Skipping out on your court date when you’ve been bailed out of jail is a serious matter. If you skip the court date, a warrant is going to be issued for your arrest, and you can forget the possibility of getting bailed out for a second time. If you’ve been thinking about skipping your court date, you should seriously reconsider. As tempting as it may be to skip court to try to avoid negative consequences, you’ll just end up making the situation worse. If you find yourself facing a court date following bail, take the following steps to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
Get to know your legal representation
You and your legal representation will both feel more relaxed and comfortable working with one another in court if you’ve spent a little bit of time getting to know each other first. Don’t be afraid to open up and give them the information that they need. While some questions may seem trivial or off topic, you never know how they may be able to help you in the courtroom.
Make sure that you know exactly what you need to provide
Talk to your legal representative about the documents that they need. Most likely you’ll be expected to show a government issued picture ID, social security card, proof of residence, and proof of employment. You’ll also have to offer your personal contact information so that they can get in touch with you as needed.
If you’re having trouble keeping track of the documents, ask for a printed checklist that has suggestions for each item (i.e. a recent pay sub for proof of employment). With a checklist in hand, you’ll save time gathering your documents. As a result, the process will go more quickly because your representation won’t have to spend weeks down tracking down the necessary papers. The more that you can do to speed up this process, the better.
Related Articles: Is Bail Criterion Different in Each County?
Always provide original copies
It may not seem like a big deal to give your legal representation the original copies of your required documents, but it saves them from a lot of hassle. For example, a client could decide to doctor up a utility bill to fake residency in a given location. If the doctoring job is done well, it could be very hard for legal representation to tell that it was a fake document. By the time they figured it out, the client would be long gone. Your representation will make photocopies of your documents and return the originals to you right away.
Offer additional records and items as requested
There are a number of other documents that legal representation may wish to obtain, including a passport, booking sheet, cell phone downloads, and GPS ankle bracelet. These items may seem like overkill, but they are simply a means of securing more basic information about and providing a means of tracking a client in the event that he or she tries to leave town or even leave the country before the court date.
Related Articles: Understanding the ABCs of Bond Hearing: A Guide
Agree to personal information verification
Many clients provide false contact information, including addresses and phone numbers to prevent their legal representation from being able to get in touch with them. As such, it is not unusual for representation to verify this information early in a relationship with a client. For example, you may be asked to call a business phone line with your cell phone so that they can verify the phone number via caller ID. In the event that you need to move or change a phone number before your court date, make sure to let your representation know as soon as possible.
If your representation seems suspicious about any of the contact information that you provide, resist the urge to get defensive. Many legal representatives deal with clients who are not truthful. They are simply trying to cover their backs and verify that everything that you say is true so that they can proceed in a proper, timely fashion.
Signature Bail Bonds has been in the bail business for nearly two decades. We strive to make getting out of jail as simple and stress free as possible. You have our personal guarantee that you will always speak to a licensed agent and receive service from our owner, Luis Mier. Our services are available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Give us a call today at 714-240-2245 to learn more about how we can help you.
Drug possession charges are often very serious for offenders, and even more so for repeat offenders. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t fight a charge before you go to court or when your court date finally shows up.
While you may not escape unscathed if you were found with drugs in your possession, there are some benefits to fighting a case. In cases with mitigating circumstances, you may even be able to fight and win the case – if you do your homework and prepare the right way.
Use this guide to educate yourself on how to fight a drug possession charge in the state of California after you hire a bail bondsman:
What are the California Drug Laws?
Both the federal government and the state of California generally determine penalties for drug possession based on the amount of the drug a person has in the possession at the time of the arrest and the ‘schedule’ of the drug. Drugs are scheduled – basically meaning that they are ordered – from schedule I to schedule V.
Schedule I drugs are those that tend to be the most addictive and have the highest risk of dependency. These drugs include cocaine, heroin, most hallucinogenic drugs, methamphetamine and certain types of amphetamines.
Schedule II drugs are dangerous and have a risk of abuse, but they may have medical benefits. These include methadone and surprisingly, opium and some types of amphetamines.
Schedule III drugs have a moderate risk of abuse but tend to be less dangerous, resulting in a reduced likelihood of overdose. These include anabolic steroids, ketamine and testosterone as well as some types of depressants.
Schedule IV drugs are typically prescription drugs – things like Xanax, Clonazepam and tranquilizers. They still pose a threat and risk of dependency, though they have legitimate medical uses.
Schedule V drugs are ones can be prescription-based or over the counter drugs. For example, both codeine and Tylenol are schedule V drugs, though having any prescription drug that wasn’t given to you by a doctor or pharmacist can still land you in hot water. Obviously over the counter drugs like Tylenol won’t get anyone arrested for drug possession and a bail bondsman is not needed.
What are California Drug Penalties?
