Bail Bond Questions

Can I arrange for bail as soon as I have been arrested or as soon as I know a friend or a loved one has been arrested?

Generally bail may not be posted until a defendant has completed the arrest and booking procedures in the individual jurisdiction. This process may be done quickly where there is sufficient staffing or a small jurisdiction but may take several hours if there is insufficient staffing or an over-taxed jurisdiction.

How can I verify that your company is licensed and in good standing?

California laws require that all bail bond companies are licensed through the California Department of Insurance. You may verify our license status using our license number: 1841598.

Do you handle bail bonds for all California jurisdictions?

At Cowboy Bail Bonds we have the ability to assist any defendant in any jurisdiction. We will handle your inquiry quickly, confidentially and with the utmost courtesy and respect for both you and the defendant. All of our agents are available to assist in the posting procedure, any time day or night in any California Jail, Sheriff Station, Police Dept or Court.

Is there a lot of paperwork that has to be done to secure a bail bond?

The paperwork for posting a bond is fairly minimal. Cowboy Bail Bonds will provide you with an application, an indemnity agreement and a receipt. If there is real estate involved as collateral then additional documentation may be required. Typically from the time you contact us until the time we are able to notify the jurisdiction where the defendant is being held that bond has been posted is two (2) hours or less.

What happens if I do post bail and the defendant fails to appear in court?

Fortunately most times this happens because of a mix up and can be easily solved with a simple telephone call. Either the defendant failed to appear because they have forgotten about the court date, been involved in an accident or traffic jams have prevented them from arriving at court in a timely manner. If you contact us at Cowboy Bail Bonds immediately upon being notified that the defendant has not appeared, we will work with the defendant’s attorney and the courts to arrange for the defendant to appear on an alternate date.

If I post a bail bond for someone what are my responsibilities?

If you are posting bail for a friend or a loved one you are committed to ensuring that the defendant appears for any future court dates. Because you are basically the indemnitor of the bond (i.e. you have posted the bond) you now have accepted this responsibility.

What is the process if someone remains in custody?

If a defendant is not bailed out of custody whether because they have been denied bail or because someone has not posted bail on their behalf they would remain in jail until the court authorized their release. Depending on the charges this may vary from a few days to several months.

How do I bail someone out of jail that I know has been arrested?

Before you may bail someone out of jail the arrest and booking procedures must be completed and bail must be set. Once this is done and you have secured a bail bond (if required) then the defendant will be released.

What does Released on Recognizance mean?

If a judge has determined that a defendant does not pose a threat of flight or other reasons that may not warrant a defendant posting bail the judge may rule that the defendant may be released on their own recognizance. This means simply that no bond is due to the court and that only a signature promise by the defendant is required to secure release.

If someone has been cited and released what does that mean?

Cite and Release (or cite out) means that a citation has been issued to the defendant by the arresting officer stating that they must appear in court on a specific date. Typically this is done for traffic violations or other minor infractions and do not require a bail bond to be posted.

Do I need a Bail Bond company to post bond?

If you are able to post cash bail in lieu of a bond, you may not need a bail bond company to secure the release of you, a friend or a loved one from custody. Often a court will accept property in lieu of cash as collateral that the defendant will return. It is important that you understand however that this comes with consequences which include (a) the property equity must equal 150% of the bail amount and (b) this may take more time to process than acquiring a bond as it involves real estate. At Cowboy Bail Bonds we guarantee that we can help with this process and make it timelier than dealing with the jurisdiction of the courts if a cash bond is not possible.

When must I pay for the bond?

Bail Bonds must be posted prior to you, your friend or your loved one being released from custody. Between any cash deposits, credit card deposits or collateral deposits, once we have reached an agreement up front, then we will assist you in securing that release. Typically this process is no more than a couple of hours from when we are contacted.

How do I pay for a bail bond?

At Cowboy Bail Bonds we understand fully that bailing yourself, a friend or a loved one out of jail is something that is typically not in everyone’s budget. Because of this we can (a) arrange for financing; (b) accept all major credit cards; or (c) arrange for collaterally based bond.

Please define exactly what a Bail Bond is?

A Bail Bond is easily defined as a “Surety Bond” which in effect means that we are guaranteeing based on your signature that the defendant will report as ordered for a future court date.

What other charges will I incur besides the ten (10) percent bond fee?

At Cowboy Bail Bonds you will not find any hidden charges. We encourage you to read our contract thoroughly before you sign it. All fees are disclosed up front and you will never be surprised with additional fees at any time.

Do I have to pay the entire fee up front?

Cowboy Bail Bonds has financing available – you will be required to make a deposit of at least five (5) percent but we will do our best to assist you with the remaining balance.

Is it possible to negotiate the fee on a bond?

No it is not. The cost of a bond is set by the state of California and is not negotiable. Any offer to provide you a bond at less than the filed and approved rate should warn you that the company you are dealing with is not legitimately licensed to do business in the State of California. Cowboy Bail Bonds must adhere to all of the laws of California in order to maintain our license.

How much will the bond cost?

As in most states, California stipulates how much a bond will cost. The cost of a bail bond (or surety bond) in California is 10% of the bail amount in most cases. For instance if the amount of bail is set at $50,000 the total cost of the bond is $5,000. Cowboy Bail Bonds fee is set by the State of California.

How to I get my collateral back if I’ve used it for a bond?

Once a defendant has met their obligations to the court including all appearances and any financial matters that may be attended to, Cowboy Bail Bonds will contact you immediately to release your collateral back to you.

Do I always have to provide collateral with a bond?

Often we are able to supply bonds on simply a signature instead of requiring collateral. This will vary from person to person. Call us immediately and we will let you know in minutes whether you will qualify for a signature bond versus a bond that requires collateral. At Cowboy Bail Bonds will do our best to allow you to use a signature bond if it is possible.


In our darkest times, Steve at Cowboy Bail Bonds helps us with compassion, respect & professionalism. I would highly recommend Cowboy Bail Bonds to anyone in need. Unlike the “big” bonds services we experienced, Steve at Cowboy Bail Bonds gave us immediate help. We will be forever grateful!

Barbara Westervelt