The Process of Setting the Bail
When a person gets arrested and booked for a serious crime they must wait in jail until a bail hearing. At the bail hearing the judge will set the bail amount. If the person cannot afford bail, they must wait in jail until their court date, but there is a better option! Bail is a process by which you pay a set amount of money to obtain your release from police custody. As part of your release, you promise to appear in court for all of your scheduled criminal proceedings. Hire a bail agent.
When contacting a bail agent, have as much information as possible including the full name of the person in jail, what jail they are in, their booking number and what charges. Our bail agents are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week and will meet you regardless of the time of day and answer the phone all hours. We can meet you at the jail to post the bond or at our offices. If you are not in the same city as the defendant all paperwork and payments can be handled over the phone or electronically.
The Process of Posting Bail
When you “post bail,” you are paying the amount that your bail was set at. This can generally be done in a few ways, including:
- Paying by cash or check in the amount of your bail;
- Signing over ownership rights to property that has a cash value that is equal to or exceeds the amount of your bail;
- Giving a bond (a promise to pay if you do not appear) in the full amount of your bail; or
- Signing a statement that says you will appear in court at the required time, generally called “being released on your own recognizance.”
Most bail bonds agents typically charge 10-15% of the full bond amount. This can be higher or lower depending on the circumstances and the location of the arrest. Different counties charge different administrative fees. You will not get this money back. You can also sign over collateral or property like a house, car, jewelry, or other goods that can help guarantee that the defendant will show up to court. Our bail agent will post the bond once the premium is paid. It can take a short time or as much as a few hours to process someone out of jail depending on how crowded the jail is.
Getting Released On Your Own Recognizance
After the person has been released they must show up for all court hearings and meet any conditions set by the court and bail agent. If the defendant fails to show up to court the bail agent must pay the court the full bond amount. When this happens of when the defendant violates the bail conditions the bail agent will locate the defendant and take them back to jail. Keep in mind that if the defendant does not make their court date you can lose any collateral that was signed over with the bond. So long as the defendant complies with the terms set by the bail agent and shows up for all court dates you won’t have anything to worry about regardless of whether the defendant is found innocent or guilty. The bond is exonerated or completed when the trial is over.