There are five release options available: cash bond, surety bond, property bond, own recognizance (O.R.), and citation release.
A forfeiture occurs if a defendant fails to appear in court as scheduled. In this event, the bail bonds company has approximately six months to “surrender” the defendant to the court with no financial consequences. If this does not happen, the bond is payable to the court by the bail bonds company.
A “premium” is the amount paid to a bail bonds company for the many services and financial risks assumed by the bail bond company, on behalf of the defendant. The amount of this premium is usually 10 percent of the amount of the bail. This is similar to payment of any premium for an insurance policy.
Yes, bail bond agents must undergo a background check, pass a four-hour examination, and obtain a license from the California Department of Insurance. To maintain the license, agents must attend eight hours a year of continuing education.
A bail contract spells out the relationship and obligations of the defendant, the court, the bail bonds company, the surety insurance company behind the bond and the indemnitors of the bond.
A bond is in effect until the defendant completes his obligations to the court. This usually means that it ends when the defendant appears in court when scheduled.
With his/her money on the line, a bail agent has a financial interest in supervising bailees, and ensuring that they appear for trial. If a defendant “skips,” the bail agent has time and the financial incentive to find him/her and bring him/her in. Significantly, commercial bail bond agents profit only when the defendant shows up for trial. At Karla’s Bail Bonds, we also provide an array of social service and community resources to help the defendant and his family in numerous ways.
Collateral is usually supplied by relatives and friends of the defendant and provides added financial security to ensure that the defendant appears in court when he or she is supposed to. Collateral can be in the form of anything of financial value that is legally pledged to back up the promise that the defendant will appear on his or her appointed court date.
This is considered a “forfeiture.”
No – the premium amount is for the many services provided by the bail bonds company to release the defendant from jail and make sure he appears in court. The premium is not refunded when the defendant appears in court – even if the charges are dropped.
Collateral is returned to its owners immediately following the payment of all premiums and the “exoneration” of the bond by the court.
A bond is “exonerated” when the defendant appears in court as scheduled. This means that neither the people who supplied collateral or the bail bonds company has any further financial obligation to the court in reference to the defendant’s case.
Misdemeanors are defined basically as such crimes as petty theft and drunk driving that are punishable by up to one year in the county jail.
Felony crimes are crimes that are punishable by one year or more in a state prison. Examples of felony crimes are rape, murder and armed robbery.
The person arrested.
If you have any unanswered questions or want to speak to a licensed bail agent, call Karla’s Bail Bonds toll-free at 866-661-BAIL (2245). Bail bond agents are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.