While thousands of people are arrested in Sacramento, California, each year, posting bail means that they do not have to stay in custody ahead of their trial. 

However, according to the U.S. Commission On Civil Rights, “more than 60% of defendants are detained pre-trial because they cannot afford to post bail.” 

If you or a loved one is currently in this situation, try not to worry. Working with a local Bail Bondsman can provide them with access to the support they need to secure their freedom before their trial. 

Understanding Bail Bonds.

What is Bail? 

Bail refers to the temporary release of a defendant before their trial takes place. In order to post bail, the defendant (or a person acting on behalf of the defendant) must put forward some kind of financial guarantee, which is forfeited if the defendant fails to turn up in court. 

The exact amount of money required to post bail can vary depending on the severity of the crime, location, and the discretion of the judge presiding over the case. 

Bail is beneficial as it allows the defendant to continue life as normal while awaiting sentencing, though they must agree to specific terms and conditions in order to be released.

What is a bail bond?

If a client is unable to post bail independently, they can instead rely on a bail bond. This means that their bond is posted by a bail bond company, lessening the defendant’s financial contribution quite considerably. For example, a bail bond company will likely only require payments of around 10% of the bail amount set by the judge, as opposed to the entire upfront sum. The rest of the money is covered by the agency themselves. 

You can find out more about Bail Bonds in Sacramento here.

How Does the Bail Bond Process Work in Sacramento, California? 

If you have little experience with bail bonds or the legal system in general, you may be a little confused as to how the bail bond process works. 

This guide will take you through every step of the bail bond process in Sacramento, California so that you are able to move forward with confidence! 

However, you may also find this infographic from Mr Nice Guy Bail Bonds useful. 


Before the bail bond process begins, the defendant is arrested and taken into custody. Upon arriving at the Sacramento County Jail, their fingerprints and mugshots will be taken, per standard procedure. Police officers will also conduct a background warrant search. This will provide them with more insight into the defendant's criminal history and any outstanding warrants. 

Bail is set. 

Bail is set by the judge or in accordance with the county bail schedule, typically within 48 hours. However, this can vary on a case-by-case basis. 

In some cases, a defendant will be remanded without bail, especially if they have committed a ‘severe’ crime. However, this initial decision can be appealed. 

How much does it cost to post bail? 

The cost of posting bail can vary depending upon a wide range of factors, which means there’s no simple answer to this question. For example, the cost of bail could reflect the severity of the crime, previous criminal convictions, or the defendant’s perceived flight risk. Typically, the “nationwide median is around $10,000 for felonies.” 

Furthermore, it is also important to note that there are some cases wherein the defendant can ask the court to lower the bail amount. Evidence to support a bail reduction could be proof of insufficient funds and previously good behavior within the community. 

In these instances, it is crucial that you work with a legal advisor who will be able to determine the best course of action and ensure that your best interests are protected throughout.

The defendant contacts friends and family.

Per California Law (PEN § 851.5), the defendant is allowed to make three phone calls within three hours of being arrested. However, they are also permitted to contact their friends/family or a bail bondsman once bail has been set. This kickstarts the process of obtaining a bail bond, ensuring that they are released from custody as quickly as possible. The phone calls come at no expense to the defendant unless they are outside of the local calling area.

The Bond Agent is Contacted.

As people can get arrested at any time - night or day - the majority of bail bond agencies are available 24/7. This means that the defendant, or those acting on their behalf, can call a local bail bonds agency as soon as the bond has been set. Again, this can facilitate a speedy release from custody, meaning that the dependent spends as little time as possible in jail.

During this time, the bond agent will ask for basic information relating to the defendant, such as their name, the charges they are facing, their inmate number, and place of detention. They will then begin to discuss the bail bond options at length so that those involved know exactly what they are agreeing to and how the process works overall. 

Paperwork is filed and submitted. 

Once there is a formal agreement in place, the Bail Bond agent will work with the defendant or their representatives to file the relevant paperwork. This paperwork can be filed online or in person and does not take too long to complete. It will include information relating to the defendant, their criminal history, and information related to the arrest itself. The bond agent will let you know exactly which information they need you to source, and ensure that the form is completed correctly. 

Payment is taken.

