There is never a good time to learn that someone you care for has been arrested by a member of the Filmore Police Department. Bail amounts in California area among the highest in the nation, and the average often spans between $20,000 and $30,000.
This amount is not set at random. At the time the defendant is arrested they will be transported to the Ventura County Jail in order to be booked into the system. They will have their photographs and fingerprints taken, they will have their information entered into the computer and the crime they are being charged with will be cross checked against the county bail schedule. This is a document that is set each year by a panel of judges. It lets the jailer know which bail amounts are to correspond with different crimes. If someone is facing a relatively minor charge, such as being drunk in public, they will have a much lower bail amount than someone who is facing a very serious charge, such as armed robbery.
Some people will travel to the jail to see if they can negotiate a lesser amount. They think that if they explain the defendant is a single mom, a respected member of their church or if they coach a children’s sports team that the jailer will be sympathetic. This does little more than waste time. The only person who has the authority to raise, lower or remove bail is a judge.
The cost to purchase Filmore bail bonds will be 10%. If bail has been set at $40,000 you can expect to pay $4,000 to hire a bondsman. Many people will begin their search by calling every company in the phone book. They will ask each one what their best rate is, and some will try to play two companies against each other. “The guy three blocks over has offered me X rate,” they say, “if you can match or beat it I’ll sign with you right now”.
People do not realize that the cost to purchase Filmore is not set by individual company owners. This state’s commercial bail industry is regulated by the CA Department of Insurance (DOI). The DOI has set the statewide rate at 10%. No matter where in California a person is arrested the cost to purchase a bond will be the same.
“What about that company down the street,” you ask. “The one that has a sign offering discount 2% bail bonds? Aren’t they offering a deal?”
Some owners have begun to use deceptive marketing techniques in order to get people through the door. They’ll put up signs promising 2% or 4% bail bonds. At the time the client begins to fill out paperwork they find out the discount percentage refers to the amount they would need to put down on a payment plan. The full 10% will still need to be paid after all. Any bondsman who sells discount bail bonds faces numerous penalties. This includes the revocation of their bail license, criminal prosecution, jail time and large fines.
If you need help getting someone out of jail and have questions about bail bonds payment plans, be sure to ask the agent that is helping you. Have them fully explain the terms and conditions, whether they charge interest or finance fees and outline the length of the term. Some companies require the balance be fully paid within 12 months. Others work with clients on an individual basis.
You will want to keep in mind that a bail bonds agreement form is a legally binding document. You will want to be clear on what you’re agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line.