Bail and a Bail Bond are two different methods to obtain the release of a defendant from the custody of law enforcement officials while awaiting trial upon criminal charges.
Booking before Bail or Bond
Should I come to the police station to attempt to secure the release of an inmate immediately after their arrest?
- You may, but it is not advised that you do this.
- The arrestee/inmate must complete several booking tasks before the release process begins.
How fast can I pay bail or submit a bond to release a inmate?
- A prisoner must be booked before bail may be accepted or a bail bond is obtained from a bail agent.
- The bail agent may choose not to work with you to secure a bond until the police department completes the booking.
- The time required to book an inmate depends on several factors:
- The number of other inmates arrested prior to the inmate's arrival waiting to be booked
- The sobriety and cooperation of the inmate(s) being booked
- Conflicting activity in the jail such as jail inspections, telephone calls and meal service.
How long does it take to book an inmate?
Each inmate may take up to forty-five minutes to book depending on circumstances.
Why does it take so long to book an inmate?
The time required to book an inmate depends on many factors in the jail facility:
- The number of adult inmates that have been recently arrested and await booking
- The frequency and interval of new adult inmates arriving in the jail
- The number of intoxicated inmates
- The number of juvenile inmates detained and awaiting booking (subject to a limit of a six hour detention)
- Telephone calls by the public to the jail for information
- The cooperation or lack of inmate cooperation in the booking process
- The number of telephone calls required for each inmate and the length of the calls
- The return of fingerprint identification
- Jail inspections required by law and policy
- Meal service to inmates
- Jail visitors
What does the booking process include?
The booking tasks for each inmate may differ based on the type of offense and may include but not be limited to:
- Investigation of facts and/or field sobriety tests at the location of arrest or jail
- Transportation from the scene of arrest
- Safety search and preparation for jail custody
- Securing of inmate personal property
- Determination of criminal offense charges
- Completion of probable cause forms and identifying information
- Review of arrest circumstances by the Watch Sergeant
- Completion of medical questionnaires and medical treatment, if necessary
- Completion of chemical tests for some alcohol-related offenses
- Inquiry and documentation of comprehensive personal information
- Fingerprinting and photographing for Los Angeles County booking system
- Telephone calls provided to the inmate as required by law
- Miranda advisement if adult and questioned
- Completion of DMV forms, citations and documents required before placement in cells
What is cash bail?
- “Cash Bail” refers to the full amount of cash money that you must post with the court (at the custodial agency like the Redondo Beach Police Department or at the court) to be released from jail.
- This is a method to ensure that you will attend your future court appearances for the criminal offense you have allegedly committed.
- Example: If your bail is $5,000, you must pay $5,000 in cash to the law enforcement agency or the court.
How are bail amounts determined?
- The Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Superior Court sets the bail schedules for infractions, misdemeanors and felonies committed in Los Angeles County.
- The amount of the bail varies based on the criminal offense(s) charged.
- The bail schedules for infractions and misdemeanors and for felonies may be found on the website for the Los Angeles Superior Court:
- The Infractions and Misdemeanors Schedule is at http://www.lacourt.org/division/criminal/pdf/misd.pdf.
- The Felony bail schedule is at https://www.lacourt.org/division/criminal/pdf/felony.pdf.
The police department uses the Los Angeles County bail schedules to set bail, and in some serious cases may seek to enhance bail through the Bail Deviation Program.
May the judge reduce bail or release a person on their own recognizance at court?
Yes. California law allows the judge to set your bail and deviate from the bail schedule based on your criminal history, your flight risk, and the specific facts of your case.
May a judge deny bail, increase or decrease bail differently from the bail schedule?
- Yes. The judge may deny, increase or decrease your bail in a warrant or court order.
- The purpose of the bail schedules is to fix an amount upon which a person who is arrested without a warrant may be released from custody prior to appearance in court.
- At and after the defendant's first appearance, pursuant to Penal Code section 1269b(b), the amount of bail, if any is allowed, lies with the sound discretion of the judicial officer before whom the defendant appeared, and which may be greater or less than the amount set forth in the bail schedules, subject to the provisions of Penal Code section 1275.
- This schedule may also be used by a judge in fixing bail pursuant to Penal Code section 815a at the time an arrest warrant is issued, the amount of which also lies with the sound discretion of the judge.
What is the procedure for posting cash bail at the Redondo Beach Police Department?
- You must deposit the full amount of bail in cash only to the police department.
- The Redondo Beach Police Department does not accept cashier’s checks, money orders, personal checks, debit cards or credit cards.
- Example: If your bail amount is $20,000, you must provide $20,000 cash to the police department.
How may I recover the cash bail money when the case is concluded? May I apply cash bail to a fine that might be imposed?
Inquire at the court to determine the method to recover cash bail at the conclusion of the case. The court’s website advises that cash bail may be applied to a fine at the time of sentencing if the depositor is the defendant or a third-party who signed the bail receipt giving the Court permission to do so at the time of deposit. If the bail amount is refunded, allow 4-6 weeks processing time for the depositor to receive the refund. Checks are issued from the Auditor-Controller's Office in Los Angeles.
What is a bail bond and how does it work?
- A bail bond allows you to obtain the release of a person by paying an insurance company/bail agent a percentage of the full bail amount, while providing collateral property as security.
- A bail bond does not require you to pay the full amount of the bail in cash to the court/police department for bail, if an insurance company/bail agent will issue the bond for you.
- You pay an unrefundable amount of about 8% to 10% of the full bail amount to the insurance company and provide collateral property or credit to it for the full amount.
- The insurance company/bail agent provides the court/police department with a surety bond for you to be released.