After you are arrested for drug possession you will likely be able to get a bail bondsman to help you get out of jail so you don’t have to wait on a court date. However, a bail bondsman won’t help you to understand the charges against you in most cases.
While a lot of the penalties that can be levied against a person have to do with their criminal record, there are some benefits to hiring a lawyer to fight the case. Even if you’re convicted, you may be able to get a sentence that doesn’t include jail time.
Using Proposition 36, your attorney may be able to help you get one year of drug treatment in return. The level of care and cure required for the inpatient and outpatient rehab treatment or other types will be determined by the Department of Health. You may also be eligible for drug court, which allows you to live at home, getting monthly drug tests, effective sessions on addiction and judicial reviews along with enrollment in a 12-step program.
Finally, some people charged with drug possession in California may be able to get away with a deferred entry of judgment which means that you have to go through drug treatment for six months clean and sober. After an additional year of remaining arrest-free, the case may be dismissed.
Can You Beat Drug Possession Charges in California?
Many people who get arrested for drug possession want to know if they can actually beat the charges levied against them in court. Unfortunately the answer isn’t completely black and white, but there are times when you can beat a drug possession case if you hire a competent attorney who understands California drug laws.
The biggest reason people are able to fight drug charges in the state of California is medical marijuana use. After all, the state does allow people to have a certain amount of marijuana in their possession if they are prescribed cannabis by a doctor. Still, individuals without a license may be able to fight charges if they only had a certain amount on them at the time of the arrest.
Bail bonds are not something that average person has a lot of experience with. In fact, most people don’t know anything about bail bonds other than the fact that they’re used as collateral when a person gets out of jail after some sort of offense.
Whether you need a bail bond for yourself or you need to help a family member, friend or loved one out, understanding how they work is essential after an arrest. Unfortunately, bail and bail bond criterion is different in every county which can make it hard to understand as an entity.
Still, there are some basic criteria used to determine which individual can put up bail after an offense and which cannot. Of course, to really understand the laws in your county you’re going to need to talk to a bail bondsman in your area.
Use this guide to help you get a basic understanding of how the arrest, bail and bail bonds process works in general.
During an Arrest
Before the bail process, the person being arrested will be taken into custody by the arresting police officer. Typically, the person will be transferred to the county jail where they will be placed in a holding cell. In some places, specific holding cells are set up for certain types of common offenders – particularly those arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
In most cases, the person who was arrested will be held for several hours while paperwork is being processed. An individual is usually released from holding once their paper work has been processed – typically within a few hours to overnight. However, that is not always the case, depending on the nature of the offense.
When Are Bail Bonds Needed?
Bail bonds are typically needed when an individual commits a serious offense or it is not their first offense. For example, many people who arrested for DUI are released and given their court date without having to post bail before they can leave the county jail. However, if a person has a second DUI offense, they may be required to post bail before they are released. In some places, bail bonds are required for DUI in all cases, including San Diego County and many others.
Typically, bail bonds are not needed for relatively minor offenses like misdemeanor drug possessions or reckless endangerment through something like driving more than 20 miles over the speed limit. Still, this does vary from county to county, and there are no ways to know unless you do the specific research on your area. If you have been arrested, you will be informed about how bail will work in your specific case based on your individual offense and criminal record.
How Much is Bail? One of the most common questions people have about bail bonds is how much they really cost. While it does vary widely from person to person and offense to offense, minimum bail bonds in most areas start around $2,500. That’s because bail bonds are generally only needed for relatively serious offenses or when there is reason to believe that a person will not show up for their issued court date.
Second, third and fourth offenses will generally cost much more than $2,500 for a bond to release the person from jail.
Who Can Get a Bail Bond?
Whether or not a person is eligible for a bail bond depends on a variety of different factors. First, the offense must be a bailable offense in the county where the violation occurred. Some types of offense, felony drug possession, trafficking, or much more serious crimes like attempted manslaughter are not ones that are usually allowed bail.
Offenses that are much smaller, like a first DUI or misdemeanor drug possession are typically bailable offenses if you are a first time offender. In the case of people who have broken a particular law or who have a long rap sheet, bail is still a possibility but the amount will usually be considerably higher.
In order to obtain bail, you may need to put up some sort of collateral or pay a portion of the bond in cash on your own. Large bail bonds may even require you to put up possessions like a stake in your home or vehicle in order to obtain them and be released.
Even if you or a family member or loved one is initially denied bail, you may be able to appeal and still get it in court.
If you find yourself in trouble with the law, or your family member, friend, or loved one has a run-in, you may be wondering how a bail bonds hearing works. In most cases, a bail bonds hearing is part of the process after an arrest, although that isn’t always the case with very minor crimes, where individuals are released without bond to attend a hearing at a later date.
However, understanding the bond process is not always easy, and it can be a little scary for many people who find themselves in trouble with the law, or for the individuals looking to help someone they care about stay out of jail.
