A Step by Step Guide to Posting Bail in the State of California
Seeing someone you care about behind bars can be an extremely traumatizing situation. No matter what they have been arrested for or what the situation is, you just want to bail them out as quickly as possible. At The Mattern Law Firm we know that this system may seem complicated and alien to you. The truth is that all you have to do is follow a few steps, which we have outlined before. Remember to call us at 310-342-8254 to secure an experienced criminal defense attorney.
They Will Be in Holding Until Their Bail Hearing
First, know that your loved one is going to be held until their bail hearing. At that hearing, the judge is going to decide on how much bail to assign. Note that in October 2019 the bail system will change in California and cash bail will no longer be the system used. Until then, the judge will set a bail amount based on the accused’s criminal record and the charge they are facing. They may also consider the defendant’s ties to the community which is why we recommend you attend this hearing if possible.
What to Do if You Cannot Afford the Bail Amount
When the bail amount is set you can simply pay it and your loved one will be released. However, if the charge is a particularly violent one such as homicide, the amount of bail may be very high. In this instance, you can hire a bail bondsperson. They will pay the entire amount of the bail in exchange for you paying a percentage of the amount. They may accept collateral instead of money.
Note that you will not get this money back. When your loved one shows up for their court appearance, the bail amount will be refunded to the bondsperson but the money you paid to them will be kept as a fee for their service.
They will request a long list of information about your loved one such as their name, what charges they are facing, what jail they are in, and their booking number. Once the bondsperson has found your loved one and paid the bail, the process could be instant or you could end up waiting a few hours – it all depends on how crowded the jail is on that particular day.
Bailing Your Loved One Out Should Be Immediately Followed by Hiring an Attorney
Ideally you would have already contacted a criminal defense attorney before posting bail because we can act on their behalf at the bail hearing. If you have not yet hired someone then now is the time. Reach out to The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 and we will get you started with a free legal consultation.