A very common question when it comes to Santa Rita Jail bail bonds relates to the defendant’s bail amount and why it has been set at a particular level. Finding out that someone you care for has been taken into custody can have you feeling as if your stomach is being twisted into knots. Learning their bail has been set in the tens of thousands of dollars can make an already stressful situation feel even worse.
Sometimes people will call a bondsman wondering why a particular amount has been set. Do women get assigned lesser bail amounts than men? Do parents get a break? What if the defendant has never been arrested before? Can the bail be negotiated with the jail if the person in custody is a respected member of a local church? In other instances friends or family members will travel to the Santa Rita Jail to see if they can speak with a supervisor. They are sure that if they can sit down with the jailer in person that they will be able to successfully negotiate a lesser amount.
This, unfortunately, does little more than waste valuable time.
When a person is first taken into custody they will need to be booked into the system. This entails them being transported to the jail, having their photographs and fingerprints taken and their information being typed into the computer. The jailer will then cross reference the crime they are being accused of against the Alameda County bail schedule. The bail schedule is set once a year by a panel of judges. It lets the jailer know which bail amounts are to correspond with various crimes. A very serious offense, such as armed robbery, will have a much higher bail amount than a minor offense, such as public intoxication. You will also want to keep in mind that California bail amounts are the highest in the nation. The average range is typically between $20,000 and $30,000. Driving to the jail to try to “haggle” this to a lesser range will not be successful. A judge is the only person who has the authority to raise, lower or remove bail.
When you hire an expert bondsman your cost will not be that full sum. It will instead be 10% of the total bail amount. The cost to purchase bail bonds is not set company by company, and it is not set county by county. The commercial bail industry is heavily regulated and the Department of Insurance is the agency that tells a bondsman what they can and can’t charge their clients. Anyone who attempts to sell bonds for more or less than the set legal rate is violating state law.
If you are unable to pay the bondsman’s fee up front in full, don’t worry. You will want to ask the person you are speaking with if their company is able to assist you with bail bonds financing. Some companies provide this service while others do not. Some are very flexible and creative when it comes to down payment amounts and monthly payment thresholds. Others are much more strict. You will want to be sure to hire a company that you feel is best suited to work with your individual financial situation.
Lastly, you will want to remember that the fee you pay to a bondsman is non refundable. It will not be returned in part or in full regardless as to the outcome of the case. If you have additional questions about Santa Rita Jail bail bonds and would like more information, be sure to ask your agent to answer any points you are unclear on.