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How much does bail cost?

coins coming out of a jar

If you have a loved one in jail, then your first question (of many) is likely, “How much does bail cost?” While there are a few options once someone has been arrested, odds are you probably want to get your friend or family member out of jail as quickly as possible. So, figuring out how much bail is and how to post it is almost always an immediate concern.

If you don’t go the bail route, then your loved one will be required to remain in jail until the court process has been completed. This can be quite a long time. 

If you decide to post bail, then you have two options — pay the bail outright to the court or work with a bail bond agent. Since bail can be a high amount (especially if it’s not a minor charge), most people can’t afford bail, and they’ll end up reaching out to a local bail bond company.

At this point, you won’t be required to pay the full bail amount to the court. Instead, you’ll pay a bail fee to the bail bond company, and the bail bond company will post the full bail amount on your behalf.

If you’re wondering, “How much does a bail bond cost?” — then you’ll need to only calculate the bail fee amount. The bail fee amount is a percentage of the full bail amount. In California, this usually sits at or around 10%. So, if your bail is set at $10,000, you owe the bail bond company $1,000. 

Keep in mind — while the full bail amount is refundable (if you don’t have a failure to appear in court), the bail fee paid to a bail bond company is non-refundable (even if the charges are dropped in the future). However, certain bail bond companies will do their best to work with you and may be able to provide payment options (or other forms of payment).

In some cases, you will be required to put up collateral, as well. There are many types of collateral, including homes, cars, and jewelry. You’ll want to be very careful choosing your collateral since this can technically become the property of the bail bond company if your loved one fails to appear in court. 

Want to keep learning about the bail bond process?

Take a look at our additional resources, and reach out to us if you have any questions.

How to get out of jail in California quickly

The inside of a dark black and white jail

If you’re wondering how to get out of jail in California (and not in Monopoly), then you’ve come to the right place. Getting out of jail can be a stressful and confusing process, so it’s important to find local experts to help you out. More specifically, you’ll want to find a local bail bond company (and maybe even a lawyer if the charge necessitates it).

How can a bail bond agent help you get out of jail?

When you’re arrested for a crime, odds are you’ll be assigned a bail amount by the court. Bail could be assigned immediately or it could be assigned after seeing a judge (which could take up to 24 hours).  

If you can post bail, then you’ll be free to go home. If you cannot, you’ll have to remain in jail until your next court date. Bail is used as an incentive to get the defendant to return to court, which means that your bail amount will be returned if you don’t skip your court date.

Learn More: What happens if you fail to appear in court?

However, bail can sometimes be out of reach for the average person, which is why bail bond companies exist. A bail bond company can work with you or a close friend or family member, guide you through the bail process, and get you out of jail quickly. Usually, a bail bond company will take over the whole process on behalf of the defendant and their family, which can speed things up and create less confusion.

Keep in mind, working with a bail bond company is not free. You will be required to pay a non-refundable percentage of your bail to the bail bond company. And in some cases, you’ll also be required to put up some form of collateral.

Learn More: What can you use as collateral for a bond?

In some situations, people could be granted an OR release (own recognizance release). This usually only happens if the crime committed is minor, and the person has a relatively clean criminal history. With an OR release, you won’t be required to post bail or remain in jail until your court date — you simply sign some paperwork, and you’re allowed to return home. 

Cowboy Bail Bonds can help you get out of jail in California 

Need help getting out of jail and posting your bail? Give us a call at 661.324.6009 or fill out our online form to get immediate help. We are available 24/7 to help you or your loved ones make bail and get out of jail quickly.

What is an OR bond?

Barbed wire outside of prison

When a loved one is arrested, you might be wondering, “What is an own recognizance release and how do you qualify for one?” 

This is a common question (even if people don’t actually know the term “own recognizance” or “OR”). Because if you’re not asking, “What is an OR bond?”, then you’re likely asking, “Can I be released from custody without posting a cash bond?” These two questions are one and the same.

If you’re required to post a bond, it’s usually not cheap, and it’s this way on purpose. The court needs to give you a bigger incentive to return to court on the appropriate day. If you don’t, your bond will not be returned. If you do, you get all your money back

Even though bail bond companies will post bail on your behalf, you’re still required to pay a percentage of the bond to the bail bond company. And you may even need cosigners who will be responsible for the full amount if you skip your court date. For some people, cosigners and even the bail bond fee are out of reach — which is why an own recognizance release is often requested. 

Who qualifies for an own recognizance release?

