Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Bail Works F.A.Q. by

Q. What is a Bail Bond? A. Most people are familiar with bail bonds. Someone arrested on a criminal charge may be held until trial, unless they furnish the required bail. The posting of a bail bond acquired by or on behalf of the incarcerated person is one means of meeting the required bail. When a bond is issued, the bonding company guarantees that the defendant will appear in court at a given time and place. The Government entity (state or federal) in whose court the defendant must appear, is protected by the bond. If the defendant fails to appear, the bond amount becomes payable and is forfeited as a penalty by the surety insurer issuing the bond. Bail bonds usually require collateral (cash, a deed, or other property) to protect the surety.
Bail bonds are issued by licensed "Bail Agents" who specialize in their underwriting and issuance. Bail agents act as the appointed representatives of licensed surety insurance companies.

Q. What is the purpose of bail?
A. The purpose of bail is to assure the attendance of the defendant, when his or her appearance is required in court, whether before or after conviction.

Q. How much does a bail agent charge?
A. The cost to the consumer will be about 10% of the total amount of the bond, plus actual, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the transaction. The court determines the amount of the bond.
Each surety company must file rates with the Department of Insurance. Bail agents representing a company must charge the same, filed rates. A "Rate Chart" is required to be posted in a visible location at every bail bond office.

Q. Is there any restrictions on how high my bail can be?
A. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that bail not be excessive. This means that bail should not be used to raise money for the government or to punish a person for being suspected of committing a crime. The purpose of bail is to give an arrested person her freedom until she is convicted of a crime, and the amount of bail must be no more than is reasonably necessary to keep her from fleeing before a case is over.

Q. What can I do if I can't afford to pay the bail listed on the bail schedule?
A. If you can’t afford the amount of bail on the bail schedule, you can ask a judge to lower it. Depending on the state, your request must be made either in a special bail-setting hearing or when you appear in court for the first time, usually called your arraignment.

Q. How soon can I appear before a judge?A. A person taken to jail must be brought "without unnecessary delay before the nearest available…magistrate." In no event should more than 48 hours elapse (not counting weekends and holidays) between the time of booking and bringing you to court.

Q. How do I pay for bail?
A. There are two ways to pay your bail. You may either pay the full amount of the bail or buy a bail bond. A bail bond is like a check held in reserve: It represents your promise that you will appear in court when you are supposed to. You pay a bond seller to post a bond (a certain sum of money) with the court, and the court keeps the bond in case you don’t show up. You can usually buy a bail bond for about 10% premium you pay to a bond seller is nonrefundable. In addition, the bond seller may require "collateral." This means that you (or the person who pays for your bail bond) must give the bond seller a financial interest in some of your valuable property. The bond seller can cash-in this interest if you fail to appear in court.
As an alternative a bond agent may be your best option. To find a bail agent, look in the Yellow Pages.

Q. Is bail a matter of right?
A. Although the right to bail has constitutional recognition in the prohibition against excessive bail, bail is not always a matter of right. However, with certain exceptions a defendant charged with a criminal offense shall be released on bail. Persons charged with capital crimes when the facts are evident or the presumption of guilt great, are excepted from the right to release on bail. However, a defendant charged with a capital crime is entitled to a bail hearing in the trial court to determine whether the facts are evident or the presumption great. A capital crime is an offense that a statute makes it potentially punishable by death or life imprisonment, even if the prosecutor / government has agreed not to seek the death penalty. It is presumed that the risk of flight of the defendant is too great when he or she is facing death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Q. What is the consumer agreeing to in the bail bond contract?
A. The consumer is agreeing to:
• Pay the premium for the bond at the established rates.
• Provide required collateral.
• Pay actual, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the bail agent in connection with the transaction. These may include:
o Reimbursement for long distance phone calls.
o Excess travel expenses (described as outside of the bail agent’s normal scope of business, or into an area where the agent does not advertise).
o Posting fees (for payment to an agent in another area to physically deliver a bond. An agent should not charge a posting fee for the normal delivery of a bond in the agent’s advertising area).
o Bounty agent/skip tracer expenses (These are usually based upon the amount of the bond).
o Payment of the bond amount for the defendant’s failure to appear.
o Attorney fees and court costs.
• Keep the bail agent advised of address/employment changes of the defendant or other parties to the agreement.
• Aid the bail agent/skip tracers in locating the defendant (where someone other than the defendant has secured the bond).
The consumer should read all agreements thoroughly, asking questions until all items and obligations are understood.

