Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Bonds in Redding
What Is a Defendant?
The person who has been arrested is known as the defendant.
What Is a Misdemeanor?
Misdemeanors are generally considered less severe than felonies. They include crimes such as petty theft, reckless driving, and trespassing, and are punishable with a year or less of jail time.
What Is a Felony?
Felonies are crimes that are more serious in nature and that often involve violence such as rape, kidnapping, and murder. These crimes are punishable by one year or more of prison.
What Are the Release Options for Defendants?
When a person is arrested, the court can set bail or release the person on recognizance. Recognizance is the release of the defendant after they have signed an agreement with the court stating their intention to appear on their court date. When a court sets a bail amount, there are multiple release options.
- Cash Bond: A cash bond allows the defendant to be released after they have paid the full amount of their bail in cash (some courts can accept credit cards).
- Surety Bond: Often referred to as a bail bond, a surety bond is an agreement with a third party (the bail agent or bondsman) who agrees to be held culpable for the full bail amount to allow the defendant’s release. The bail agent will charge a premium for this service.
- Property Bond: A property bond allows the court to place a lien on a defendant’s property as a way to cover their bail and allow their release.
What Are the Typical Terms of a Bail Contract?
Anytime someone requests bail bond services, they enter into a bail contract. This contract outlines the obligations of each party involved, including the defendant, the person requesting bail, the bail company, the court, and the insurance company named on the bail bond.
The bail contract will also name the details of the bond, such as the premium owed to the bail company and the bond’s duration. A bond’s duration, or the amount of time it remains in effect, is usually the time between when the bond was requested and the defendant’s court date
How Long Does a Bond Stay in Effect?
The bond stays in effect until the defendant’s court obligations are met, usually by the defendant appearing in court on their scheduled date.
How Much Does a Bail Agent Charge?
Bail agents charge the amount of the premium for their services.
What Is a Bail Bond Premium?
A bail agent charges a fee known as a premium for the services the agent gives and for the financial risk taken by the bail bond company on the defendant’s behalf. A premium is usually 10 percent of the overall bail amount.
Will the Premium Be Refunded?
Premiums are not refunded, even if the charges against a defendant are dropped, because they are the payment the bail bond company receives for covering the full cost of bail.
What Does a Bail Agent Do?
A bail agent contracts with the defendant to post the defendant’s bail and secure their release with the defendant’s agreement to appear in court. Because of their financial investment, the bail agent will help ensure that the defendant appears for their trial. Here at Holly Bail Bonds, we also offer services to help the defendant through the legal process.
Are Bail Agents Licensed?
In California, bail agents must be at least 18 to receive a license. To get their license, agents must complete 20 hours of prelicensing and pass an exam. To maintain and renew their license, agents must complete hours of continuing education. Only licensed agents are certified to provide bail bond services.
What Is Forfeiture?
Forfeiture is the term used to describe the event of a defendant failing to appear in court on their scheduled court date.
What Happens If the Defendant Misses a Court Date after Posting Bail Through a Bail Agent?
When a defendant who was released on bail fails to appear in court on their scheduled day, it is called forfeiture. If a forfeiture occurs, the bail bond company has the right to search for the defendant and present him or her to the court within six months of the missed court date.
Bail bond companies want to find defendants after forfeiture because they put money on the line to bail them out of jail. If the bail bond company cannot surrender the defendant to the court, they must pay the bail amount in full.
What Does It Mean If a Bail Bond Is Exonerated?
When the defendant appears in court on their scheduled day and the legal process has finished, the bail bond is discharged and the bail agent no longer has a financial obligation to the court for the defendant. This is called exoneration.
What Is Collateral?
Collateral is anything of financial value, such as cash or property, usually supplied by family or friends of the defendant, to secure the bond and give financial security to ensure the defendant appears on their scheduled court date.
When Will I Get My Collateral Back?
Collateral is normally returned after the bond has been exonerated and all premiums have been paid.
If you have questions about bail or getting a bail bond that you don’t see answered here, please contact us! We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and begin working with you to help release your loved one from custody.