  • The court believes you do not require cash bond to return to court
  • The individual has not been charged with an offense punishable by death
  • The individual will not be a threat to public safety

Keep in mind, most people charged with felonies will not be granted an OR.  If it’s your first-offense and you’ve been charged with a low-level offense, it’s a possibility that you could be granted an OR after a background check.

What happens if you don’t get an OR?

If you don’t get an OR and you are required to post a cash bond, then you’ll likely need to reach out to a bail bond company. A bail bond agent can help you through the bail process and get you released from jail quickly. Take a look at some helpful links below to learn more about the bail bond process.

Are Bail Bondsmen Law Enforcement Officers?

law enforcement toys on the sidewalk

We’ve previously addressed whether or not bail bond agents and bounty hunters are police officers, which they are not. But are bail bondsmen law enforcement officers in any capacity?

The answer to this question depends on how you look at things. To be clear, bail bondsmen are not law enforcement officers and neither are bounty hunters. However, they do deal with bail enforcement, which does give them some authority to take you back to court. 

Learn more about what happens if you fail to appear in court

If a person skips their court date, a bail bond company would contract with a bounty hunter. That bounty hunter would then find the person who skipped court and bring them back to the proper authorities on behalf of the bail bond company.

The bounty hunter does have to be educated and may have to obtain specific licenses in order to detain a fugitive. Bounty hunters are also expected to have the appropriate documentation to carry out their duties. In other words, you can’t just wake up one day and decide to be a bounty hunter. You have to go through the process to become a bounty hunter and then work alongside bail bond companies.

Learn more about what a bail bond agent is

So, while bail bond companies and bounty hunters have some legal capacity to detain you, they aren’t technically law enforcement officers. They are not responsible for policing individuals on anything other than bail and failed court appearances. 

Want to learn more about the bail bond process?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “Are bail bondsmen law enforcement officers?”, check out our additional resources to learn more about bail bond agents and the bail bond process as a whole:

Can a bail bond company garnish my wages?

What can you use as collateral for a bond?

Are bail bonds returned?

Are bail bonds returned?

The inside of a prison

When you’re faced with the option to post bail, you might be wondering, “Are bail bonds returned?” Since bail can be quite a bit of money, it’s only natural to wonder whether or not you’ll be getting some, all, or none of that money back.

Bail bonds are returned. Here’s how it works.

When it comes to bail, you normally have two options. 

In one scenario, you could pay the bail in full to the court. This means that either you or a loved one took money that you currently have and gave it directly to the court. Generally speaking, this usually isn’t possible. Bail can be a pretty high amount, and the average person doesn’t have the full bail amount readily available. However, let’s say that a few people came together and paid the bail on behalf of the person requiring bail. When all is said and done, the bail amount is returned in full (even if that person is found guilty of the crime in question).

In the second scenario, you could work with a bail bond agency to post bail. In this situation, you don’t have or don’t want to put up the full bail amount to the court. Instead, the bail bond agency charges you a percentage of the bail, and they post the full bail amount on your behalf. Even in this situation, the bail is returned by the court. However, the premium you paid to the bail bond agency is not returned. The bail bond agency keeps this fee as payment for posting your bail.

Check out some more frequently asked bail bond questions

Are bail bond companies open on the weekend?

Yes. Most bail bond companies are open 24/7/365. Bail bond companies understand that people are arrested outside of normal working hours, which is why you can get help from a bail bondsman in the middle of the night and even on the weekends. So, if you do call the jail and they say your friend or family member has not posted bond yet, rest assured you can get in contact with a bail bond company no matter what time or day it is.

Learn more: Are bail bond companies open 24 hours?

What information will a bail bondsman need?

If the bond still needs to be posted, then you’ll need to get in contact with a bail bond company and start gathering any necessary items that may be required to get the bond process started. This can include personal, employer, and reference information. 

Get help gathering all this information by checking out our list of bail bond information.

What qualifies as bail bond collateral?

There are many items you can use as collateral for a bond; however, choose these items carefully. There is a potential that these items could be forfeited if the arrestee fails to show up to court. These items can include jewelry, vehicles, real estate, and investments. 

Check out our full list of bail bond collateral options

Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds for more information on local bail bonds

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we offer 24-hour bail bonds in Bakersfield, Taft, Shafter, Wasco, and other Kern County areas. If you’re looking for more information on Kern County bail bonds or if you need to get started on the bail bond process, give us a call or fill out our online form.

Are bail bond agents cops?

Man sits in dark jail cell.

One question we get asked pretty frequently is: Are bail bond agents cops? Now, the answer to this question is pretty simple.

No, bail bond agents are not cops.

Bail bond agents cannot arrest you, and if you have been arrested, a bail bond agent is someone who can become your immediate new best friend.

