When someone is arrested in Ventura, they’ll likely be taken to Ventura County Jail.

Here, a judge might set a bail amount based on the severity of the crime and other factors. If bail is required, family members or friends can work with a bail bondsman to secure their loved one’s release from jail.

Working through this process can be confusing and a little intimidating for loved ones. We’ll break down how the process works below.

What is bail, and what are bail bonds?

Bail is a sum of money, set by the court, that allows an arrested person to get out of jail until their trial date. This way, they can continue living and working in the community while awaiting trial.

If friends or family can pay the bail in full, their loved one will be released until their trial date. However, most people prefer to have some help paying bail. This is what a bail bond is. A bail bond is a written guarantee, signed by the bail bond company and the defendant, that states the full bail amount will be paid if the arrested person fails to appear in court.

The bond also serves as an agreement between all parties involved that the defendant will obey all court orders while out of custody.

How do Ventura County bail bonds work?

Bail is handled similarly in both Ventura and Oxnard. When a person is arrested, the judge will determine the amount of bail required for release.

Once this has been set, family members or friends can work with a Ventura County bail bondsman to secure their loved one’s release from jail.

Generally speaking, most bail bond agents in Ventura County charge a 10-15% non-refundable fee to post bail on someone’s behalf. This means that if a defendant is held on $10,000 bail, they will likely have to pay the bail bondsman $1,500.

Most people pay their fee in cash, but many bail bond agents also accept payments by credit card, money order, Western Union, bank accounts and stocks.

Every case is different, but the bail bond process in Ventura County is typically quick. It typically takes about 20 minutes to a few hours, and all the defendant has to do is agree to the bail bond agent’s terms and conditions. This can include things like putting down a certain amount of collateral if the defendant skips bail, maintaining contact with the bail bondsman, abiding by all court orders and appearing at all required court dates.

Once everything is in order, the bail bond company will post the bond with the court and the person can be released.

Questions to ask your Ventura bail bondsman

When you’re in the process of hiring a local bail bondsman, there are several questions you should ask. These include:

  • Do you serve my location? Bail bonds services only serve certain locations, so you’ll want to make sure the company serves your precise area.
  • What is your fee?
  • What collateral do you require?
  • Do you offer payment plans?
  • How quickly can you get me out of jail? The right answer here is, “it depends.” Good bail agents know that every case is different and that it’s impossible to estimate how quickly the bail process will happen.
  • Are there any additional fees?

Make sure to thoroughly read any paperwork that the bail bond agent asks you to sign, so that you understand the agreements you are making with the agent.

Work with a local Ventura County criminal defense attorney

Once you’ve posted bail, the next step is building your defense. Working with a local Ventura County criminal defense attorney is the best way to make sure you understand your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

Robert M. Helfend is a Superlawyers and Lead Counsel-rated criminal defense attorney, serving Ventura, Oxnard and Simi Valley since 1984. Contact our local Ventura office today for a free case evaluation – 805-273-5611.