How Does a Bail Bond Work in California?


Exactly how does a bail bond work in California? This is one of the questions we most frequently hear at Frank Calabretta’s Bail House. While each state has different rules and regulations around the court system and the bail bond industry, California’s bail bond process is generally straightforward and easy to understand. Follow our simple breakdown to best answer the question, “How does a bail bond work in California?”


Step #1 – Determine if Bail Has Been Set:

When an arrest is made and someone is booked into jail, the justice system will determine whether or not bail is a possibility. For most people facing most charges, bail will be set at a rate that is high enough to ensure the defendant shows up to his or her court date. For particularly violent crimes or under certain circumstances (e.g. the defendant is deemed a flight risk), bail may not be an option.


Step #2 – Determine That a Bail Bond is The Defendant’s Prefered Route

Once bail has been set and the amount has been determined, the defendant needs to decide if he or she is able and willing to pay bail themselves, if they want to borrow bail money from a friend or family member, or if they would prefer to obtain a bail bond from a bail bond agency such as  Frank Calabretta’s Bail House. If they do determine they would like to obtain a bail bond, the benefit is they do not have to have the bail money themselves upfront, nor do they have to potentially strain a relationship by asking a friend or family member to borrow what is usually a considerable amount of money.


Step #3 – Contact the Bail House

By calling Frank Calabretta’s Bail House, your local bail bond agency, you can speak directly to one of our friendly and experienced staff members who can get you started with the bail bond process. In California the standard bail bond fee rate is set at 10 % percent. This means if bail is $3,000, the defendant will pay the bail bond agency $3,000 and the agency will pay the full bail amount of $30,000 to the court system. This fee compensates the bail agency for the financial service and saves the defendant the difficulty of trying to pay the entire amount of bail him or herself.

At Frank Calabretta’s Bail House we can work with the defendant or a friend or family member over the phone to collect personal information and can usually provide the bail money to the jail within a relatively short amount of time.


Step #4 – Show up to The Appointed Court Date:

Once the bail bond agency has paid the full bail amount to the jail, the defendant goes through the release process, some paperwork is done, and he or she is released and able to go home. This is important because the defendant is then able to spend his or her valuable time at home with family and attorneys to prepare for the appointed court date.

The defendant’s most important responsibility then is to show up on time on their appointed court date. If they do show up when they are supposed to, regardless of the outcome of the verdict, the court system will return the bail money to the bail house, and the process will be complete.

If the defendant chooses not to show up to his or her appointed court date, then the court system does not refund the bail money to the bail bondsman, but typically it allows for a time extension so the bail agency can hire a bounty hunter to bring the defendant into court. This can add extra stress, fees, and headache to not only the bail bondsmen but the defendant and the defendant’s family as well.

Following through with showing up at the appointed court date is an essential part of the bail bond process in California.


Choose Frank Calabretta’s Bail House When You Need Quick, Reliable Help

If you’re still wondering, “How does the bail bond process work in California?” and you have additional questions, simply give us a call at (530) 823–8340 and we will be happy to assist you. Frank Calabretta’s Bail House has been serving the Placer County community and Greater Sacramento Area for over four decades, and we have extensive experience with issuing quick, uncomplicated, anytime bail bonds. We look forward to offering you respectful, dependable, timely service, so that you can get out of jail and be back at home where you belong.