However, if you post bail with the help of a bail bond agent and you skip your court date, then that bail bond agent will no longer be your best friend. At this point, they may contact a bounty hunter, and that bounty hunter can arrest you and take you to proper authorities. But even at this point, a bail bond agent themself cannot arrest you.

If your next question is: “Are bounty hunters cops?”, the answer to this question is also no.

Bounty hunters can detain someone and deliver that person to court (if they have the proper documentation and authority to do so), but they are not considered police officers. You can read more about what a bounty hunter is and is not allowed to do in our recent article: Can a bail bond company arrest you?

Even though there is a possibility that a bail bond agent can indirectly take you back to jail, this only happens if you fail to uphold your end of the bail bond agreement. If you show up to court when you’re required to show up, then the bail bond process should run smoothly with zero hiccups.

Check out some more frequently asked bail bond questions

Are bail bond companies open on the weekend?

Yes. Most bail bond companies are open 24/7/365. Bail bond companies understand that people are arrested outside of normal working hours, which is why you can get help from a bail bondsman in the middle of the night and even on the weekends. So, if you do call the jail and they say your friend or family member has not posted bond yet, rest assured you can get in contact with a bail bond company no matter what time or day it is.

Learn more: Are bail bond companies open 24 hours?

What information will a bail bondsman need?

If the bond still needs to be posted, then you’ll need to get in contact with a bail bond company and start gathering any necessary items that may be required to get the bond process started. This can include personal, employer, and reference information. 

Get help gathering all this information by checking out our list of bail bond information.

What qualifies as bail bond collateral?

There are many items you can use as collateral for a bond; however, choose these items carefully. There is a potential that these items could be forfeited if the arrestee fails to show up to court. These items can include jewelry, vehicles, real estate, and investments. 

Check out our full list of bail bond collateral options

Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds for more information on local bail bonds

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we offer 24-hour bail bonds in Bakersfield, Taft, Shafter, Wasco, and other Kern County areas. If you’re looking for more information on Kern County bail bonds or if you need to get started on the bail bond process, give us a call or fill out our online form.

Are bail bond companies open 24 hours?

Clock on white wall shows 24 hour bail bond support.

If you or a loved one has been arrested outside of normal business hours, you’re likely wondering, “Are bail bond companies open 24 hours?”

The answer to this question is usually yes — the majority of bail bond companies do operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Let’s quickly cover why 24-hour bail bond agencies exist, and then go over some important information if you’re searching for a local bail bondsman.

Why are bail bond companies open 24 hours?

The explanation of this question is rather cut and dry. Since many arrests take place outside of normal business hours, bail bond agents need to be available. 

For example, what happens if a family member is arrested on a Friday night? Should they be expected to wait until Monday morning at 9am to start the bail bond process? Absolutely not. 

Bail bond agents understand that they need to be available at all hours of the day and all days of the week to truly support and help their clients. Not only do 24-hour bail bond companies make the entire situation less traumatic for defendants when they’re available 24/7, but they also make the process all-around quicker.

Common questions people ask 24-hour bail bond companies

If you or a loved one is arrested for the very first time, the bail bond process can seem daunting and confusing. It’s only natural to have questions and concerns about the process. To help clear up the confusion, we’ve gathered together a list of resources answering common questions.

Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds for more information on 24-hour bonds

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we offer 24-hour bail bonds in Bakersfield, Taft, Shafter, Wasco, and other Kern County areas. If you’re looking for more information on Kern County bail bonds or if you need to get started on the bail bond process, give us a call or fill out our online form.

Can a bail bond company garnish my wages?

woman counting money with planner on desk

If you owe money to a bail bond company, you might be wondering whether or not they can garnish wages. While the answer to this question can vary depending on what state you live in, a bail bond company is treated like any other creditor in California. In other words, a bail bond company can’t automatically garnish wages from your paycheck. 

However, after the proper process is completed, unpaid debts to a bail bond agency can be garnished from your paycheck. To do this, a bail bond agency will need to start by suing you and taking you to court (this could include the co-signer, as well). If the bail bond company is successful at proving the unpaid debt exists and that they have a right to recover it, then they will likely be given the option by the court to garnish your wages.

Luckily, there are limits to how much money can be garnished from your check monthly. The amount garnished will be determined by a percentage of your weekly disposable earnings. 

Additional bail bond resources from Cowboy Bail Bonds

Cowboy Bail Bonds is a bail bond agency located in Bakersfield. With over 50 years of experience providing Kern County residents with bail bond assistance, we can help you navigate the ins and outs of the bail bond process. Give us a call, fill out our online form, or check out our additional resources below.

