Bail Bond Process
If someone has contacted you because they have been arrested, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath! It’s frustrating to get that call and it’s easy to let your temper flare, but remember that your loved one is facing the most difficult situation already. Keep calm and assure them that you are going to help them.
The next thing you need to do is call a licensed bail bondsman. You want a company that has positive feedback from people who have used them in the past. When you call, you want to have the defendant’s full name and date of birth, the name of the jail they have been taken to, the list of charges and the amount of bail.
For a free consultation and more information on how bail works, call us at 650-227-3547. We are availble 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The paperwork for a bail bond is simple and in many cases can be completed on the phone, online, or in person. Once the bondsman agrees to accept the risk of bailing your loved one out, a bail bond contract will need to be signed. This contract will make you responsible for ensuring that the defendant returns to court for the hearing.
A fee will have to be paid to the bondsman in exchange for posting the defendant’s bail. In San Mateo, the cost of a bail bond is 10% of the defendant‘s bail. So, if the bail is $15,000 then the bondsman’s fee will be $1,500. The fee is not negotiable and non-refundable and will not be returned no matter how the case is decided.
Once the bail bond fee has been paid, the bondsman will go to the jail where your friend or family member is being held and post the bail amount with a paper bond. It could take several hours for the defendant to be released from jail after the bail has been paid. Safety is always the main concern for the jail staff and precautions have to be taken along with processing the paperwork.
Your loved one will then be released and will be free to return home to go on with his or her daily life until the scheduled court date.
San Mateo Bail Amounts
In California, bail is set on a county-by-county basis. Each year, the San Mateo County judges will evaluate the bail schedule and make any adjustments that are needed. The San Mateo bail schedule is used to determine the bail amounts for anyone arrested in the county.
There are several factors that are considered by the judge when setting a defendant’s bail. The top priority is public safety. If a defendant is thought to be a threat to society, it is likely that he or she will have a higher bail amount.
Another aspect to consider is if the defendant has a criminal history. Repeat offenders will be set a higher bail amount than someone who has never been in trouble.
A judge will also determine if the defendant is a “flight risk.” This means that the person has little or no ties to the community (family, home, and job) and the means to flee the area. This could mean that the defendant is unlikely to return to court to face charges once he or she has been released on bail. Setting a high amount for bail helps to ensure that the person will appear for their court case as scheduled.
Once the defendant’s bail has been set, a friend or family member can then go to the jail or courthouse to post the full amount. Bail must be paid with cash or a cashier’s check, or in some cases with collateral. Collateral is generally something like property in California.
California bail is very high compared to other states, so paying the full amount can be nearly impossible for most people. For those who need help paying bail, the services of a licensed bail bondsman are needed.
For more questions about the San Mateo bail process, call and speak to an expert bondsman at 650-227-3547.