If you know someone who has recently been arrested, it may be up to you to bail them out of jail. Bail is a set amount of money set by a judge in order to get them released from jail. They must promise to stay local and show up for all future court appearances. Not everyone arrested is liable for being bailed out, though, as some more serious offenses do not allow bail to be set. Here is some helpful information into what bail is and how the process works.
The first step to the bail process is setting the bail. Once someone is arrested, they are booked and processed by the local jail. At this point, their paperwork allows them to appear on the county’s bail schedule. This document helps a judge determine if they are eligible for bail base don their criminal history and the crime they were arrested for. During the first court hearing, also called a bail hearing, the judge sets the bail amount. This must either by paid by a friend or relative, or by a bail bonds company.
Funds for Meeting Bail
As the person taking over the rest of the bail process, you will now need to decide if you can front the money on your own or if you will need a bail bond. If you have cash you can use, such as withdrawing from a savings account, it is going to cost you less money overall and get your loved one release more quickly. Otherwise, you can try to get a bail bond. They will have some requirements, such as looking at your credit rating, requiring identification and documentation, and also requiring some sort of collateral. Many people have a car or property put down as collateral. Lastly, they will request 10% of the bail money. So if your loved one has a bail set for $1,000, you will need to pay the bail bonds company $100.
Choosing a Bail Bond
You can be in and out of a bail bonds office within an hour and have your loved one released in another hour or so. This will depend on how long it takes to process the paperwork and get it sent over to the jail for release. Most bail bonds locations are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Different states have different laws regarding the minimum percentage to put down for a bail. Some states have a strict percentage, usually between 10 and 15 percent.
Once You Get Bail Money
Depending on what way you go the bail money, you will either visit the jail after getting it or have the bail bonds company take care of it for you. If you got the money on your own, go to the jail as soon as possible, let them know you’re paying bail for someone and wait for them to be released. This usually only takes a couple hours or less for the paperwork to be processed and the individual to be released. It is even easier if you go through a bail bonds company, because they send over the paperwork and pay the bail, and you don’t need to go into the jail.
Remember if you got a bail bond, it doesn’t stop here. You will still need to keep in contact with them and pay the remaining balance.