Most people will go their whole lives without ever being asked to help get someone out of jail.
If you’ve never been in this position before you probably have a million questions. How long will it take? How much will it cost? When will I get my money back?
When it comes to understanding the El Centro bail bonds process it may be best to start at the beginning.
In California, when a person is arrested for a non-capital offense they will be given the opportunity to be released from custody pending court. In order to do this, the jailer will assign the defendant a bail amount. Bail is a monetary figure that is based on the nature and severity of the crime the defendant has been accused of.
Someone who has been arrested and charged with armed robbery, for example, will have a much higher bail than someone who is being charged with drunk and disorderly.
If the defendant’s friends and family have access to a large sum of cash- equal to the bail amount, they can put up the full sum with the jail or the court. This is called posting cash bail. The accused person will be released from custody but the county will hold onto this money until their case is resolved.
As long as they finish their case, the funds will be refunded to whomever posted them. That return is not immediate. It often takes a few months to process.
On the other hand, if the family does not have full access to such a large amount of money, they can hire an El Centro bail bonds company to post a bond. The bondsman will charge a fee equal to 10% of the total bail amount.
The jail and/or the court will accept a bond in lieu of cash. A bond promises that if the defendant is released from jail they will go to court when they are supposed to.
It also promises that if this person skips town in an attempt to evade prosecution that the bondsman and the person who cosigned for the defendant can not get them back into the system within 180 days, they will be liable to cover the full bail amount as a penalty.
A bondsman takes on financial liability every time they help get someone out of jail. This is why agents charge a non-refundable fee for this service. That’s right. The fee you pay to a bondsman is not something you will get back. It does not matter if the defendant is found guilty, if charges are never filed or if the case is dismissed.
If you have learned that someone you care for has been arrested in El Centro and you have further questions about the differences between bail and El Centro bail bonds, be sure to contact a reputable agent you can trust.