Q. What does the bail agent do for the consumer?
A. Provides an avenue for the incarcerated person to be out of custody until his/her day in court, allowing the defendant to continue his/her day-to-day life until the criminal matter is resolved. The bail agent will provide the following:
• Receipts and copies of all signed documents.
• Information regarding the status of the bond and changes in assigned court dates.
• The status of any costs due, as imposed by the court.
• Assistance in locating the defendant should a forfeiture occur.
• Appearance before the court regarding the bail bond when such appearances are
necessary (sometimes requiring the hiring of legal counsel).
• The timely return of collateral upon exoneration of the bond.
Q. How long is a bail bond good for, and can the amount be reduced?
• Length of the contract. The bail bond runs for the length of the case that is being bonded. However, the agreement may provide for the payment of premium at inception, and upon "renewal" on an annual basis. Once paid, premium for a bail bond is not refundable.
• Reduction of Responsibility. Although not usually the case, a court may reduce the amount of bail required. If a bail reduction occurs, the bail agreement should be amended to reflect the reduced exposure of the bail agent and surety insurer. A bail reduction does not result in a refund of premium paid, although it may result in a partial return of collateral. If a bail reduction occurs, it should result in a reduced renewal premium. Under any circumstances, where a bail reduction has occurred, the bail agent and insurer cannot recover more than the amount to which they are actually exposed, plus necessary related expenses.
Q. Who decides how much bail I have to pay?
A. Judges are responsible for setting bail. Because many people want to get out of jail immediately and, depending on when you are arrested, it can take up to five days to see a judge, most jails have standard bail schedules which specify bail amounts for common crimes. You can get out of jail quickly by paying the amount set forth in the bail schedule.

Q. Is it true that a defendant who proves his reliability can get out of jail on his word alone?
A. Sometimes. This is known as releasing someone "on his own recognizance," or "O.R." A defendant released O.R. must simply sign a promise to show up in court. He doesn't have to post bail. A defendant commonly requests release on his own recognizance at his first court appearance. If the judge denies the request, he then asks for low bail.
In general, defendants who are released O.R. have strong ties to a community, making them unlikely to flee. Factors that may convince a judge to grant an O.R. release include the following:
• The defendant has other family members (most likely parents, a spouse or children) living in the community.
• The defendant has resided in the community for many years.
• The defendant has a job.
• The defendant has little or no past criminal record, or any previous criminal problems were minor and occurred many years earlier.
• The defendant has been charged with previous crimes and has always appeared as required.
Q. Who licenses and regulates bail agents?
A. Bail agents are licensed and regulated by the California Department of Insurance. You can obtain the licensing status of a bail agent by contacting the CDI Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or by visiting CDI’s Web site at

Q. What if I have a problem or dispute with a bail agent, such as a failure to return collateral?
A. Contact the California Department of Insurance using the information provided in the "Talk to Us" section.
For more information on How Bail Works or for information on location someone that may be in jail please contact us at 866-743-8688. You can also visit us at .
By Customer Service All American Bail Bonds “Because You have the Right to Bail”

For a Bail Bondsman, Bail Information or Bail Bonds in Long Beach Ca, please visit:

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For General Information on Bail Bonds and how Bail Bonds work please visit:
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009, Lynwood Jail…Bailing out of Lynwood Jail things you need to know.

