Your first appearance in the court is called an arraignment. Hiring a bail bondsman may not be enough to fully protect yourself in court, so you will want to be prepared for what will occur during your arraignment. There have been many instances in which arraignments are unpredictable. Here are a few things to expect during this process:
The judge will formally tell you what the specific charges are against you. Knowing what you are accused of is protected by the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. The court will also advise you of all of your Constitutional rights.
You may enter a plea, either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. These pleas depend on the crime and what your lawyer advises you to do, if you need one.
Related Article: What You Should Know Before Pleading No Contest
A future trial date is set if applicable.
Bail and release issues are settled. The bail amount is determined by a number of factors in serious cases, such as flight risk, danger to others, etc. Usually for small offenses that require a bond or bail being posted, the amount is relatively low. Some bail bond companies arrange to have a bondsman present at the arraignment, so that they can post bail for you even if the amount has gone up.
Related Article:You Missed Your Court Date, What Happens Now?
You have a right to an attorney even if you can’t afford one, so if your case is serious, get a public defender to help you. A bonds agent can only help you post bail; they are not there to give you legal advice. Make sure you know your rights and your options are clear.
The National Safety Council estimates that nearly 5,900 pedestrians are killed each year in the United States because of motor vehicle accidents. While that number might seem high, pedestrian accidents are a serious and unnecessary problem. Unfortunately, if you’ve been in a pedestrian accident, it is something you’ll have to deal with sooner rather than later, especially if you were the driver of the car.
While an experienced bail bondsman can help get you out of hot water initially, you’ll need to understand more about how pedestrian accident cases work than your bail bondsman will tell you.
Use this brief guide to help get a handle on what’s going to happen after a pedestrian accident and what you should be doing to protect yourself:
Know Who is At Fault
In most cases, the blame is going to be put on the driver when a pedestrian accident occurs. After all, we’ve all heard that the pedestrian always has the right of way. While that is true in cases where drivers run stop lights or pull into a crosswalk, pedestrians can be at fault in an accident as well. For example, if the driver was simply driving along and a person walks into the street, even the most cautious driver may not be able to avoid an accident.
Don’t Leave the Scene
If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident as a driver the worst thing you can do is to leave the scene. When you do that, it’s basically like telling everyone involved that you are guilty and responsible for the accident – even if you aren’t. Leaving the scene of an accident, even if you were at fault, may also turn a basic case that is simply an accidental occurrence into manslaughter or a hit and run case, with more severe consequences.
Even the most law abiding citizens can wind up in jail at some point over a poor decision. That’s why it helps to find an expert bondsman in such an unfortunate situation. The key is to cooperate with law enforcement without incriminating yourself. You will be released much faster after you are booked if you do not create extra problems. A licensed reputable bail bonds company can help accelerate your release.
Finding the Right Bondsman
You will be entitled to at least one phone call after your arrest. Make sure the call is either to a friend, attorney or bondsman who can help your situation. If the call is not to a bondsman, have the person you do contact search for a reputable bondsman. Here are some items to look for:
- The bail bonds company is open 24 hours and can help during off hours.
- How experienced is the company locally?
- Is there an agent located near the jail?
- Do they have a reputation for getting people out of jail quickly?
- Is an agent easy to contact on the phone?
Bail Bond Details
There’s a chance that someone looking for a bail bondsman on your behalf will be a cosigner on the bond. In that case they will be responsible for paying the amount due if you skip bail. The most important information that the bondsman will collect includes name, social security number, the arresting entity, the charges and the bond amount.
In the event of high bail, or if the bail bondsman believes the defendant will skip bail, the bondsman can ask for a guarantee such as property equal in value to the bond. Not all bondsman will make this request, so it helps to shop around. Whoever is researching bail bonds should ask about the company’s recovery rate.
Are you disorganized? Missing the odd job interview or even a date means little more than a lost opportunity. However, missing a court date could land you in a messier situation than you had hoped.
Missing a court date will result in an immediate warrant for your arrest and it won’t necessarily be the police that come after you but bail bondsmen who will track you down for the courts by any reasonable means including potentially involving friends and family who may know your whereabouts.
So what can you do to avoid trouble and what happens if you don’t?
Also Read: Consequences of Contempt of Court
- First and foremost, show up.
Attending your court appearances shows that you are taking your misdemeanor and any accompanying penalty seriously, especially if your sentence includes drug or alcohol rehabilitation or community service. You are also showing respect to whoever has had enough faith in you to post bail or obtain a bail bond.
- If you miss your court date, be prepared to be hauled back to jail and quickly.
Not only will law enforcement services be looking for you but the bond agent looking to protect their investment. Don’t think it’s easy either to obtain another bond to keep you out of jail. The judge is more likely to have you remanded in custody.
- Your rap sheet just gone one heck of a lot bigger.
Not only can you enjoy the addition of an evading capture charge but if you’re caught committing a crime after skipping a court date, you’re looking at a higher chance of a maximum sentence and almost zero chance of making bail.
The best thing to do is to make this the time that you get your life together and make efforts to stay out of trouble once and for all.
So you or a loved one got into some trouble with the law. It can happen to anyone, but now you’re wondering, “How do I get out of here?” Well, you don’t have to worry – any citizen of the United States possesses a Constitutional-protected right to be presented with affordable bail options unless the courts have provided sufficient evidence that you should not. If that isn’t the case, you will find a hard-working bail bondsman to rearrange most bail bonds in Orange County saving yourself and your family stress and money.
Once you get locked into this unfortunate situation, here is what you can do to get out of jail and ensure freedom:
After the jail officers process you into the jail system, you’ll be given the bail amount needed for release. This is when you contact a bail bondsman to make arrangements. The jail may have a phone book that will provide companies who will arrange bail bonds in Orange County, or you can ask around to find a good bail bondman in Orange County. There are also many bail agents who provide bail bonds in Anaheim because of its proximity to the OC Jail.
A bail bondsman may require a percentage of the bail ordered, which is usually 10% in California. Some bail agents may also require collateral from you or the relative/family friend signing for you (property deeds, car titles, etc.).
Once a bail bondsman agrees to represent you, they are taking on the responsibility of you appearing in court when you are required. If you do not show up when you are summoned, the bail bondsman will be required to pay the entire amount of bail to the court, and this most likely means that you will now be pursued by the police, or even a bounty hunter.