While you do not legally need to retain a Sacramento criminal defense attorney to assist you with the bail process, having one can only help you through all the steps when you are charge with a criminal offence, especially if it is your first time going through it.
What is Bail?
Whenever law enforcement arrests a person, they will put them into jail where they stay until they are released on their own recognizance or until they post bail, if available to them. Not all cases will have bail, but in those that have bail, it is just simply paying the court a set fee to let the defendant out of jail. The bail is in exchange for a promise, a contract, from the defendant to attend all of their court hearings. A defendant can pay their bail by cash, using a bondsman, personal property or even real estate. Check with the court to find out what is accepted.
When hiring a bondsman, they will vouch for you in front of the court and will say that if you don’t show up for all of your court dates they will pay your bond amount in full. In exchange for that, you will be required to pay the bondsman a percentage of your bail amount, which is typically 10% and is usually non-refundable. It is likely you will be asked for a co-signor, which is usually a parent or friend. The co-signer will be responsible for the money should you not appear in court. Also, they will usually put up some type of collateral like a house that the bondsman can seize to recoup their money, if you do not appear in court as agreed.
A Bail Bondsman isn’t an Attorney
Bail is a very complicated matter, and by using a bondsman is not always the greatest choice either. For instance, if your case gets dropped and you paid the 10% to a bondsman, it is gone and you won’t get it back.
A Sacramento Defense Attorney, on the other hand, can represent you in court and fight on your behalf to release you from custody. A bondsman cannot do that. A criminal defense attorney can also argue at a bail hearing on your behalf to help with reducing your bail amount drastically, where a bondsman cannot do that. If you have an attorney and need to have a bondsman to get you out of jail, your attorney can help you find one that will charge a lesser bond fee.
Being arrested and facing any kind of charge can be very serious, as well as a bail amount. An experienced Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney will go over all of your legal choices and advise you of the very best course of action for your unique case. For additional information, contact the Abrate & Olsen Law Group at 916-550-2688 to schedule your free consultation today.