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If you find yourself behind bars, you undoubtedly want to get back to freedom as quickly as you can. But before you can feel the sun on your face again, you may need to post bond. This is where a bail bonds service can come in handy, and have you breathing the fresh air again fast.
Whether you’re in Los Angeles or any other California city or county, the system works in pretty much the same way. First is the initial arrest. You’ll need to go through the booking process, during which a bond will be set. This bond may be changed in a court hearing, while you are still in jail. This may occur one or more days after your arrest. However, you don’t have to wait until your bond hearing to get out. You may post bond as soon as you’ve gone through booking.
In some cases, you or a family member or friend may be able to cover the cost of the bond. If so, you can pay the full amount and walk free. However, the bond may cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, more than most people have on hand. This is where a bail bonds service can help.
A bail bonds service will pay the full amount of your bond, while you only pay them a percentage. In California, like most states, that amount is 10 percent. Typically, you can pay this fee with credit card or use cash. You will also need a cosigner to assume financial responsibility, which protects the bail bonds company in case you run from your court obligations. Some bail bonds companies will offer payment plans if you can’t afford the 10 percent.
In some cases, the bail bond provider may request cash or property as collateral, even if you are not on a payment plan. However, most bonds do not require collateral, only a signature. These are called signature bonds.
Once the bond has been posted, you will typically schedule your next court hearing before you leave. If you appear at that and all subsequent court dates, the court will eventually return the bond money to either yourself (if you paid your own bond), or to the bail bonds company (if they paid the full bond for you). Bail bonds services do not return the 10 percent fee; however, they will give back any property or money that you used for collateral.
It is important to show up for all court dates after you are bonded out, as failure to appear may result in a warrant for your arrest. Missing once due to an emergency will likely be forgiven, but if you disappear completely, the bail bonds company will take measures to find you. If you dodge the law, your cosigner will be responsible for paying the full bond amount
Robert is a freelance writer heaving expertise in different areas of law. He has worked for Escape Bailwhich offers affordable bail bonds services in Los Angeles California