If a loved one has been hit with a DUI and you’re researching DUI bail bonds, rest easy knowing the process is no different than any other bail bond.
However, if you’re not familiar with bail bonds, then you should know that the bail bond process itself is not complicated. And depending on your bail bond agent, the process can be rather quick and painless.
Let’s take a look at DUI bail bonds and what your next steps should be.
What you should know about DUI bail bonds
If your loved one is facing a first-time DUI charge with no serious injuries or damage involved, then the total bail amount should be relatively low. In fact it could be as low as $2,000 (and in some cases, as low as $500).
If this is the case, a bail bond might not be the right move for you. Take a look at our blog detailing when and why you should pay bail on your own rather than seeking out a bond.
However, in other more serious DUI incidents, you could be facing a total bail amount that’s anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000. In these situations, most people will require help from a bail bond agent.
At this point, your first step should be to contact a local bail bond company. They’ll take over the process from there. In fact, after you’ve signed the bail bond paperwork and paid the bail bond fee (which is usually around 10% of the total bail amount in California), then you’re done. The bail bond agent will take care of the rest.
Afterward, your loved one will be responsible for returning to the court on the assigned date. If convicted of the DUI, more requirements can follow, such as jail time, fines, license suspension, community service, and more.
Many people trying to get a loved one out of jail wonder, “Is it better to pay bail or bond?” And to answer this question, it depends on your individual circumstances.
Let’s break down the question, “Is it better to pay bail or bond?”
Is bail on the cheap end?
Bail is never exactly “cheap” — but sometimes, it is cheaper than it usually is. In this case, we’re talking about misdemeanors or first time offenses, and you’ll be looking at a bail between $1,000 and $5,000.
If you can afford to pay this amount, then you should pay bail — as opposed to contacting a bail bond agency. Since bail is refunded in whole and a bond is not, you can pay the $5,000 to the court and get the full $5,000 back once the court process is finished.
Can you be out the full bail amount for up to a year?
Even if you can afford to pay the full bail amount, can you be without this money for up to a year (or even longer)? If not, then you should consider paying for a bond instead. Even though you will not be refunded the 10% fee, at least you will not be out a large sum of money for a long time period.
If you can’t afford to pay the full bail amount, then this is obviously the best reason to pay for a bond instead. You will only be required to pay for 10% of the total bail amount and the bail bond agent will take care of the rest.
If you’re wondering, “How much do you pay for a $1,000 bond?” — there are a few different things to keep in mind.
For starters, bail and bond are two different things. Your bond amount is set by a bail bond company. Therefore, if your bond is $1,000, then you have to pay the entire $1,000 to the bail bond company. This likely means your total “bail” amount (set by the court) is around $10,000.
However, if your total bail amount is $1,000, then you’ll be required to pay around $100 to the bail bond company — since the bail bond fee in California is 10%.
$10,000 (bail) X 10% (bail bond fee) = $1,000 (bail bond)
$1,000 (bail) X 10% (bail bond fee) = $100 (bail bond)
This being said, bail is returned after the court process is completed. For this reason, if your total bail amount is relatively low, then you may want to consider paying the total bail amount to court as opposed to working with a bail bond company (since the 10% fee set by the bail bond company is not returned). However, you should only consider this option if you can afford to be without that money for a long period of time (since the court process can take a while to conclude).
If you’d like to learn more about this process, check out some additional resources:
While there may be additional fees accompanied with the bond, they should all be disclosed up front.
When should you get a bail bond?
If you have enough money saved up to pay for the total bail amount, then you can pay the total amount to the court instead of working with a bail bond company. Here are a few things to consider if you’re debating this option:
Do you trust the defendant? If you don’t and the defendant skips court, then you won’t get your bail money returned. In this case, it might be a good idea to work with a bail bond company. You won’t have to put up the full bail amount (only 10%), and you’ll have a bail bond agent who will take actions to return the defendant to court (usually with the help of a bounty hunter).
Is the total bail amount low? If so, then you may not want to work with a bail bond company. Since your bail amount is returned after the court process is over (and if the defendant shows up to court), then you could potentially save money this way. While you will have to spend money initially, you will eventually get it back.
