When a person is arrested by a member of the local police force the most common way to get them released from jail involves posting SDPD bail bonds.
Many people have never been asked to help get someone out of jail before. They may have some familiarity with the commercial bail industry, but this is mostly due to things they have seen on television.
The problem with this is that Hollywood often gets terms and words mixed up. This is also true for the jails and the SDPD.
The most common mistake relates to mixing up the definitions of bail versus bond.
When a person is arrested for a non capital offense, they will be allowed the opportunity to be released from custody pending trial. This is done by posting bail.
Bail is a monetary amount, that when posted with the jail or court, allows someone to get out of jail. These amounts are not set at random but are instead determined by the San Diego County bail schedule.
This is a document that is set each year by a panel of Superior Court judges. It lets the jailer know which amounts to assign to different crimes. A very serious offense, like armed robbery, will have a much higher assigned amount than a minor offense, like being drunk in public.
The average bail typically ranges between $20,000 and $30,000.
Most people don’t have immediate access to tens of thousands of dollars. This is where the commercial bail industry comes in. A defendant can hire a bondsman for a fee equal to 10%. If bail has been set at $30,000, it will cost $3,000 to to arrange a bond.
Bail bonds are pieces of paper that are posted at the jail or court. They are a legally binding promise that ensures the defendant will go to court and handle their case.
If the accused person decides to skip town and cannot be located in six months, the bondsman and the person who cosigned for the defendant will be liable to pay their full bail amount to the court.
Persons who skip court will be charged with failure to appear. Their bond will be revoked and a bench warrant will be issued for their immediate arrest. This means they can be taken into custody on any day at any time for any reason. This situation should be avoided at all cost.
Lastly, the bondsman’s fee may also be referred to as a premium. It is important to remember that this fee is just that- a fee. It is not something you will get back regardless as to the outcome of the defendant’s case.
For more information on common SDPD bail bonds terminology you will want to reach out to a licensed agent you can trust.