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How Bail Works

Bail bonds in Fullerton, CA

Bail is the security posted for the accused to ensure that he or she will appear in court and answer to the accusation brought against them. Bail can be posted in the form of cash or bail bond (Surety Bond).

When a person is arrested for a crime, a bail amount is set by the local magistrate and must be paid in full before the person can be released from jail. The accused or a someone on the behalf of the accused can pay the full bail amount themselves via cash or cashiers check only or pay a bail bond agent 10% of the full bail amount. The bail bond agent will then post the full bail amount in the form of a bail bond. This 10% fee paid to the bail bond agency is non-refundable and is fully earned upon the release of the peson in custody. The bail bond is an insurance policy which is a contractual obligation that guarantees that the arrestee will show up to each and every court date.

The court holds the bail amount, in either cash or bond form, until the court case is complete. A court case is complete when a sentence is given, a case is dropped, or a plea deal is agreed upon. The court holds the bail money without interest. Once the case is complete, the bail is then returned to the depositor (Cash bonds). This process can sometimes take, in some cases, several months or even years before the entire money is returned minus any court fees. If however, the accused misses a required court date, the bail is forfeited and the court keeps the entire bail amount. If the accused misses a court date while out on a bail bond, the bail bond agency has a certain amount of time to bring the accused before the judge before the bail bond is paid.

A bail agent is the person to call when you don’t have the cash on hand to pay the full bail amount or don’t want your money tied up in a non-interest earning deposit.