California Bail Bonds – How Bail Works in CA, How Much Bail Costs, Find Bail Bonds Nearby

Written by our Subject Matter Experts, Updated on September 26, 2019

California Bail Bonds - How Bail Works in CA, How Much Bail Costs, Find Bail Bonds Nearby

Are you looking for a bail bond in California or information on bail? We have a list of the most trusted bail bonds companies in California so you can get in touch with a nearby licensed bondsman. Our bail experts also answer many important questions on how bail bonds work in California and how much bail bonds cost.


How can I get a 0% Down, or 1%, 3%, 5% Down Bail Bond in California?

We have created the ultimate guide on no-money down bail bonds. You will find that bail bonds agents offer anywhere from 5% down to as little as 1% or 0% down. It’s not always easy to qualify for the no-money down bail bonds, but knowing the details will help you have a better chance of landing a 0-3% bail bond. Read our full guide on 0%, 1%, 3% bail bonds in Los Angeles.

Although it covers the LA market, we go into topics that cover all situations in California, like how you can negotiate with your bail bondsman to get the best rate, as well as the type of questions the bail bonds agent will ask you in order to determine if you qualify for a 0% to 3% Down payment. Some of the things that go into consideration are criminal history and flight risk of the person being bailed out, your financial strength, any property assets you may have, and more.

How do bail bonds work in California?

Importance of knowing how the bail bond process works in California can’t be stressed enough when it comes to ensuring there are no delays in getting your loved one out of jail, as well as ensuring you are not surprised by any costs or contractual agreements. As soon as the jail allows for release, many bail bond companies will come pick you up discreetly. Installment payment plans are often available depending on each case.

Upon arrest anywhere in the state of California, a person must be processed at the local county jail. In order to be released from jail, several steps must occur, including being booked and posting bail. Once the bail amount is decided, a bail bondman from California can post the bail bond at the local jail. At this time the jail release process begins and typically can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete.

While cash bonds are acceptable in California, they are not common due to the high up-front cost. With a cash bond, you have to pay in cash or via a money order for the entire bail amount. This amount is returned to you if you appear for all court cases and meet the conditions of your release. For most people, it is difficult to come up with the entire bail amount, and even if the money is available, you have to be prepared to not see that money for 6-12 months depending on the length of your trial and post-trial processing times.

One way to avoid using a bail bondsman in California, is to hopefully be released on Own Recognizance (OR). Release On Recognizance (ROR) means you will be released from jail for no fee. The court system views you as a low risk individual that committed a small offense and therefore trusts you to obey California law upon release while also being confident that you will be present for all court dates.

If you committed a felony, or you are perceived as a flight risk or a risk to others, the court will set a large bail amount and you will likely need to use a bail bondsman. In some cases, a property bond can be used, but the value of your land and home must be twice the value of the bail amount. Hiring a lawyer can help reduce the bail amount California sets for your release. A skilled attorney can propose options to the judge in order to lower your bail amount and possible release you on Own Recognizance. Some of the proposals may include limiting out of state travel, drug testing, a GPS tracking device, or a post-release rehab program.

California Bail Bonds agents can aid you with all your surety needs:

  • California Immigration Bail Bonds
  • California Property Bail Bonds
  • California Surety Bail Bonds


How much is bail in California?

California has a 10% maximum bail bond fee that can be charged to any bail bonds written by a bondsman. This fee is non-refundable. The California Department of Insurance sets this maximum fee and the only way around it is to pay for your own bail or use the money of a friend or relative.

Most states in the US follow a 10% bail bond fee so California is within the normal range for bail cost. Please note that this is the maximum that can be charged. It’s possible that you can find a bondsman that will charge you 8% or less for the bail bond. These cases are rare since 10% is typically a happy middle range that keeps the bondsman in business. Please work closely with the bail bonds company to determine if there are any additional court or administrative fees. These are in addition to the 10% bail bond premium and typically involve around $25-50 in extra fees that must be paid upfront.

Bail Bonds Near You in California

Search for California bail bonds companies via our form above; please make sure to enter the city AND state.

You can also check our city pages for a nearby California bondsman.

Our Team of Subject Matter Experts

We dedicate ourselves to providing information that is accurate and expertly written in order to assist individuals through a difficult time. Our staff at Bail Bonds Network is highly educated, having obtained prestigious degrees in law, business, accounting, and finance. Our editorial staff includes professional lawyers, bail bondsmen, and lending experts who understand local jurisdictions and intricacies of legal matters dealing with bail bonds.

Adi Dzebic
MBA, Research & Marketing
Owner of Bail Bonds Network, specializing in quality content research, analyzing bail bondsmen that are featured on our website, and general content contributions that are verified by our expert panel.
Matt C. Pinsker
Criminal Defense Attorney

An award-winning criminal defense attorney. He previously served as a state and federal prosecutor and magistrate, making his content contributions extremely relevant on legal and bail related topics.

Fred Shanks
Licensed Bail Bondsman
Fred Shanks is a licensed bail bondsman and the owner of Apex Bail Bonds. Fred is our bail expert who reviews and contributes to our content to ensure we have accurate and complete bail information.
Zlatan Dzebic
Finance / Lending Specialist
Zlatan's experience in credit and lending is vital since many important factors, such as credit history, over-leveraging, and predatory loan options can have a long term impacts when looking for financial assistance.

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