Customer Service: FAQ
In short, Bail is that part of our legal system that allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody so they can continue their lives while they prepare for their day in court. In criminal cases, it is a sum of money, real property or bail bond that needs to be posted by or, on behalf of a defendant to guarantee their appearance in court. The right to reasonable Bail is guaranteed to you by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
The court system will set the amount of bail required for the defendant’s release. Under state law, a surety company can provide a type of insurance policy or “bond” that guarantees payment of the full bail amount to the court if the defendant does not show up for all scheduled appearances. These bonds are offered by licensed bail bondsman. In exchange for supplying a bail bond, bail bondsman charge a premium – a percentage of the total bond amount, typically 10%, (i.e; for a bail bond amount set at $50,000, the premium would be about $5,000 plus any additional fees required by the state. The bail bondsmand must charge the premium rate as determined by the California Department of Insurance. ALL BAIL BONDSMAN ARE REGULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE AND MUST CHARGE THE SAME AMOUNT. NO AGENCY IS ALLOWED TO CHARGE ANYTHING OTHER THAN 10% PLUS FEES. The premium is considered earned and not refundable once the defendant is released from custody.
A bail bond is a financial guarantee made by or, on behalf of a criminal defendant that is used to guarantee their appearance in court through the end of their trial upon release from custody. Failure by the defendant to appear will result in a bond forfeiture and the defendants return to custody in most instances.
The bond amount is the full amount of the bail that was set by the court. The premium is the dollar amount owed to the bail agency for posting the bond. Typically, this premium is 10% of the bond amount. For example, if the bond amount is $50,000, the premium owed would be $5,000.
An indemnitor/guarantor is the person(s) willing to be responsible for the defendant while they are out on bail and co-assumes financial liability to guarantee the full bond amount.
A bail bond is exonerated when the legal process/trial has finished. It does not matter whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent or the case dismissed. At this point, the liability for the bond amount is discharged however, any unpaid premium, fees or charges incurred by the bail agency on your behalf are still owed and due in full.
Bail bond forfeiture results when a court appearance is missed. If a defendant misses a court date, a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. The court also sets a deadline for the defendant to be located/returned to custody or, the bail bond “reinstated” or, the bail amount must be paid in full to the court.
A summary judgment is issued by the court following a bond forfeiture. This is a judgment against the surety for payment of the bond amount. The summary judgment is issued because the deadline for reinstating the bond or returning the defendant to custody has passed.
This is a process by which a defendant who has experienced a bail bond forfeiture can have their bench warrant removed and the bail bond re-activated or “reinstated” with the court. This is a legal proceeding that usually requires action by an attorney and could result in fees being paid by the bail bond agency. These fees are, in turn, passed along to the defendant/indemnitors. Due to the time it takes for the courts to process these fees, the billing for this process can take several months to complete.
The amount of the bail is solely established by the Superior Court Judicial Bench or Magistrate, with only two general limitations:
- The purpose of bail is not to penalize or punish the defendant, but only to secure the appearance of the accused, and it should be set with that in mind.
- Excessive bail, not warranted by the circumstances or the evidence at hand, is not only improper but a violation of constitutional rights. In fixing the amount of the bail, the court takes into consideration the seriousness of the charge, the defendant’s previous criminal record and the probability of the defendant appearing at the trial or hearing.
Additionally, if public safety is an issue, the court may make an inquiry where it may consider allegations of injury to the victim, danger to the public and/or to the defendant, threats to the victim or a witness, the use of a deadly weapon and the defendant’s use or possession of controlled substances. A judge or magistrate setting bail in other than a scheduled or arbitrary amount must state on the record the reasons and, address the issue of threats made against a victim or a witness. The court must also consider evidence offered by the detained person regarding ties to the community and ability to post bond. The bail bond amount set by the court must be within the minimum range amount of bail that would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance – NOT the maximum!
This is a question best answered by a licensed bail bondsman. Please contact our experienced bail bondsman immediately to underwrite your case or click on this Quick Release BAIL OUT NOW link to begin immediate release of your loved one. To find the nearest location, please select the jail portion of this site or call us now at (800) 662-BAIL (2245)
If you posted the full bail amount with the court yourself, this money will be released to you at the conclusion of the court process, provided the defendant appeared at all required court dates.
If you elected to use a bail bondsman to post your bond, the agency is initially responsible to the court for the bond amount. The defendant and indemnitors are responsible to the bail bondsman for the premium and any fees or additional expenses incurred by the agency on their behalf. These monies are earned at the time the defendant is released from custody and therefore not subject to return. This is the case even if the defendant is found innocent, the case is dismissed or the defendant is placed back into custody for another offense.
We offer several different payment options based on credit worthiness and income.
- It’s free.*
- It’s available 24 hours a day.
- No enrollment required.
In person Payments
Pay Online, NowThe fastest, easiest way to make your payment is online at our website.
Click here to make a one-time payment with a credit card, debit card or electronic check. All you need is your bail bond contract number.
*subject to customer’s credit/debit/bank transaction fees
Use Automated Self-Service Option
Call (800) 662-BAIL to use the automated phone payment system to make an automated payment anytime of the day or night.
Speak to Live Agent
Call (800) 662-BAIL (2245) to speak with a representative who is specially trained to help you make a payment arrangement that suits your individual needs. You can use a credit card, debit card or electronic check. Have your account number and PIN handy.
We accept cash, gold, silver, personal checks, money orders and most major credit and debit cards.
Payments can be made by sending a check or money order (Do NOT mail cash, gold, or silver) to the following address:
Amen Bail Bonds
Payment Processing Center
PO Box 693
Roseville, CA 95678
Payments will be processed upon receipt.
Hours for Customer Service
Customer Service is available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST.