The California bail bond system is currently undergoing a reformation, which is encapsulated in Senate Bill 10. The proposed bill aims to ensure that offenders who are awaiting trial do not stay in jail just because they cannot afford to pay the bail amount.
Moreover, the proposal would end the use of money bail schedules or in fixed fee systems. County courts would also be required to put up pretrial services for defendants, and assess them whether they are fit for release in public or not.
The bill, which was authored by Bob Ronta (D-Oakland), has seen slow progress over the past few months mainly because it will entail ‘millions of dollars in expenses’ for the California counties. Other lawmakers have opposed the bill, arguing that bail bonds were used in county courthouses, and in getting attorneys for both defendants and plaintiffs.
On the other hand, supporters of the bill are saying that the current bail bond system preys on poor families who cannot pay their bail, while privileged ones are capable of ‘buying their freedom.’
Currently, the bill has passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee with a 4-2 vote. Los Angeles state Sen. Bob Hertzberg told committee members that he is open to more tweaking and changes in the proposed bill.
Ronta said that it will be relatively difficult to look for source of funding for the pretrial services that the bill proposes. Other costs include instituting risk assessment tools in all 58 counties in California.
“We know we have work to do — funding has always been a challenge when you fundamentally transform a system. Even if it’s making it more just, more fair, more right, there are costs,” he said.
To anyone unfamiliar with the bail bond system, this system enables California courts to set a particular bail amount to defendants with criminal or felony charges. They will need to pay this bail bond in order to get released from jail, while waiting for their trial or hearing. The amount is ultimately refunded to the party, with a few reductions for fees and penalties if applicable.
Unfortunately, for defendants who cannot pay the bail amount, they will need to spend time in jail and wait for their court schedules. This is where bail bondsman come in. They ensure that the defendant would appear in all hearings, prompting his release.
The defendant’s party will give the bondsman a premium that is equivalent to a percentage of the total bail amount. This is considered to be the fee for his assistance or service.
If you are wondering how you can get a professional bail bondsman to help your case, you have come to the right place. You just need to look for one that has experience and a good reputation. Ask any of your family or friends to contact him, and seek his services. Regardless of the time of the day, he will make sure to provide the necessary assistance until you have been released from jail.