If someone you know has been approved for bail, you are probably wondering how best to help them. If you have the cash to bail them out, it is a fairly simple process. However, if you don’t yet have the money, that is going to be your first logical step. Here are the basic steps to bailing someone out of jail so they can be in the comfort of their own home until their trial begins or their next court date.
Discovering the Arrest
The first step will be discovering the arrest. If you have been in close communications with them, you may already know they were arrested. But if not, expect a phone call letting you know of their arrest. You will probably be informed of this before any decision on bail is even set. However the bail hearing, also known as arraignment, is usually within days of the arrest. When they call about the arrest, get any information you can right away, such as why they were arrested and what jail they are currently in.
The arraignment is next, and something you won’t be present for. This is also known as a bail hearing, and is a short hearing before the defendant, defense attorney, prosecuting attorney and the judge. The judge will look over the person’s documents, including their background, criminal record, references, and the charges being held against them. During this time, the judge determines is bail is set and how much it will be for. For standard crimes, there is a standard bail amount, but more complex issues, and the bail can often be much higher.
Deciding How to Post Bail
The next step is up to you as it is when you decide how you will post bail. You can pay cash or credit card directly to the jail, which ensures they are released quickly. Usually within an hour or so of paying the bail amount. The next option is to try and sell something or borrow the money from someone or multiple people. Finally, if you can’t come up with all the bail amount but at least 10%, then you can get a bail bond.
Bail Bond Process
If you have decided getting a bail bond is your best option, then you will need to find a local bonding agent that is reputable and is willing to give you a bail bond. You will need to pay them 10% of the bail amount in cash or a cashier’s check; most of them do not accept credit card payments. This is non-negotiable and an amount set by the state. So if the bail is set for $10,000, you must pay $1,000 in order to get approved for the bail. You will also provide them with necessary information about the person being released, such as their physical characteristics, where they work, who their friends are and where they spend their time.
After you get the bail bond, your loved one will be released within a couple short hours, and it is up to them to make court appearances.