- Example: Your bail is $20,000. You would pay the $2,000 that you will not be able to recover from company. You own a house worth more than $20,000 and you put up collateral such as second trust deed or mortgage on the house.
You should read all agreements thoroughly, asking questions until all items and obligations are understood.
A bail bond is a surety bond and a different method to obtain the release of a person from jail while awaiting trial on criminal charges. Someone arrested on a criminal charge may be held until trial, unless they furnish the required bail. The posting of a bail bond acquired by or on behalf of the incarcerated person is one means of meeting the required bail. When a bond is issued, the bonding company guarantees that the defendant will appear in court at a given time and place. The Government entity (state or federal) in whose court the defendant must appear, is protected by the bond. If the defendant fails to appear, the bond amount becomes payable and is forfeited as a penalty by the surety insurer issuing the bond. Bail bonds are issued by licensed "Bail Agents" who specialize in their underwriting and issuance. Bail agents act as the appointed representatives of licensed surety insurance companies.
Will the Redondo Beach Police Department recommend a bail bond company?
- No. The police department will not recommend a bail bond company to you.
- You may locate numerous bail bond companies online and in the telephone book.
- Each bail bond company will provide you with information about the fees for their services and their terms. Fees and terms may vary between companies.
Does the Redondo Beach Police Department require a licensed bail bond company?
- If you seek to use a bail bondsman for the release of an inmate, you must use a bail bond company licensed by the California Department of Insurance.
How to post a bond
- Contact the bail bondsman of your choice.
- The bail bondsman will tell you if you must meet at the police station.
- The bail bondsman will present the bonds at the police department to the jailer.
- The jailer will check the bonds for accuracy, and the bondsman will no longer be needed by the jailer.
- The jailer will complete all documentation related to the bond and will prepare the release documentation for the inmate. This process usually takes approximately 15 minutes.
- The inmate will be given an opportunity to make a phone call prior to release to arrange for transportation home.
- The jailer will release the inmate out of custody into the police department lobby.
- The inmate will not receive any court dates from the jail. All information about inmate court dates will be given to the inmate by the bail bondsman.
- The inmate must contact the bail bondsman for these dates after being released from custody.
- If the inmate does not appear in court on the scheduled court date, a warrant may be issued for his/her arrest.
Who licenses and regulates bail agents?
- Bail agents are licensed and regulated by the California Department of Insurance.
- You can obtain the licensing status of a bail agent by contacting the CDI Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or by visiting the Check Licensee Status page at http://www.insurance.ca.gov
How much does a bail agent charge?
- The cost to the you will be about 10% of the total amount of the bond
- Plus actual, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the transaction.
- The court determines the amount of the bond.
- Each surety company must file rates with the Department of Insurance. Bail agents representing a company must charge the same, filed rates.
- A "Rate Chart" is required to be posted in a visible location at every bail bond office.
What are you agreeing to in the bail bond contract?
- You are agreeing to:
- Pay the premium for the bond at the established rates.
- Provide required collateral.
- Pay actual, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the bail agent in connection with the transaction. These may include:
- Reimbursement for long distance phone calls.
- Excess travel expenses (described as outside of the bail agent's normal scope of business, or into an area where the agent does not advertise).
- Posting fees (for payment to an agent in another area to physically deliver a bond. An agent should not charge a posting fee for the normal delivery of a bond in the agent's advertising area).
- Bounty agent/skip tracer expenses (These are usually based upon the amount of the bond).
- Payment of the bond amount for the defendant's failure to appear.
- Attorney fees and court costs.
- Keep the bail agent advised of address/employment changes of the defendant or other parties to the agreement.
- Aid the bail agent/skip tracers in locating the defendant (where someone other than the defendant has secured the bond).
What does the bail agent do for you?
- Provides an avenue for the incarcerated person to be out of custody until his/her day in court, allowing the defendant to continue his/her day-to-day life until the criminal matter is resolved.
- The bail agent will provide the following:
- Receipts and copies of all signed documents.
- Information regarding the status of the bond and changes in assigned court dates.
- The status of any costs due, as imposed by the court.
- Assistance in locating the defendant should a forfeiture occur.
- Appearance before the court regarding the bail bond when such appearances are necessary (sometimes requiring the hiring of legal counsel).
- The timely return of collateral upon exoneration of the bond.
How may I research bail amounts for different offenses and the assignment of bail amounts for Los Angeles County?
- Bail amounts and the assignment of bail amounts are described in the Los Angeles County Bail Schedules.
- The most current versions of the bail schedules are available online at https://www.lacourt.org/.
How may an inmate request a bail deviation?
- Los Angeles County provides a Bail Deviation Program to increase or decrease bail.
- The Bail Deviation Program is available to process all bail increase and decrease requests for persons who have been arrested (other than pursuant to an arrest warrant) but not arraigned.
- The inmate has access to the telephone numbers in the jail.
- The Program’s hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Are there some criminal offenses that cannot be decreased?
- Penal Code Section 1270.1 prohibits the release of an inmate on bail in an amount OTHER THAN THAT SET FORTH IN THE BAIL SCHEDULE prior to a hearing in open court for:
Violent felonies as described in P.C. Section 667.5(c), but not 460(a);
- Serious felonies as described in P.C. Section 1192.7(c) (including those listed in P.C. Section 1192.8);
Violations of P.C. Sections 136.1(c), 243(e)(1), 262, 273.5, 422 (as a felony), and 646.9; and
Violation of P.C. Section 273.6 if the detained person made threats to kill or harm, has engaged in violence against, or has gone to the residence or workplace of, the protected party.