Lynwood Jail: In March 2006, CRDF officially re-opened to be utilized as an all female jail facility. The two rehabilitation programs that were being held at CRDF have been relocated to North Pitches Detention Center. CRDF will continue to provide a booking center for Century Station, Compton Sheriff's Station and for all female prisoners.
When your female loved one is arrested in Los Angeles County they may be held in a local sheriff station or police department but ultimately if they are held longer than their arraignment they will be transferred to the Century regional detention center in the city of Lynwood.
If you decide to bail out your loved one from this facility you must be present at the time of release if it is still dark outside, just check in with the clerk at the bottom of the stairs.
Also be prepared to wait up to six hour after posting of the bond for your loved one to be released.
For more information on bailing your loved ones out of this L.A. County Facility or any other facility or just for jail or inmate information please call 866-743-8688 or visit us at
Written by Customer Service
All American Bail Bonds
“Because You Have the Right to Bail”

For a Bail Bondsman, Bail Information or Bail Bonds in Long Beach Ca, please visit:

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For General Information on Bail Bonds and how Bail Bonds work please visit:
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Monday, May 25, 2009

How to get out of Jail, by Posting Bail with a Professional Bail Bondsman or Posting Cash Bail,

When someone gets arrested it can be a very scary situation, for the person in jail as well as the family members or friends who want to help. The following is basic information to help the reader understand how bail works and why bailing out of jail is normally a wise decision.

When you are arrested you have two options

Option 1 Stay in jail

If you stay in jail you will be seen by the judge in usually no more than 48 hours not including weekends. There is always a chance that the judge will release you on your own recognance, otherwise known as O.R., if you qualify. Keep in mind when you go in front of the judge there is never a guarantee of an O.R. in fact there are situations when your bail maybe decreased or even increased.

Option 2 Bail Out

If you elect to bail out you have two options, option 1 for bailing out of jail would to be posting cash bond. Posting cash bond is when you bring the ENTIRE dollar amount of the bail to the jail or courthouse and once the person goes to court and completes all of his/her obligation to the court you will get that money back; after a small waiting period of 6 to 12 weeks.

If you elect to bail out using a professional bail bondsman then expect to put up ten percent of the overall bail, that money being nonrefundable. Also under many circumstances you may need to pledge property as collateral which will be held until the criminal case is completed or your bond is exonerated.

For more information on the bailing out of Jail Process please call 866-743-8688 or visit us at .

Written by


For a Bail Bondsman, Bail Information or Bail Bonds in Long Beach Ca, please visit:

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

What happens when you don’t keep in touch with your Bail Bondsman.

The date is May 12, 2009 and I am Agent 1 with All American Bail Bonds in Lakewood CA., I am a fugitive recovery agent and it is my job tonight to pick up a dead beat who has failed to check in with his bail bondsman. The client in question who we will call Michael has been avoiding his bail bondsman for over two weeks, he happens to be a law student, of all things, at Chapman University in the Southern California. Michael being a law student is one of those cocky arrogant types. He thinks that his rudimentary understanding of the law puts him above it, we showed him otherwise. Michael was originally bailed out of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s department on a $30,000 bond on April 12. We bailed him out on the premise that he would take care of his $3,000 financial responsibility with us through payment arrangements. We received a pink slip as collateral. Michael’s initial payment was due within 7 days of his release for $900 of which he ended up only paying $200. Michael promised to pay the remainder of the $900 within a couple days, which he failed to do. You see, what Michael was doing was stalling, he didn’t want to pay. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the money; it’s that he is a criminal. He was trying to stall long enough to get the bond exonerated, so that we the bail company could not enforce our authority and surrender him back into the custody of the Los Angeles county Sheriff’s Department. The bail bondsman in charge of what we call the blue customers is very familiar with this con. When we see this happening we explain to the client that if he can’t afford to pay that’s fine, but he needs to stay in constant communication. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of his bond. Michael being arrogant goes to court and tries to get his bond exonerated before we would find out. You see when Michael went to court he asked the judge to release him on his own recognance. Since he had no experience in a court room he failed to have his bond exonerated. Days are going by and Michael is avoiding our phone calls, so I go into action. We pick Michael up from his residence late one evening and surrender him back into custody of the Sheriff’s Department. Michael got to spend a couple days in jail while we repossesed his car, all part of a day’s work. In conclusion don’t avoid your bail bondsman.
We are a bail bonding company with offices in Lakewood Ca, Van Nuys Ca, Long Beach Ca, and Palmdale Ca. With bail bondsman throughout the Southern California. We have been writing bail for over ten years. If you have any further questions regarding bail please call 866-743-8688.
By Fugitive Recovery Agent 1 5/24/09
With All American Bail Bonds Los Angeles
“Because You Have the Right to Bail”

