Its a good question to ask and prepare yourself just in case you or someone you know gets arrested. Should you bail or stay in jail, like the Los Angeles Jail? The answer to this question depends a lot on the circumstances involved; i.e. is this your first arrest? do you live in the area? What are the charges against you?
Bail Bonds Process explained: First let’s explain what the bail bonds process is. Someone gets arrested and placed in custody, i.e. Van Nuys Jail. Their bail is set by the local bail schedule. They get their fingerprints checked against the national database for any outstanding warrants. Then they get phone calls where they can call a bail bondsman, family, and/or lawyer. The bail agent gets called and paperwork is signed by the indemnitor. The agent proceeds to the jail and posts the bond. The defendant is cleared and let out of jail. The Bail Bonds Process takes between 8 and 30 hours.
The cost for this is 10% of the total bail. For example, if someone was arrested on a dometic violence charge, PC 243, their bail is usually $20,000. Their cost for working with a bail bondsman is $2000, 10%.
Bail or Stay in Jail?
Bail: There are many reasons for bailing out of jail instead of waiting there for the arraignment.
- Attorney; many people that get arrested either want a lawyer or have one and want to immediately to speak with the lawyer. If the defendant has representation, they will most likely want to get out of jail quickly, not wait for the current court date, set a new one, and start preparing for their case and for the arraignment. This allows the defendant and lawyer to prepare motion papers and any other paperwork needed to keep them out of jail and out of court. This also allows the possibility of signing paperwork that allows the attorney to present the case with out the defendant being there.
- Employment; 95% of the people that get arrested have a job that they have to report to, sometimes the very next day. This job is important to them and therefore their decision to bail out quickly from jail so that they won’t miss any real work time is essential.Depending on the time of arrest, the defendant can make it to work the next day. They won’t have had much sleep, but at least they didn’t miss work.
- Family; When you are the head of the family, many people are depending on you. Bailing out of jail allows you to return to your responsibilities. Especially if the kids are very young and need trasportation to and from facilities, school, or other.
- Travel; Some times the defendant is a visitor to the area and their travel plans have them returning in the next day or so. This does not allow them flexibility to wait around for the arraignment. They quickly bail out and probably file for change of venue, otherwise they’ll hire an attorney to take care of their court responsibilities.
- Jail sucks; This is quite obvious, the jail is simply the worst place to stay. The confinements smell and are usually dirty, the food is ridiculously awful, the company is very questionable at best, and most of the time there is no chance of getting any sleep whatsoever. Bailing out is the most obvious choice for most everyone.
- Los Angeles Jail; all of the exterior jails in Los Angeles County filter in to the Los Angeles jail. The exterior jails are bad enough, but Los Angeles Jail is even worse, if that’s possible. They begin the day with herding you in to a room where you strip down naked, everything is placed in a bag, you put on the jail clothes (they look similar to Dr’s scrubs, but no underware), they provide a full body cavity search and place you in cells with very interesting people. Once someone attends their arraignment the judge makes one of three decisions; 1. increase the bail amount, 2. decrease the bail amount, 3. send the defendant free on OR. If the defendant still has bail and doesn’t post the bail, they get herded to the Los Angeles jail. One big reason why someone would want to bail out of jail quickly.
Stay in Jail: Wait for the arraignment while being incarcerated at a local jail. This arraignment date is usually within two days of the arrest, unless its on a Thursday or Friday, then the next court date will be Monday or Tuesday.
- Money; The economy has hit almost everyone in the nation. This has created less discretionary income. Income that just sits around in case of special needs, travel, or other different expenses. When it comes time to pay for the bail bondsman‘s fee of 10% of the total bail, a lot of families are deciding to leave their children or loved ones in jail until the arraingment. Normal bail is between $20,000 and $75,000, that’s a minimal fee of $2000 and maximum of $7500. Most families don’t have that time of spending available. And if they did, this economy is making them choose not to.
- Arraignment: Some of the defendants choose not to bail out because their arraignment date is the next day or within two days. They understand that there might be a chance that if they speak with the judge (at the arraignment) they might be let out on their Own Recognizance (OR). When this happens, no money is paid, only papers signed and the committment of the defendant to return for their court case. Some defendants can tolerate one or two days in jail to have the chance to speak with the judge, while others might know something that means that their bail amount will not be decreased or changed to OR and decide to bail out.
- Criminals; Some defendants are repeat criminals, know the system, and just don’t care to bail out of jail. They’ve been there a few times, they know their bail amount will be large or won’t change and are willing to stay there and get time served for the days they reside in jail. Most of the time these individuals will go to their arraignment knowing they’ll be headed to Los Angeles Jail and are quite familiar with the entire process.
- No Bail; Some criminals or defendants recieve charges that come without bail. Serious sex offenders, murderers, or defendants that might pose a threat to the general public will be remanded to jail until their arraignment and might also be remanded to jail throughout their entire court case.
Most of the time when the defendants or people associated with the defendants look at the reasons defining the bail or stay in jail question, there are more pros than cons for the bail side of the decision. Nobody (well, almost nobody) wants to spend time in jail, any jail. Bailing out with the use of a bail bonds company provides the quickest and easiest way to a person’s freedom.