Being accused of an offense and arrested in Vista can be an overwhelming experience. Luckily, since you remain innocent until proven guilty, the judge could permit you to be released until your trial or hearing. However, the court will require you to offer some form of security to affirm that you'll return to face charges against you before being released from custody. This guarantee is called a bail bond and can be in the form of a secured bond through a bondsman like Fausto's Bail Bonds, cash, or a signature bond.
What is a Bail Bond?
The terms bail bond and bail are often interchangeably when talking about jail release. Although they are related, they are different. Bail is the amount of money you should pay to get out of jail. A bond, on the other hand, is posted on your behalf, generally by a bail bond agency to secure your release.
Bail is not a punishment. Instead, it is collateral left with the court to make sure that after your release, you will return for the proceedings of your case. If you fail to show up in court or break any condition of the release, you risk having the amount paid forfeited.
How is Bail Amount Set?
"Will the defendant break another offense?" This is one of the questions asked by a judge who is assessing a defendant's bail. The judge can choose to set the bail amount and impose release terms based on a bail investigator's report or what people have to say about you. Other factors put into consideration include:
- The seriousness of the crime
- The likelihood of fleeing before trial
- Defendant's age
- Criminal history
- Whether the defendant has a connection in the community like business interests or property and if the defendant is employed
- Is the defendant a security threat?
- Were drugs or weapons involved?
If the bail request is granted, the judge will impose conditions that you should adhere to. The terms are designed to ensure that you go back to court as well as protect the community. They also vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Here are the most common conditions:
- Not contacting the alleged victim
- No consuming alcohol or driving a vehicle with any amount of blood alcohol concentration in your blood
- Adhering to specific travel limitations
- Maintaining or seeking employment
- Possessing no weapon
- House arrest
What are the Various Types of Vista Bail Bonds?
There are four main ways a defendant can be released from custody. They include:
- Cash Bond
More often than not, the law enforcers won't release you with just a citation, but after booking and if you pay a bond in the form of cash. If you don't have enough money, another person could pay on your behalf. The judge usually decides the total bond amount after a hearing or by the local or state bail schedule. Provided the person paying has money to pay the entire bail amount, you will be released from custody.
- Own Recognizance
Sometimes, a defendant could be released on their own recognizance after a bail hearing. When the judge permits own recognizance bail, the accused is released on condition that they will appear in court and adhere to all bail conditions imposed.
- Property Bond
In this case, the accused provides the court a collateral equivalent to the full bail amount.
- Surety Bond
This is a type of bail payment offered by a bondsman. When you use a bondsman, you pay the bondsman a fee and the agent serves as a guarantee, telling the judge that they will pay the entire bail amount in the event you miss a court hearing.
Bail bond agencies benefit from collecting a charge from those in need of bail. Generally, the fee is between ten and fifteen percent of the full bail amount. For instance, if the bail amount set is $20,000 and the fee is 10%, then you or your loved ones will pay the agency $2,000, and the agency will become a guarantee on your behalf. It also means that if you adhere to bail conditions, the agency will return the collateral on the security agreement after your case is closed minus 10%.
Bail Payment Procedure
There are different ways of how Vista Bail Bonds should be paid. Typically, it entails making payment to a clerk or cashier in jail or courthouse. The payer should provide the clerk with information like the defendant's name, booking number, case number, and total amount to be paid.
Then, the clerk's office will notify the police detaining the defendant, and they will release the defendant from jail. Sometimes, the release occurs almost immediately, particularly if the clerk's office is situated in the same facility as the jail.
Payments can be either in cash or any other accepted form like money order, credit card, cashier's check, or traveler's checks.
What Happens If You Fail to Appear in Court
Failing to show up in court after being bailed out is an offense, and the defendant who skips bail conditions will continue facing the pending charges, face further charges as a result of skipping the court, and could forfeit the bail bond.
A forfeited bond means you will not be refunded the bail amount. If you posted cash bail, you would lose the full bail amount to the court. If you placed a property as collateral with a bondsman, the agency would sell the property to recover the money it has lost to the court. If there was no collateral used, the bail bondsman would hire bounty hunters to find you.
A bounty hunter is paid a certain fraction of the entire bail amount as long as they find the defendant. Once they find you, they will arrest and return you to the authority from which you fled.
If you find yourself in such a situation, the wisest thing to do is to get in touch with the court and your bail bondsman immediately. When you do so within one hundred and eighty days, and you have a reasonable excuse like injuries, being detained in another jurisdiction, or mental illness, the court date will be reset, and the bail bond forfeiture will be recalled.
If you fail to surrender yourself to the authorities, the warrant of arrest remains active, and you have reduced chances of getting any form of Vista Bail Bonds.
Getting Your Bail Money from Court
Since bail isn't punishment, you have a right to have your money refunded upon your case conclusion, provided you comply with all conditions. The bail repayment depends on the types of Vista Bail Bonds used as well as where the bail money was paid.
In some jurisdictions like the federal courts, the bail money will not be released immediately after your case is closed. The cosigner (who is the person who paid the bail) should file an appeal with the jurisdiction, requesting it to refund the money or the asset used as security.
It is worth noting that the court will keep a portion of the bail amount as an administrative fee.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bail & Bail Bonds
- What does it mean to be Cited Out?
A defendant who is cited out is given a ticket or citation and promises to show up in the court at a given date or pays citation fine. Since there is no sentence during citation, no bail is needed. If a defendant fails to attend a court hearing or pay citation fee, a warrant is issued.
- What Happens Immediately You're Arrested?
Once you are arrested, you will go through a process called booking, which can take many hours. During this time, you will be photographed, searched, and then given a chance to make a statement.
If you are accused of committing a minor offense, your bail amount could be set immediately after booking. At this time, you can call your loved ones, attorney, or a bail bond agent.
- Who is an Indemnitor?
Also referred to as cosigner, an indemnitor is the person who signs a bail contract and qualifies for the bond on behalf of the accused. That means, if you become an indemnitor, you become financially and legally accountable for ensuring the defendant appears in court and complies with all court-ordered conditions.
As a cosigner, you accept the responsibility for the full "face bond amount" in the event the defendant fails to appear in court. This entails paying full bail amount and other charges related to the bond. It could also include any property taken as security. As a result, it is important to sign for a person whom you know and have confidence that they will meet all the bail conditions.
- Do you Require a Lawyer to Get a Bail?
No, a lawyer isn't needed to get you out of jail or to post bail. However, being questioned about issues linked to the offense may require a lawyer to be present. The benefit of hiring a lawyer immediately after your arrest is that the lawyer could be in a position to get your bail reduced or charges reduced, hence a lower bail amount.
Find A Reliable Vista Bail Bonds Agency Near Me
If you are seeking Vista Bail Bonds from a reliable bail bonds agency, we invite you to contact Fausto’s Bail Bonds at 760-945-4444. We operate 24/7/365, and we are ready to serve you. Get in touch today!