For a Bail Bondsman, Bail Information or Bail Bonds in Long Beach Ca, please visit:

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For General Information on Bail Bonds and how Bail Bonds work please visit:
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Saturday, May 23, 2009


Modern bail as we Americans know it came from Medieval England, after the colonist declared independence they formulated their own policies which were very similar to what they had in England. Now as Americans the Eight Amendment of the Constitution of the United States is what guarantees us the right to bail. The Eight Amendment summed up is the following:
1. The Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause which restricts the severity of punishments that state and federal governments may impose upon persons who have been convicted of a criminal offense.
2. The Excessive Fines Clause limits the amount that state and federal governments may fine a person for a particular crime.
3. The Excessive Bail Clause restricts judicial discretion in setting bail for the release of persons accused of a criminal activity during the period following their arrest but preceding their trial.
For all of Colonial America the bail law remained the same that is up until 1966 when congress enacted the first major substantive change in federal bail law since 1789. The act of 1966 provides that a non-capital defendant " ordered released pending trial on his personal recognizance" or on personal bond unless the judicial officer determines that these incentives will not adequately assure his appearance at trial. ETC. The primary problems with the 1966 act were that potentially violent offenders who were released on their own recognizance, otherwise known as an O.R., committed additional criminal acts and then released again on nominal bail.
Now the modern bail law as we know it is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States but regulated by each individual state. As of this writing, of the fifty states in the Union only four do not have private bail industry. The four states that do not have a private bail industry are Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, and Oregon; these four states do still have bail law, but just conduct their bail through their local court system or law enforcement office. The remaining forty six states which have private bail industry regulate themselves through their respective Departments of Insurance’; these states are known as Surety Bail States. For more information on how bail works and why it works as well as for more detailed information on the history of bail please visit All American Bail Bonds of California’s web site at

Written By Customer Service 5/17/09
All American Bail Bonds

For a Bail Bondsman, Bail Information or Bail Bonds in Long Beach Ca, please visit:

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A Day in the Life of a Bail Bondsman

-->The day is Thursday May 7th, a beautiful sunny day in Southern California. My name is agent but you can call me bail bondsman.

