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The Bail Bond Process- What’s It All About?

Posted on: 12/05/2016

The bail bonds process isn’t something you learn in school. Usually, it’s something you don’t even think about until you or someone you care about is in Santa Rita jail looking for a way out.

It’s worth it to educate yourself about the process, if for no other reason than to broaden your knowledge base.

Criminal Law and Bail

First things first, United States Criminal law. Under United States criminal law, arrested does not equal guilty. A person is not deemed guilty of a crime until a court of law finds him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, even though arrested does not equal guilty, the court still has the discretion to decide whether to release someone prior to trial.

When a defendant is first arrested and booked in Dublin, California, there’s typically a bail hearing to determine whether to hold or release the defendant pending trial. During the hearing, the judge considers factors such as the nature of the accusation, the defendant’s criminal history, ties to the community, and other factors bearing on the defendant’s likelihood of returning to court if released.

If the judge grants the defendant’s release, it’s usually under conditions that take one of three forms: personal recognizance bond, bail, or surety bond.

Personal recognizance bond

With a personal recognizance bond, the defendant need only sign a document stating that he promises to return to court for all scheduled hearings.


With bail, the court condition’s the defendant’s release on his written promise that he will return to court for scheduled hearings and the deposit of a set dollar amount. The dollar amount can be set by a pre-established fee schedule or according to the judge’s discretion. The defendant may pledge cash or property equaling the value of the set bail amount. If the defendant attends all the scheduled hearings, the bail is returned, minus the court’s administrative fees.

Surety bond

With surety bonds, the court will not release the defendant without the involvement of a surety. A surety is someone who shares the responsibility for ensuring that the defendant returns for all scheduled court hearings. A surety bond is required in cases where the defendant has been granted bail, but either does not have all the money, or cannot afford to have the money tied up in court for the duration of the criminal proceeding.

This is where the bail bondsman comes in.

The bail bondsman acts as a surety for the defendant. The bail bondsman posts a bond signed by both him and the defendant. In the bond, the bondsman promises the court that if the defendant does not return for the scheduled hearings, the bondsman will be responsible for paying the full bail amount to the court.

In exchange for taking on the risk that the defendant will not return to court, those issuing Dublin bail bonds typically charge a nonrefundable fee of 10 % of the total bail amount.

When does it make sense to seek Dublin bail bonds?

It makes sense to seek Dublin bail bonds when you or someone you care about has been arrested, bail has been granted, you cannot afford the bail, and release is not likely to occur in the immediate future.

When does it not make sense to seek Dublin bail bonds?

  • It does not make sense to seek Dublin bail bonds when you have the money for bail, and having the money tied up in court will not cause you any hardship.
  • It does not make sense to seek Dublin bail bonds when you have grounds for having the case immediately dismissed. You will need to consult a Dublin, California attorney to know if this is the case.
  • Finally, it does not make sense to seek Dublin bail bonds when bail has not been granted.

What to look for in a bail bondsman

For anyone who concludes that using a bail bondsman makes sense, finding the right bail bondsman is key. The single most important thing to check for is licensing. There are individuals in Dublin, California who present themselves as bail bondsmen only for the sake of taking advantage of the unsuspecting public. To avoid becoming tied up with these individuals, you want to make sure that anyone you’re speaking to about a bail bond has the proper license. Only someone with a license can serve in the capacity of a bail bondsman.

What’s usually involved in the nuts and bolts process of procuring a bail bondsman?

As a start, you can either call the bail bondsman up directly or submit an online inquiry. You can also go to a bail bond office and talk to the bail bondsman face to face.

Once you get in touch with the bail bondsman, he will have questions about the defendant, as well as yourself.

For example, the bondsman will likely need the defendant’s name, date of birth, social security number, address, phone number, and driver’s license information. Also provide the jail location and bond amount.
The kind of information the bail bondsman will need about you might include your name, phone number, social security number, address, driver’s license information, and relationship to the defendant. You might also need to provide your employment information, including your occupation, the name of your employer, how long you’ve worked there, and the employer’s address.
Finally, the bail bondsman will provide you with a formal contract that outlines the terms of the agreement. Once you review and sign it, you can make your payment and move on from there.

That’s the gist of it.
You may officially consider yourself more educated.

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