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How to Bail out of Jail

Bailing out of jail is the process of staking money or property with the court in order to secure a release from jail. The idea behind bail is that the defendant is more likely to appear for court as ordered when he or she will have his or her money or property forfeited for failure to appear.


In addition to the posting of money or property with the court, the defendant will usually have to comply with promise or condition of bail. Failure to comply with these condition can result in the defendant's bail being revoked. Revocation of bail can lead to the return of the money or property that was staked with the court unless the defendant skipped bail (fail to appear for court), in which case, the defendant's money or property is forfeited and is thereafter used to help find the defendant.

Most defendant use the services of a bail agent to process bail. Using a bail agent is faster than staking the money or property with the court directly. This normally means that the defendant can bail out faster when he or she uses the serves of a bail agent as opposed to staking the money or property directly with the court.

Bail Agents: A bail agent provides a service. That service is not free. A bail agent makes his or her money by staking the money or property with the court on the defendant's behalf for a percentage of the bail staked. For example, if the defendant's bail is $100,00, the bail agent will stake that amount of money with the court so that the defendant may be released from jail pending the outcome of the criminal case; however, the bail agent will only do this if he or she is paid a premium. That premium is usually between 5-10 percent of the bail amount.


The good news is that the the defendant can usually get out of jail aster by using a bail agent and the defendant does not have to immediately come up with the entire amount of the bail...only the premium amount  that the bail agent charges. In fact, most bail agents will accept a down payment of the premium itself. For example, if the defendant's bail is $100,000 and the premium is 8%, then the defendant must pay the bail agent $8,000 (the premium), but that $8,000 may usu ally be paid in installments , such as a 41,000 per month for eight months. This means that the defendant may be bailed out for $1,000 on a $100,000 bond.

The bad news is that when the defendant uses a bail agent he or she never gets the premium returned (in most cases). The premium is the bail agent's fee for provided the service and it does not matter if the case was dismissed or the defendant prevails on the merits of the case.  On the other hand, if the defendant can stake the entire amount of the bail with the court, the the defendant will have the entire amount returned to him after the court process is completed (assuming the bail is not forfeited for failure to appear or comply with a condition of bail).

Note: When a person is arrested and booked into jail, but bails out of jail before his or her first court date, then the court date originally set for the defendant to appear is usually changed because there is not rush to have the defendant's first appearance when he or she is out of jail.

Bail Schedule: The amount of bail that is to be paid is initially set by the arresting officer who sets the amount of bail according to a bail schedule. For example, the bail schedule for the crime of Prostitution in San Bernardino County is $25,000; the bail schedule for the crime of Pimping is $50,000, etc.

Increase or Decrease: Sometimes the defendant's  bail amount can be increased or decreased depending on the presence of any mitigating of aggravating factors in the case. If the criminal charges increase after the accused has already bailed out of jail the judge may require the defendant to post additional bail. This is also true where the defendant did not post bail in the first place, but rather, the defendant was released on his or her own recognizance (promise of good behavior).

Exoneration of Bail: In some cases, the defendant posts a bail and that bail is later exonerated. This means that the defendant does not have to continued to post bail or comply with the condition of bail. However, when the defendant's bail is exonerated, the court will usually order that the defendant comply with conditions of an own recognizance release.

Criminal Lawyers & Bail: When the defendant retains a criminal defense lawyers before using a bail agent then the defendant will usually receive a discount on the premium from the bail agent. The reason for this is that the bail agent has more security that the defendant will appear at court as promised because the defendant is not fleeing, but rather, he or she intends to fight the criminal charges. Also, when a defendant retains an attorney before the defendant's first court appearance (arraignment) the defense attorney can prepare a motion for the defendant release on his or her own recognizance or reduced bail. This can save thousands of dollars for the defendant if those motions are successful as the defendant might never need a bail agent in the first place.

to learn more about how to bail out of jail or the defense to any criminal charge, contact our criminal defense lawyers toady for free consultation. Call today!


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