding themselves under arrest.
Old City Jail
Ventura County Jail- Honor Farm
Ojai Police Department
The Superior Court of California- County of Ventura
Find an Ojai Bail Agent Near Me
At Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds, we are available 24/7 to assist you in dealing with the intricate process of securing your release. We will respond to all questions and ensure you understand the entire bail bond process. We boast excellent customer service and responsiveness. If you have been arrested in Ojai, Ventura County, contact us today at 844-400-2245. We will post bail for you as quickly as possible to enable you to return to your daily duties without delay.