Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes trying to figure out the bail bonds process can be difficult. That’s why Pro Bail Bonds is here to help answer all of your bail questions.
- What is a bail bond?
- What does bail cost?
- How does bail work?
- How can I save money?
- How long does the bail process take?
- Can I start the bail process over the phone?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- What if I do not have all the money?
- Do I need collateral?
- How long will it take for the arrested individual to get out of jail?
- Do I get my money back once the case is completed?
- What are the co-signor’s responsibilities?
- What are the arrested individual’s responsibilities?
- What if the arrested individual fails to go to court?
- Can I post bail for a warrant?
- How do I make payments on my bail bond account?
- What is bail exoneration?
What is a bail bond?
It is a contract between a licensed bail agent and court that states that the bail agent is ensuring that an arrested individual will appear for all hearings that are required or pay to the court the bail’s face amount.
How much does the bail cost?
Generally speaking, for bail bonds the standard industry rate is 10% of the bail’s face amount. For example, if the bail’s face amount is $10,000, then the fee will be $1,000. There are various group discounts (property owners, AARP, union, military, etc.) that are available to qualifying individuals. To learn more about our rates, call to speak to a local Pro Bail Bonds agent who can assist you. Please note: in the state of California, a notice must be filed by all bail agents with the Department of Insurance that indicates the rates they are charging to the public. Also, bail agents are required to prominently publish their rates on their branch office interior wall.
How does the bail process work?
If a person is arrested and the court sets bail, then the individual may secure her/his release while their case is still pending through placing property or cash equal to the bail’s face amount with the court as collateral. After the case is ended, the collateral is returned by the court to the depositor. In situations where the arrested individual doesn’t have sufficient property or cash for covering the bail’s face amount, they can use a bondman or bail agent’s services. The bail agent will agree to secure the accused individual’s release in exchange for a fee of between 8 to 10% of the bail’s face amount. The arrested individual will also need to have a co-signor who takes responsibility for the bail’s face amount. After the fee is negotiated and there is a co-signor who has agree to be responsible for the ail, then the bond is delivered by the bail agent to the jail and the person who has been arrested is released from the jail’s custody.
How can I save money?
There are discounts that are available for both the co-signors and arrested individuals. If the arrested person or their co-signor happens to be a member of one of the qualified groups like a labor union, veteran, military or AARP, they will receive a 20% discount (8% vs. 10%) on their bail. For those arrested individuals who have hired private defense counsel, they also qualify for an 8% bail. For more information on how you can save money on your bail, call and speak to a Pro Bail Bonds agent.
How long does the overall bail bond process take?
The bail bond process, in most cases, is efficient and timely. A series of questions will be asked by the bail agent to the person who calls in order to qualify the bond. After the qualification process has been completed, the agent will arrange with the caller to come to the office so that the process can be completed. Then the bond is delivered to the jail and the person who was arrested is released. The time in between the initial call into the bail agency and how long until the arrested person is released normally ranges from 30 minutes up to six hours. The main delay is the amount it takes for the jail to get the arrested person processed for released after the bond is delivered to the jail. After the bond is delivered to the jail Pro Bail Bonds is unable to expedite the arrested individual’s release.
What payment forms do you accept?
We accept cash, money orders, personal checks, Western Union, Discover, American Express, MasterCard, and Visa.
What if I don’t have all of the money?
If you don’t have all of the money on hand, then interest-free affordable payments are offered by Pro Bail Bonds to those people who qualify for them. Don’t allow the high cost of the bail get in the way of your loved one or friend being able to get out of jail. Give us a call and speak with one of our Pro Bail Bonds agents if you need any help with financing. We have an agent standing by ready to help you with various payment options that we have available.
Will I need to have any collateral?
Although there are some bail bonds that do require the arrested person or their co-signor to offer collateral, there are many bonds that may be done with a signature guarantee only.
How long will it take before the arrested person gets released from jail?
Usually the bail process will take from 30 minutes up to six hours. Keep in mind that the bail agent doesn’t have any control over the release of the arrested individual after the bail bond has been delivered to the jail. There are times when the arrested person’s release might be delayed due to a high number of other people who are in the release process as well.
Will I get my money back?
Once the arrested person is released from jail the fee for the bail bond is non-refundable. Also, fees are non-refundable whether or not formal charges are filed against the arrest person. If the jail for some reason doesn’t release the defendant after the bail has posted, then all money is refundable to the person who delivered it to the agency.
What are the responsibilities of the co-signor?
There are two primary responsibilities that the co-signor has. The first one is that the co-signor is agreeing to the required court appearances of the arrested individual. Second, they are agreeing to pay the bail’s face amount if the arrested person doesn’t appear for their required hearing. Note: Under California law, the bail agent is allowed up to 360 days to return the arrested person to court before it is required for the bond to be paid. If the arrested person fails to appear at a required hearing, then give Pro Bail Bonds a call to make arrangements for a bail bond reinstatement. This allows the arrested person to return to court without being arrest and resume their case.
What are the responsibilities of the arrested individual?
The arrested person is responsible to appear in court on any hearings that are required. Some arrested individuals also are responsible to pay fees due on the bond.
What if the arrested person misses court
If a required hearing is missed by the arrested individuals, the most important thing that needs to be done is give us a call at Pro Bail Bonds and make arrangements for getting a bail reinstatement. This is notice that goes to the court from the bail agent that states the arrested person is planning on voluntarily returning to court. This places the issue back onto the calendar. This notice also says the bail agent is agreeing to remain responsible for this bond. Note: under California law, the bail agent is allowed up to 360 days to get the arrested person returned to court before being required to pay the bond. If the arrested person doesn’t appear at a required hearing, you should call Pro Bail Bonds to arrange for getting a bail bond reinstatement. Give Pro Bail Bonds a call immediately if the arrested person is unwilling to make their required appearance in court. As the co-signor, you are responsible for the bail’s face amount until the defendant returns to court.
Can bail be posted for a warrant?
If a loved one or you has an outstanding warrant, then you can avoid getting arrested by allowing a warrant bond to be posted by Pro Bail Bonds to get the warrant cleared. In most situations you will not be required to be present and we will give you a call to give you the court date. To learn more, give Pro Bail Bonds a call. We have agents ready to help you.
What is bail exoneration?
This refers to when the defendant’s case is complete and the co-signor and bondsman are officially relieved of any liability on a bond. Although the court case is complete, however, that doesn’t mean that the money that you agree to pay isn’t due any longer. The fee’s full amount that you were charged at the time that the bill was written is now due – no matter the outcome of this case is. The bail agent in essence loan you the money for placing it with the court.