Is the total bail amount high? Even if you can afford the total bail amount, odds are your money will be wrapped up for a while. If you can’t afford to have that money unavailable for a long period of time, then you may want to work with a bail bond company.
What are bail bond rates and is it possible to negotiate a cheaper rate?
In California, bail bond rates are set by the state, and it is not possible to negotiate a cheaper rate. The state-mandated bail bond rate is 10%, and if a bail bond company approaches you with a cheaper one, then you should remain cautious. This likely means that the company is not properly licensed to do business in the state of California.
However, it is possible to get a “better” deal — even if it isn’t necessarily an option to get a better rate.
For example, some bail bond companies might accept more forms of collateral, which could prove to be useful in your particular situation. Another example would be payment terms. Some bail bond companies may require the fee all up front, while others might be willing to work with you and negotiate payment terms that suit your individual financial needs.
Therefore, while the bail bond rate itself is non-negotiable, you do have options. Make sure you conduct research and find a bail bond company who is willing to work with you and your family during such a difficult time.
If you’re trying to post bail for a friend or loved one, a bail bond company can help.
Rather than paying the entire bail amount to the court, you can pay a bail bond company a small percentage to post bail on your behalf. Since the total bail amount can be pretty expensive, the bail bond option can be very useful for many people.
If you’re wondering, “How much do bail bond companies charge?”, then you’ll first need to figure out your total bail amount.
How much do bail bond companies charge?
In California, bail bonds should be 10% of the total bail amount. If a bail bond company attempts to charge you any more or any less than 10%, then you should proceed with caution. This percentage is set by the state of California.
This being said, if your bail is set at $10,000, then the bail company should charge you $1,000 for the bail bond. While there may be additional fees, these should all be disclosed at the very beginning of the process. You should not receive additional fees or charges once the bail bond documents have been signed and processed.
What should you look for in a bail bond company?
Since the bail bond fee should be the same from one bail bond company to the next, there are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding what bail bond company to work with.
Here’s what you should consider:
Will they come to you?
Are they open on the weekends?
Are they open 24 hours a day?
Are they familiar with your community?
Do they know the local bail bond process?
How quickly will they work on getting your loved one out of jail?
Will they provide you with additional resources and guidance throughout the process?
Even though you are likely in a hurry and want to get your loved one out of jail quickly, it’s important to take your time selecting a bail bond company. The more comfortable you are with your bail bond company and the more experienced they are with local bail bonds, the quicker your loved one will be able to come home.
If you’re wondering what crimes can post bail, the answer is: all of them.
However, this does not mean that all defendants will be given the opportunity to actually post bail.
Let’s break this down.
Why would someone not be allowed to post bail?
Bail is determined by the court, and there are average bail amounts by crime. Bail will increase with more serious crimes.
In some cases, however, the judge may deny bail altogether.
If the defendant has previously posted bail and failed to appear in court, then it is likely that they will not be allowed to post bail. As another example, if releasing the defendant back into public poses too many security concerns for other people, then it is also likely that they will not be allowed to post bail.
Denial of bail can also happen if a person has violated parole in the past or if they have an arrest warrant out in another city.
Can you be denied bail but still released from jail?
In other situations, you could actually be denied but still released from jail. This happens if you’re granted an OR release.
When this happens, you do not need to post bail, but you will likely have to adhere to certain restrictions. This may include house arrest, drug testing, and a license suspension.
This is usually only available for very minor crimes (like DUIs) and first-time offenses.
If your loved one is in jail and you’re wondering, “Are bail bonds worth it?”, then the answer is almost always yes.
Bail isn’t exactly cheap, and the majority of people cannot afford to post bail on their own. This is why they turn to a bail bond company.
When you post bail with a company instead of on your own, you’re only responsible for a 10% fee instead of the entire bail amount. The bail bond company will post bail on your behalf and get your loved one out of jail usually within 24 hours.
This particular facet of bail bonds is the most important facet.
Unfortunately, the court system does not work nearly as fast as it should work. And because of this, people (even innocent people) may wait weeks or even months in jail before they are able to attend court and plead their case.
