If you have received a call from a friend or family member alerting you of their arrest in Alameda County, you may be wondering if you are required to hire a bail bondsman in order to get them out of jail. The answer to that question is no. You are not legally required to work with a bail bonds company.
An alternative to purchasing a bail bond would be posting something called “cash bail”. In order to post cash bail you’ll need to take the defendant’s full bail amount in the form of cash or cashier’s check and post it at the jail. The court will hold onto that money and as long as the defendant makes all of their necessary court appearances it will be returned to the person who posted it at the conclusion of the defendant’s case. The return is not immediate and can take several months to be processed. Many people don’t have immediate access to large sums of money and if they do, they may not want to have it tied up for months at a time.
Another option would be to post something called a property bond. In this case the deed to a piece of property with twice the equity of a person’s bail would be posted with the court. Property bonds require a lot of leg work, a number of inspections, and lots of paperwork. Posting a property bond can take up to a month.
When someone is arrested and taken to one of the Alameda County jails, most people choose to work with an Alameda bail bonds company to get them out because it is the fastest and easiest way to get someone out of jail.