Use this guide to help you understand how a bail bonds hearing works and what the process will be like. While bond hearings vary from place to place, they generally follow the same basic pattern everywhere.
Before a bond hearing
In most states, bail is set without a bail bonds hearing for minor crimes that are not likely to result in serious jail time. For example, the state of California has a bail schedule that has a set amount during specific times of year. Other states and counties have this system as well, though it isn’t a universal system that is used all over the country.
In places where there is no bail schedule in place, a bail hearing will be necessary to determine the amount the defendant must put up in order to be released.
Individuals who are being held in a federal jail also need to have a bond hearing before they can be released in all cases, because the offenses that put somebody in federal jail are generally much more serious.
Most areas hold bond hearings several times per day because they have rules that require the hearing to happen within 24 hours of the arrest. However, there are some areas where bond hearings can take up to two to three business days, particularly in bigger cities where immediate bond hearings may not be possible because of the amount of arrests being made each day.
An attorney may be able to help you move your bond hearing up if you have one and can contact them. The same attorney may be able to help you get a reduced bond amount so that you don’t have to pay as much back or put up as much collateral.
A bond hearing is set after a person is arrested to figure out how much money they should have to pay in order to be released from jail. While most people don’t pay a bond out of pocket – they go to a reputable bail bondsman instead – the court does get that money from somebody, at least in the form of a promissory, which is not from the issuer.
Bonds are given partly in order to ensure that a person who is being released from custody will show up for the court day. If they do not show up in court on the date set for arraignment or trial, they will forfeit their bond and whatever collateral that they put up with a bondsman.
How do bond hearings work?
A judge is usually present during a bond hearing since they typically take place within a court room. However in some cases, the judge may not actually be there in person in court and bond hearings can be done with the judge in a remote setting. While this isn’t relatively common, it does happen from time to time, especially in areas where a lot of bond hearings are scheduled on a regular basis.
During the bond hearing, variety of factors will be taken into account to see if the person being held requires bail bonds, how much the bond should be, and if they can be released at all. Among the most important factors is the nature of the crime, which is generally related to how serious the crime committed was. Serious offenses are more likely to result in higher bail amounts, or no bail at all.
The judge will also look at a person’s ties to the community, history of violent behavior, overall mental health, and prior criminal record. In drug or alcohol-related cases, a history of substance abuse may also be taken into account.
Generally, the more responsible a person’s past is, the more likely they are to be released without bail bonds.
Once you have been arrested, there are a number of things that must occur before you are cleared for release.
Depending on the crime, such as misdemeanor, possession charges, or speeding violations, you may only be issued a small fine and a date to show up in court, if you choose to appeal. In some cases, you may not need to appear in court at all if you pay the citation. Late payment of the amount generally incurs additional fees.
Setting and making bail
If you are placed under arrest and booked into a correctional facility, your first order of business will be to find out how much money you need to get out. For minor violations, the amount owed is relatively standard across the board. Either you pay it or someone else comes to the jail and posts bail on your behalf.
Bail may be determined by a judge
You may be arrested for a major offense, such as drunk driving or a violent crime, for which a judge must determine the amount of your bail. Typically, the bail amount is correlated to the severity of the crime for which you are being charged. The worse the offense, the higher is the bail price.
Buying a bail bond
If you lack the funds to pay your bail in full, you can petition a bail bondsman to do it for you. You can purchase a bail bond from the bail bondsman, who typically takes a 10% fee. Typically, you need to put up some sort of collateral to convince a bondsman that you won’t skip town.
White collar crimes aren’t just the stuff of Hollywood. Fraud, insider dealing, cyber-crimes including hacking and copyright theft all fall under this banner. All such crimes are increasingly common misdemeanors. Although by definition these crimes rarely cause direct violence to others but the culprits can expect severe punishment within the law. That can sometimes even result in jail terms.
Even though you’re unlikely to cause harm to others, bail can be set very high. So it’s important to make sure that you can cover this financially, especially as fines. In addition, even compensation to victims is likely to be a mandatory component of any sentencing.
Once you or a loved one are arrested, it’s likely to take a while to process through the system. It is going to take time to be completed with fingerprinting and other essential paperwork.
However, a bail bondsman will most likely work a 24 hour service. And once this is processed, he or she will be able to secure the release in a timely manner. The going rate for a bondsman for white collar crimes throughout California is 10%. This should be viewed as both a fee and investment. Having time to process a proper defense is essential. A seasoned white collar bondsman will enable you to finance getting a loved one out of jail between arrest and possible sentencing.
It’s worth viewing the bondsman as your ally. Such white collar crimes that can potentially involve others too are almost impossible to defend properly from behind bars. But, no matter how bad the sentence may fall an experienced white collar bail bondsman will buy you time to make your case.