The Price of Being Free: Bail

In the middle of the night you receive the call of a loved one. He tells you that he was arrested by the authorities and asks if you can help him pay the deposit.

 

How much should you pay? What happens if they ask you for collateral as collateral? Can you recover what you paid for?

How much should you pay? What happens if they ask you for collateral as collateral? Can you recover what you paid for?

When a person is arrested, the first step is the admission process, at the police station. Once the charges are established, the defendant may be eligible to pay a bond that allows him to get out of jail, on the condition that he will appear before the court, and that he will not try to escape.

The sum of the deposit is the guarantee that this happens and is based on the County Bail Schedule , which describes the different crimes and the amounts corresponding to each one of them.

  • If you pay the bail, through a surety company, you usually have to pay between 7% and 10% of the total sum set by the court. If, for example, the judge determines that the bond is $ 20,000 dollars, the guarantor will charge you between $ 1,400 and $ 2,000 dollars. This sum is not refundable. There are cases in which bail is valid for a limited time and if the criminal case is extended, the defendant may have to pay an additional amount.
  • Another option is to pay the court the full amount, rather than through a bail bond company. That is, if the judge determines that the bond is $ 20,000, you must pay the full amount. If the defendant goes to court as stipulated, you get all your money back.
  • In certain circumstances, depending on the seriousness of the charges, the surety company may require a co-signer and collateral. The guarantor registers a lien on the property of the co-signers in order to ensure bail. If the person does not appear on the day determined by the authorities, the guarantor may collect the full amount of the bail from one of the co-signers, and pay the court. If the co-signer does not have the amount at that time, the bail bond company may resort to the property designated as collateral.
  • Los Angeles is the largest and most populated city and county in the state, and this makes in some cases the payment of bail take up to 24 hours, due to the number of arrests that are processed every day.