Bail Bond FAQ

Arrest and Bail Bond Questions

Q: What is a Bail Bond?
A: A San Diego bail bond, technically called a “surety bond”, is a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a California licensed bail bondsman who is backed by an insurance company. The bail agent agrees to pay the amount of the bond in full to the court if the defendant fails to appear for his or her scheduled court appearances. For your protection, always deal with licensed and insured bail bond company. [Video: What is a Bail Bond?]

Q: What is the cost of a Bail Bond?
A: In San Diego and throughout the state of California, the cost of a bail bond is 10% of the bail. This rate is set by the state and is non-negotiable. There are no hidden fees or taxes for a bail bond, but beware bail bond companies offering bonds for less or more than 10%– these companies are operating outside the law and are probably not licensed nor insured. For example, if the bail is set at $30,500, then the fee charged is $3050. By law, this fee can not be more or less. [Video: Bail Bond Cost]

Q: Can I find Cheap Bail in San Diego?
A: The cost of a bail bond in San Diego is set with the California  Department of Insurance at 10% of the total bail amount. By law, we cannot offer a bail bond that costs less than 10% of your total bail by law. Beware bail bond companies offering bonds for less or more than 10%– these companies are operating outside the law and are probably not licensed nor insured. (See bail bond scams for more information). Though we cannot offer you bail bonds under the 10% mark, we always work with you to create a payment schedule that fits your budget.

Q: Do you offer 5% Bail or Negotiate Premium?
A: We do not negotiate bail premium and we do not offer bail at less than 10% of the bail total. Though a 5% bail premium is against the law, many people search for a cheap bail bond to save them money. However, this is a dangerous situation. If a licensed and insured bail bond agent does not return your collateral, you have rights in the State of California and can get your collateral back legally. However, if you engage in non-lawful activities and agree to 5% bail, your bail agent may leave with your collateral, and you will have no recourse to get your collateral back.

Q: How do I pay for the Bail Bond?
A: Most companies requires that you pay upfront before posting San Diego bail bonds. However, with our  bail company, if you cannot pay for the bail all at once, we offer various payment options, flexible financing, payment plans, and in some cases no collateral bail bonds. We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. [Video: Bail Payment Options]

Q: What happens when a person is arrested?
A: When an individual is arrested, he or she is transported to a local law enforcement station for processing and booking. The processing and booking process includes fingerprinting, taking pictures, and nation-wide computer database searches. This process can take several hours in bigger jails, but is usually fairly quick in smaller jails. Bail cannot be arranged until the arrest process is complete. [Video: Booking & Arrest Information]

Q: What is a “Cite Out” or “Cite & Release”?
A: A Citation Release involves the issuance of a citation to the arrestee, informing the arrestee that he or she must appear for an appointed court date. This is typical for minor infractions, such as traffic violations, and no bail bond is required.

Q: What is “O.R.”?
A: Defendants can be released on their Own Recognizance, also known as “OR,” meaning that he or she is free to go, and must only sign a paper agreeing to appear in court on his or her appointed court date, and no bail is required. This is usually reserved for lesser crimes. Only a judge can decide to release someone on OR.

Q: Can I just pay the jail for the full amount of the bail?
A: Yes, you can. If the amount of your bail is not too large and you can afford to pay for the bail in full upfront, you can be released on cash bail. In this case, a defendant posts his or her own bail to court in cash or in the form of a cashiers check. [Video: Do I Have to Use a Bondsman?]

Q: What is the procedure for bailing somebody out of a San Diego jail?
A: For a San Diego jail, the defendant, a loved one, or attorney contacts our company by phone, and we begin the bail procedure. During the initial phone consultation, we will ask for information about your situation in order to determine the risk involved in the bond and begin the approval process. Once you are approved for a bond, you will need to sign basic bail bond documents, including an application, Indemnity Agreement, and receipt. After the paperwork is finalized and payment has been made, a licensed bondsman will post the bail bond at the jail, and the defendant will be released.

Q: Can your company quickly handle bail bonds for any jail in San Diego?
A: We can handle your bail bond quickly anywhere in San Diego, usually from one to two hours from start to finish. We are also able to handle bail bond documentation by e-mail and fax in a matter of minutes, and we have a large network of licensed agents who can also post bail anywhere in California right away. [Video: Fast Jail Release]

Q: Do you offer financing or payment plan options?
A: The cost of a bail bond may be more than you have available all at once. If you qualify, we can work out a payment plan to ensure that you can meet your financial obligations. We never charge a fee for financing, and we promise to come to a payment plan agreement that suits your budget. For qualified applications, we offer no collateral bonds, and we accept informed cosigners. [Video: Bail Bond Payment Plans]

Q: What happens if the defendant is not bailed out?
A: Without posting bail, a defendant usually must remain in custody until the matter has been resolved in court.

Q: What other bail information and legal resources are available?
A: Our company also offers bail bond resources for your easy access and convenience. You can find everything from bail schedules to informational articles with a quick phone call to our company.

Collateral Questions

Q: What is collateral?
A: Collateral is something of value that is used to secure a debt or ensure payment. Sometimes a bail bond company will require bail collateral in order to ensure that the defendant appears in court. In this case, the defendant forfeits something of value to the bail bond company. When the defendant appears in court, the collateral is returned to the defendant. However, if the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond company keeps the collateral, and it is never returned to the defendant. Most bail bond collateral is in the form of real estate or cash. A bail bond company is required by law to return your collateral when your case is resolved.

Q: Do I always need collateral for a bail bond?
A: Our company offers no collateral bail bonds to qualified individuals, called signature bonds. [Video: No Collateral Bail Bonds]

Q: If I use collateral for a bail bond, when do I get it back?
A: You will receive your collateral back in full when your case has been completed and all your financial obligations are met. [Video: Property Collateral for Bail]

Q: Will the court take my property as bail collateral?
A: Yes, the court will take your property as bail collateral. However, because Property Bonds involve real estate and can be likened to the buying or selling of a home, the process usually takes several weeks. Equity in the property must be equal to 150% of the total bond amount, which means for high bonds, not all properties will qualify as property collateral. We recommend a bail bond in order to speed up the process of getting you or your loved one home.

Bail Bond Responsibility Questions

Q: If I bail somebody out of jail in San Diego, what is my responsibility?
A: When you bail someone out of jail, you become the bail bond indemnitor. This means that you agree to take full responsibility for the defendant. This means it is your responsibility to make sure the defendant appears in court. If you bail out a loved one or friend, usually you can resolve the matter with a phone call. However, it is important to never agree to be a bail bond indemnitor for someone you do not know or trust. [Video: Bail Bond Signer Responsibility]

Q: What happens if a defendant is bailed out and fails to appear in court?
A: If the failure-to-appear in court is deemed a simple mistake, the bail bond company or an attorney can make arrangements for the defendant to return to court at a later date. Courts usually understand; they know people get sick, traffic or car problems arise, and other unforeseen circumstances occur. This situation is usually remedied easily. Video: Skipping Bail]

Q: How do we know we can trust your bail bond company?
A: Our company is a licensed insurance company, and a family-owned business. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and maintaining the respect we have built since we opened our doors in 1971. You can know to trust our company by verifying our bail bond license status by contacting the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-HELP (4357).

For answers to your specific bail questions, please contact us at 619-224-5266.


Updated:  01/10/2012

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Greg Rynerson Bail Bonds

24 Hour Local: 619-BAIL-NOW (619-224-5669)
24 Hour Toll Free: 888-BAIL-BOND (888-224-5266)
License 1724264 & 1843798
*California Department of Insurance