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No cash for bail? Criminal defense can rely on property bonds

After you or a loved one are arrested for an alleged crime, you may be wondering about your next legal steps. It is usually helpful if the defendant is able to secure his or her release from custody through bail or a property bond. Even if you do not think you have the money to pay for bail, then criminal defense, there are multiple options available. One of these little-known options is called a property bond, and it can help defendants get home faster, where they can start working together with their legal team to fight the criminal charges.

In many cases, defendants are able to submit a specific percentage of the bail amount, which allows them to be released from correctional custody while awaiting their next proceeding. If you do not have enough money, however, it is possible to pursue a property bond, which allows a property owner to pledge the value of that property to the courts. The release of the property value is contingent upon the defendant's appearance at the mandated court hearings. If the defendant does not appear, the property will be confiscated, just like a cash bail.

Those who are interested in posting a property bond in California must attend one of the property bond hearings held at the local courthouse. These may be held as often as twice a day so that the criminal defense process is expedited. When you appear at the bond hearing, you need to make sure that you have brought the original or certified deed for the property, and all people named on the deed must attend the hearing. Appraisals and information about loans are also useful during this process.

Securing your loved one's release from custody while awaiting trial is an important step because it provides them with the freedom to continue to earn money and care for the family. Further, attorneys and defendants can work to craft a criminal defense without the added barriers associated with custody. A property bond can be your solution if you are worried about having the resources to bail out a criminal defendant.

Source: The Superior Court of California, "Self-Help Criminal" Sep. 30, 2014

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