While the majority of the bond will be put forward by the bail bond agency, the defendant or those supporting them will have to pay a non-refundable balance to the agency to kickstart the process. This is typically set at 10% of the total payment amount. Again, payments are processed in-person, online, or over the phone. The majority of agents will accept cash payments alongside payments through:

  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Debit Card
  • Credit Card
  • Check
  • Coinbase
  • Wire transfer 

If you are unable to pay the bail bond amount up front, do not worry. Many providers, such as Mr Nice Guy Bail Bonds, allow clients to set up payment plans. This breaks larger sums into smaller, more manageable amounts that can be paid back over time as opposed to an overwhelming lump sum.

Bond delivered.

After receiving the payment or setting up a payment plan, the bail bondsman will deliver the bond to the jail. Once this has been processed by the jail, the defendant will be able to leave. There are, of course, certain factors at play that determine how quickly the defendant is held after the bond has been delivered, such as traffic (the number of inmates being processed/released) or availability of staff. However, this typically does not take too long.

The defendant is released.

Once processing is complete at the jail, the defendant will be released. Before leaving the jail, the conditions of their bail will be explained to them in detail. For example, in addition to being required to show up to any and all court appearances, the judge may also ask that the defendant remain within the county or wear a GPS tracking device. 

The defendant must ensure that they follow all guidance or their bail will be revoked. This means that they will then remain in custody until their court date or when charges are dropped. It also means that they will be unlikely to be offered bail in the future if they are re-arrested. 

Bail Bonds in California: FAQs.

Who should I contact if I have been arrested in Sacramento, California? 

If you have been arrested in Sacramento, California, and are looking to post bail, then you must contact: 

  1. A friend or family member who will act on your behalf 
  2. A bail bondsman 

Remember, the vast majority of bail bond companies operate 24/7. This means that you can reach out for their support as soon as it is necessary, reducing the amount of time you (or a loved one) spend behind bars. This can significantly reduce their stress and anxiety during a time when emotions run high. 

Upon being arrested, it is also advisable that you reach out to an experienced lawyer who can act in your defense. This will help you obtain the optimal outcome when your time in court arrives. They will also be able to provide you with more insight into what is happening so that you can make more informed decisions. 

What happens if I cannot post bail in California?

If you are unable to post bail independently, do not worry. There are plenty of systems in place to support those whose financial situation would not permit them to pay this upfront. This includes working with a bail bonds agency, which can post the majority of the bail amount on your behalf. 

Why should I work with a Bail Bond Agent? 

If you are posting bail, no matter your location, working with a bail bond agent is one of the most straightforward ways to ensure a quick release from jail ahead of your trial.  This means that you are able to maintain your daily schedule, childcare obligations and more (providing they do not breach the terms and conditions of your bail). This can also reduce the emotional impact that being arrested has on you, as you are spending as little time as possible behind bars. 

Furthermore, working with a bail bonds agent reduces the financial burden associated with posting bail. This makes it a possibility for those who would be otherwise unable to afford it, or do not have collateral (houses, assets, etc.) Bail Bond agents will work with your best interest in mind and can even set up payment plans for those unable to pay for their services upfront.

How do I know which Bail Bond Agent to choose? 

There are a number of bail bond agents operating throughout the state of California, which can make it difficult to know which agency to approach. Ideally, you should do plenty of research into the agency ahead of time, reading reviews from previous clients. This will give you a deeper understanding of their services and whether or not they tend to uphold their promises to clients. 

You should also keep an eye out for bail bond agencies that understand the financial pressure that posting bail can place the defendant or those close to them under and work to remedy this as much as possible, such as by accepting a wide range of payments, or putting payment plans in place. 

Final Thoughts. 

If you have been arrested within Sacramento County, it is important that you know your options moving forward, such as working with a bail bond agent to post bail as quickly as possible. This means that you’ll spend minimal time in jail ahead of your appearance in court. 

The bail bond process may seem complex to those with little experience of how the system works, but you can work to post bail in Sacramento by: 

  • Reaching out to a bail bond agent, or asking a friend or family member to do this on your behalf.
  • Providing the bail bond agent with access to the relevant information, so that they are able to kickstart the process. 
  • Agreeing on the terms and conditions of your bail bond with the agent, including payment and payment plans. 

Once the above steps have been completed and payments processed, your bail bond agent will be able to deliver the bond to the jail. This means that you will soon be released until your trial date or a time when any convictions/charges are dropped. 

If you’d like to find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.