If you have been notified that someone you care for has been handcuffed and taken to the Vista Jail you are probably in a state of shock. No one ever thinks they will be in a position where they are asked to hire a Vista bondsman. The idea of needing to begin that process can be quite scary.
Many people go their entire lives without ever needing help a friend or loved one be released from police custody. The only exposure they have to the commercial bail industry comes from what they’ve seen on television. People are often surprised to learn that an expert bondsman is nothing like what is portrayed in the movies. They are not big burly biker guys who spend their days riding motorcycles, smoking cigars and throwing darts. Instead, these are highly trained individuals who have expert knowledge when it comes to the ins and outs of the jail system. They can help you understand how bail works and will be able to walk you through the process from start to finish.
When a person is first arrested they will need to be booked and processed. They will be transported to the Vista Jail and the jailer will take their mugshots, their fingerprints and will enter their personal information into the computer. The crime the defendant is being accused of will be cross checked against the county bail schedule. Their bail will be set based on the nature and severity of that charge. A very serious charge, such as armed robbery, will have a far higher bail than a minor one, such as being drunk in public.
The defendant will also need to undergo a national warrant check and background screen. This is done by sending their fingerprints to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ gets prints from every new arrestee at every jail in the United States. It often takes between 4 and 6 hours to return the results of a fingerprint scan to the facility that has requested it. The jailer will not allow any bondsman to post a bond until this step is finalized.
The booking process may take several hours to complete. You will still want to contact a Vista bondsman as soon as you learn of the defendant’s arrest. This will help ensure they can be released from custody as fast as possible.
The bondsman will begin by asking you a series of questions about the defendant.
- What is their first and last name?
- Do you know their date of birth or approximate age?
- How long ago were they arrested? Was it a couple hours, or has it been a few days?
- Do you know what they are being charged with?
- Do you know their bail amount?
- Is the defendant employed and if so, what line of work are they in?
- Approximately how long have they had their job?
- Do they rent or own their home?
- Are they married and if yes, do they have children?
- Are there other family members that live in the area?
The bondsman may also ask similar questions of you. They will also want to know if you are willing to take responsibility this person will go to court.
The next step involves filling out a small bit of paperwork. Some companies can send this document to you by fax or email for fastest service. Once it has been returned to the bondsman and payment arrangements have been made, an agent will be sent to the jail to “post” the bond. The defendant will typically be released between 4 and 6 hours after this happens.
The most important thing to remember about helping arrange bail bonds for a friend is that their legal woes will not be over when they are released from jail. They will still need to attend all required court dates until the case is fully resolved.