Bail System Explained

A Basic Primer regarding the operation of the bail system,


At Gloria Mitchell Bail Bonds, we are sensitive to the difficulties of obtaining concise, accurate  information, during the crisis of a loved one being arrested and charged with a crime. To help you understand the process we have taken the time to provide you with the following information:

The bail system is designed to guarantee the appearance of a criminal defendant in court at the time the judge directs. To be released on cash bail, an individual must post with the court the total amount of the bail, in cash, to secure his or her return to court on an appointed date, and thereafter, until the case is concluded.

Many people do not have the cash on hand, or available to them. An alternative to cash bail is the posting of a surety bond. At Gloria Mitchell Bail Bonds, it is our job to post these surety bonds.

This process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by an admitted insurance company having adequate assets to satisfy the face value of the bond. The bail agent guarantees to the court that they will pay the bond forfeiture, if a defendant fails to appear for their scheduled court appearance.

The bail agent’s guarantee is made through a surety company. For this service, the defendant is charged a premium. The amount charged to the guarantor is 10 percent, the legal rate regulated by the Department of Insurance.

To be released pursuant to the posting of a surety bond, the arrestee, or a relative or a friend of the arrestee, typically contacts a bail agent, an individual licensed by the State of California to post surety bonds.

Prior to the posting of a surety bond, the bail agent undertakes a detailed interview, as well as a complete application of the proposed guarantor (indemnitor). Many times credit is extended to the guarantor who agrees to make predetermined payments to our company.

After obtaining the indemnitor information and undertaking the bail bond, the bail bondsman then posts the bail bond at the jail or court on behalf of the defendant, securing the defendant’s release. The defendant then also comes to meet with the bondsman where he also signs the bail bond contract.

Typically at that time the bail bondsman takes a photograph of the defendant and explains the bail office’s expectation in the performance of the defendant while on bail. After being released on bail the defendant then proceeds to court for his scheduled appearances and all subsequent appearances as ordered by the court.

Once the case is completed (closed, i.e. sentencing has been pronounced, case is dismissed) the bail bond is then exonerated. However unlike in the case of the posting of cash bail there is no refund of the “bail premium fee” charged by the bondsman for his or her services. After exoneration the defendant is still required to continue with any payment arrangements that he or she has made with the bail bond office.

We hope that this description of the bail bond system has been helpful to you. If not and you would like more information, please contact us online or call our office. If you or a loved are in trouble, you can turn to Gloria Mitchell Bail Bonds for assistance. Help is a phone call away. We appreciate your business and care about you.