I am a bail agent with All American Bail Bonds a bail bonding company based in the Los Angeles county and operating in the Southern California area; It is my job to see that our bail clients make it to their sentencing and if they don’t, than to see how we can get them back to court or back into handcuffs.
Now, the day started out normal, but something inside my gut just told me that it was going to turn into “just one of those days’. I was on my way to the courthouse in Murrieta, south Riverside County; for the sentencing of one of our clients who was out on $250,000 bail, not a tremendously large dollar amount, but large enough to put me on the job. I got into court around 8:30am and checked in with the bailiff, he notified me that my client had not checked in as of yet so I had seat and waited. At 9:00 still no client I notified my office and requested backup A.S.A.P., they sent me another agent, will call him agent 2. The agent got to the courthouse around 10:00 and still no client. At this time I notified the head office who put our head investigator on high alert; you see its not totally out of the ordinary for a client to be late to their sentencing, many get cold feet or just too hung over from the night before, but if the alert is on we want to get to him before it’s too late. At around 11:00 I got the call, we got a rabbit, and it was time to be more proactive, so agent 2 and I went down stairs to the clerk’s office for a certified copy of the bond and got ready for the chase. It was just before noon and I got a call from the head investigator who notified me that an anonymous source contacted the head office and notified them that the defendant was running to Mexico for a 2:45 flight. Now of course we can’t operate in Mexico, but if we get the heads up that a U.S. citizen is fleeing from justice to Mexico there are things we can do.
The chase is on, agent 2 and I rushed to the local Riverside office to remove any and all weapons from the car. You see normally here in California while conducting fugitive recovery we carry firearms, but in Mexico firearms are illegal and a single bullet can cost you a year in Mexican Jail. We got started on the hour trip to the Mexican border, so far so good. When we go south to the Tijuana airport we go through the smaller entrance just east of the main entrance, being that it is closer to the airport just makes it that much quicker. As we approach the entrance to Tijuana the time is 1:30pm and agent 2 and I are feeling confident that we will make it in time. Everything seems to be going as planned our head office has notified our Tijuana contacts and we have plenty of time before the flight. Here we are next in line, now pulling up to American Border Patrol who are checking vehicles that are leaving the US.
The Plot thickens; As I get to the officer at the border who asks the question, “Anything to Declare”!? I respond no sir, he says where are you guys off to today?, I respond the airport, he says okay just need to check your vehicle please, pull to the right and hang tight. “NO PROBLEM OFFICER”, I say! Now we are waiting in the car, officer walks up to my window and ask us both to get out of the car and go to the front of the vehicle, because they need to conduct a standard inspection. Four officers flock to my truck looking in the trunk , under the car, under the seats, pretty much everywhere you would expect, oh and of course the glove box!!! Let me tell you about the vehicle that I am driving it’s a newer model Chevy Tahoe very standard and shared by a few agents, nothing out of the ordinary.
Now back to the inspection; the officer gets to the glove box and it’s locked, of course to my surprise. I give the officer the key and step back to the front of the car. As she opens the glove box the look on her face changes from just whatever to WHATS THIS. You know that look on a cops face when they just found the bloody knife to a murder scene with the fingerprints all over it. Well she didn’t find a knife, instead she found a box of hollow point rounds, caliber 45, with a fully loaded magazine. To her that was the mother load. The S**T hits the fan. The time is now 2:00pm, we are quickly running out of time and it looks like we’re going to be late! Immediately they take my partner into custody no cuffs but he’s not free to go. They have me pull my vehicle into the Inspection area where they call it the vehicle molestation area and at this point I just need a cigarette.
Having those shells and loaded magazine is not illegal in the States, but extremely illegal in Mexico in fact it’s one year per bullet, in my case that would be 32 years in a Mexican jail. Their main concern on our side at the border is not those bullets in my car but what those bullets are for, the gun. I explain to the officers who I am and what I am doing crossing the border. I further explain to them that I share the vehicle with other agents and was unaware that he had left anything in the vehicle. We go back and forth like this for about 30 minutes and I think they are finally buying what I am selling. They seem to be easing up. Okay we missed it, it’s 3:00pm and we're still waiting as the officers go through every nook and cranny of the vehicle, they find nothing. At about 3:30pm the Supervisor in charge comes to me and says everything looks good just one more thing they need to do before we can go, is give us a hefty fine. At this point now it doesn’t even matter, we missed the flight. The officers allow us to grab our cell phones from the car so we can get in contact with our office and report the situation, I do so. It’s around 4:00pm and the officer with the final say so comes to the vehicle to give us his okay. He’s about 85 pounds and has four legs with a nose for weapons and cash. That’s right it’s a dog. The entire time I come to find out they were waiting for the dog that sniffs out money and firearms, they walk him through the vehicle and of course they find nothing. Well after all that the supervisor comes back out and says were free to go, no fine not reprimand, the dog gave us the okay! All in all it was an interesting experience, the officers were cool guys and we learned a lot about how things are done at the border. Would I want to do it again?, no but I figure it can’t get any worse.
Story goes on……. Agent 2 and I decide to continue on with the mission and to go to the airport to see what Intel we can get. We make it to the airport and come to find out that the defendant never made it on the flight that we expected, all that and he never boarded. At this point now were feeling pretty done, Agent 2 and I are feeling like we’ve earned some beers and tacos so we decide to go to downtown Tijuana.
I guess the point of this story is when going to Mexico make sure you remove anything and everything from your vehicle that is illegal in Mexico or better yet just park on the U.S. side and walk across. Hell taxis are cheap and it’s a lot less headaches. .
Written by Bail Bond Agent (fugitive recovery)

For a Bail Bondsman, Bail Information or Bail Bonds in Long Beach Ca, please call 562-435-6777

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