What information does a bail bondsman need?

Man sits in dark jail cell.

If a loved one has been arrested, then you’re probably wondering, “What information does a bail bondsman need?” If you do find yourself entangled with law enforcement, then it’s important to quickly uncover what info a bail bond agency is looking for. The sooner you can gather all this information together, the sooner you can get the bail bond process started for your loved one.  Let’s take a look at the main items and information a bail bondsman will need to process your bail. Related Material: Are bail bondsman cops?

A bail bondsman will need the arrest information.

There are a handful of jails in Kern County. To make sure your bondsman knows where to start, you’ll need to let him or her know where your loved one is being held. Check out the areas we serve in Kern County, including Taft, Wasco, Lamont, and Bakersfield. On top of this, you’ll need to identify their inmate reference number and what their bail is set at. If you can’t figure out their bail amount, the bondsman should be able to gather this information for you. However, knowing the bail amount before speaking with your bondsman can make the bond process go quicker. It’s important to remember that bail may not be posted until the arrest and booking procedures have been finalized. This process may take more or less time depending on the jurisdiction and staffing resources available. Remain as patient as you can.

A bail bondsman will need personal information.

As would need to with the majority of large financial transactions, you’ll need to have the inmates personal information handy when first contacting a bail bondsman. This could expand to include the following information:

  • Full legal name
  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Address
  • Birthdate
  • Phone number
  • Social security number

A bail bondsman will need employer information.

In addition to basic personal information, the bail bondsman will likely need to know employer information, as well. This could expand to include:

  • Employer name
  • Employer address
  • Employer phone number
  • Years worked
  • Job title
  • Description of duties
  • Proof of employment

Keep in mind, this will typically include employer information for the inmate and employer information for the person posting bail on behalf of the inmate.

A bail bondsman will need reference information.

Similar to applying for a job, a bail bondsman will need references. However, these references should be personal references of the inmate. Be prepared to list at least three personal references, which should include full legal names, addresses, and phone numbers. These references can help a bail bondsman track down an individual who fails to show up to court.

Need to contact a bail bondsman in Kern County?

At Cowboy Bail Bondsman, we have decades of experience helping families in Kern County get out of jail fast. We’re available 24/7/365, and we’re pros at navigating the local bail bond process. Give us a call today or fill out our online formHave more questions about bail bonds? Check out our bail bond FAQ page.

What can you use as collateral for a bond?

Jewelry used as collateral for a bond.

If a loved one has been arrested recently, you might be wondering what can be used as collateral for a bond in California.  Bail bonds are necessary when someone who has been arrested cannot afford the full bail amount. However, bail isn’t free. You will be required to pay the bail fee, otherwise known as a premium. This is a percentage of the bail amount, and you do not get this fee back. On top of the premium, collateral may be required. Collateral should be returned after the hearing, but it could be seized if the arrestee skips out on bail. Because of this, it’s important to consider your collateral options carefully. This is especially true if you do not fully trust the person requiring bail.  Here are a few different options for bail bond collateral:

Vehicles 

If you own a vehicle, this might be the simplest form of collateral to offer up. But be careful. If the arrestee fails to make their court appearances, the vehicle could be seized. If this is your only form of transportation, that could create some problems. While you should be allowed to continue using the vehicle while it’s being used as a collateral, this definitely won’t be the case if it’s forfeited.  If you have a second vehicle or another form of transportation (like a boat or camper), that would be ideal. Keep Reading: How to find a bail bond company near me

Investments

If you have any savings, bonds, stocks, or other forms of investments, you can use it as collateral for a bond. However, it’s important to remember that these items could be tied up for quite some time. Because of this, you may want to consider another form of collateral before you offer up your life’s savings. 

Real Estate

Houses, land, and other buildings can be used as collateral for a bond (including any built-up equity). Other (less common) versions of real estate (such as livestock and crops) are also considered as a form of collateral. 

Jewelry and Other Valuables

Whether it’s a diamond ring or a ruby necklace, jewelry is an acceptable form of collateral. This also includes any gold, silver, or precious metals.  These valuables can be combined with other personal items (such as computers, gaming systems, antiques, and even firearms) to account for the full value of the collateral. In most cases, a 3rd party appraiser will be required in order to assess the value of these items (and possibly the proper storage of these items, as well). Keep Reading: What is a bail bond agent?

Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds Today

Need help making bail? Give us a call at 661.324.6009 or fill out our online form to get immediate help. We are available 24/7 to help you or your loved ones make bail and identify possible forms of bond collateral.