Release From Prison Options
There are different options for an accused person to be released from jail, in California. Some will require financial backing, whereas some will not.
Being released on a bail bond, is one of the most commonly utilized release options. A bail bond is also known as a Surety Bond, and requires the assistance of a Californian licensed bail bond company. Usually, this is organized following the arrest of a defendant, by a family member, or friend. The bail bond company will handle the necessary paperwork after the bond is approved, which usually takes around an hour. A bail bond is a guarantee that the defendant will attend any and all required court appearances, despite being granted freedom until the case is finalized. In the event that the defendant does not meet these requirements, the bail bond company will locate the defendant, and return them to custody to face court, or be required to pay the full bail amount to the court.
When a defendant is released on their “own recognizance,” or “O.R,” no money is required to be paid to the court. In this instance, a Judge believes that the defendant will indeed appear for their schedule court date/s. A bail bond company is not required for O.R.
Cash Bail is another option that does not require the services of a bail bond company. Courts will normally only accept cash, or a cashier’s check as the form of payment for this. It is advised to first check with the specific court, or jail, for the required forms, accepted payment options, and formal payee, if you may be considering this option. The cash will be returned once the case has been finalized.
A Citation Release, or “Cite Out,” is when a defendant is presented with written charges, and information about their court appearance. This is usually utilized in minor violations.
The least used release option is a Property Bond Release. This option includes a defendant, or family members, using property as Surety for bail. The property must have equity equaling 150% of the entire bail amount in order for the court to record a lien on the property, and requires a certified appraisal of the property value, title search, equity etc. In the event that the defendant fails to appear on their designated court dates, the court may foreclose on the lien to recover the bail. This option takes a considerable amount of money, time, and effort to organize, as it is handled in a similar manner to that of a real estate transaction. As most defendants wish to be released quickly, this option is rarely used because of the time factor involved.