Because of this, bail bonds are worth it.
When are bail bonds not worth it?
Keep in mind, we did say that bail bonds are almost always worth it. In other words, there are times when posting bail is not worth it.
In our opinion, if your loved one is not trustworthy or has posted bail and skipped court on a previous occasion, then you may want to reconsider signing a bail bond on their behalf.
If your loved one skips court, you will be on the hook for the entire bail amount.
Bail is only a temporary payment to the court. It is refunded once the court proceedings are over. If you did not seek out a bond and paid the full amount to the court on your own instead, then this means you will not receive a refund from the court. If you did work with a bail bond company, then this means that the bail bond company has the right to seize any collateral you signed over to them. For many people, collateral includes homes or vehicles.
So again, if you do not trust that your loved one will return to court, then you need to heavily reconsider signing a bond for them.
If you’re wondering how bail bonds in Bakersfield work, then you’ve come to the right place.
Although getting a loved one out of jail can be overwhelming, the bail bond process doesn’t have to add to that stress. When you work with an experienced bail bond company in Bakersfield, you can benefit in a variety of ways.
Let’s take a few moments to cover how the bail bond process works in Bakersfield, CA and provide you with some quick tips and tricks to keep in mind.
The first step of bail bonds in Bakersfield
The first step of the bail bond process is finding a bail bond company.
When looking for a bail bond company, make sure you find one within your county. You want to work with a bail bond agent who knows your local jails and city departments really well and can quickly get you in touch with the right people.
Once you find a bail bond company in Bakersfield, it’s important to make the paperwork process your top priority. The sooner you get this out of the way, the sooner your bail bond agent can get your loved one out of jail.
Paperwork usually consists of personal, financial, and work information — for both you and your loved one in jail.
To get a bond from a bail bond company in Bakersfield, you need to be prepared to pay around 10% of the total bail amount. This fee is non-refundable. If bail bond companies say they can give you a rate lower than 10%, be wary. These percentages are set by the state, and if a company offers a lower rate, it usually means they are not following state laws and may not be reputable.
Once payment terms have been set and the paperwork filed, your bail bond agent can work to get your loved one out of jail. They will pay the total bail amount on your behalf, file the appropriate paperwork, and get your loved one out of jail quickly.
Remember, this doesn’t mean your loved one is in the clear. They still have to return to court on the scheduled date. If they fail to appear, then your forms of collateral might be on the hook. The bail bond company might also work with a bounty hunter to get your loved one to return to court.
If you’re like many people, you may use the terms jail and prison interchangeably. However, jail and prison are two very different things.
Let’s quickly discuss the main differences between jail vs prison.
Jail vs Prison: The main differences
Jail is designed for a short-term stay, while prison is designed for a long-term stay. When a person is taken to jail, this often means they are awaiting trial or convicted of a misdemeanor with a year or less of jail time. When a person is taken to prison, this often means they are convicted of a felony and will be introduced into a population that requires various levels of security (from minimum to solitary confinement).
Jail is managed by your local law enforcement and government entities, while prison is managed by state or federal entities.
Both jails and prisons offer various programs that treat substance abuse, offer vocational training, provide educational opportunities, and more. The opportunities available to inmates will vary based on time left on sentence and type of crime.
If you think about short term vs long term (jail vs prison), then it’s easy to imagine the differences in living situations.
Jail is short-term, and there is a variable flow of inmates in and out of the facility on a regular basis. Because of this, inmates will be around different people every day (from low-level offenders jailed for misdemeanors to high-level offenders awaiting trial). Programs and facilities available usually aren’t as well-developed as they are in prisons since they are designed for short-term interactions.
Even though an inmate may be around considerably more dangerous felons in a prison, this still may be a more ideal situation for them if they’re facing 6 months or more of jail time. This is because they may have more of an opportunity to get on a schedule, eat and sleep better, and benefit from all-around better programs.
With both prison and jail, inmates have a right to visitation from loved ones, friends, and legal representation. On top of this, they are also guaranteed basic human rights such as free speech and medical care.
Looking for information on bail bonds? Check out these resources: