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How Do Bail Bonds Work?

  1. If you are charged with a crime, the court may release you from jail if you post bail.
  2. The easiest and fastest way to post bail is to work with a bail bond agent.
  3. You must show up for all court appearances after you post bail.
  4. The court may keep the bail and issue an arrest warrant if you don’t appear for your court dates.

Do You Get Bail Money Back?

A bail bond agent charges a percentage of the total bail amount as a fee for their services. This fee is called premium. You do not get the premium back from a bail bond agent.

How is Bail Set?

California state law requires a panel of judges in each county to predetermine the amount of bail for commonly occurring offenses. This is called a “bail schedule” and determines the amount of bail for a defendant.
Questions About Bail Bonds
A judge may change the bail amount for a particular defendant as the judge sees fit. Usually, if a change in bail amount is going to happen, it happens on the first or second court appearance, while a defendant is still in custody. Occasionally, a judge will raise bail for a defendant before the defendant goes to court if there is a particular concern about public safety.

Once the bail is determined, either by the schedule or in court by a judge, a defendant may post that bond immediately by working with a bail bond agent.

Sonoma County Bail Resources

California Bail Education Video