How to Bail Someone Out of Jail: Everything You Need to Know

Bail Bonds
Judge Dan Hinde

Did you know that over 10 million arrests are made in the United States each year? If you or someone you know is arrested, it can cost quite a pretty penny to bail them out of jail.

But what if we told you how to bail someone out of jail without paying the entire bail fee yourself? Better yet, what if we told you that you could bail someone out without paying a fee at all?

Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong!

In this article, we’ll break down the various methods that you can use to bail someone out of jail. That way you can explore your options and pick the right choice for you and your current situation.

Now then, let’s get started!

What is the Cash Bail System?

When someone is arrested for a crime, they are typically placed in jail to await their trial. The court will set a bail amount that can be paid to the court. If paid, the individual will be out “on bail” until their trial. The amount set for the bail will be determined based on the crime, the individual’s history, their “flight risk,” as well as public safety.

Please note “Almost every state has its own nuanced bail system. Sometimes it even varies from county to county,” said Scott Esparza of Acme Bail Bonds.

Check the Conditions of Bail

Before you worry about how you’re going to bail someone out of jail, or where you’re going to get the money from, you first need to check the conditions of bail. Doing so will allow you to confirm that a person can actually be bailed out, as well as give you a sense of what all you need to worry about going forward.

For the most part, the conditions of bail are pretty simple and straight forward. The person being bailed out will need to read them carefully, though, as they often contain a list of rules they’ll need to follow in order to stay free moving forward.

The Various Ways to Pay Bail

Once you’ve confirmed that you can pay someone’s bail, it’s time to figure out how you plan to do that. Of course, the higher the bail, the more difficult this process may be.

With that being said, there are four methods that are worth looking into before making a decision.

Method 1: Cash

If you or someone you know already has the money, simply posting the bail yourself is without a doubt the best option available to you. Of course, this can be difficult, especially if the person you’re bailing out has a high bail fee.

But if you can swing it, paying cash is the way to go.

If the person you’re bailing out appears for all of their court dates, then the money will be returned. If the individual fails to appear for any of their court dates, the full amount is forfeit.

Method 2: Property

Property that meets or exceeds the price of the bail can put up in exchange for a person’s release. Just make sure that the person you’re bailing out doesn’t break any conditions of the bail, or miss their court date, as doing so can cause major issues down the line.

Method 3: A Bail Bondsman

If you don’t have cash or property you can use for bail, a bail bondsman is going to be your next best option. Typically, you will need to pay 10% of the bail up front. This percentage can vary based on the individual and their flight risk.

The bail bondsman will require collateral to post the bond. According to Randy Feldman of Sanctuary Bail Bonds, “Most companies will accept Cash, Credit Cards, Electronics, Firearms, Jewelry, Vehicles and Homes/Property. Jewelry must be appraised. Cars must be registered and insured, have a clean title and be paid for in full with no liens. Should property be used then that property must be current in payment of taxes and whoever owns the property must be able to provide mortgage statements, a deed, and proof of the value of the house with an appraisal.”

The collateral should be returned to the individual within 14 days after the case is concluded.

Most bail bonds companies will require clients to follow their own conditions of release including: constant communication, weekly check-ins, updated and current addresses, court updates along with open communication with the family/friends that put up their collateral.

If the individual fails to appear for a court hearing, the bail bondsman has a period of time to bring the individual back into custody before “final forfeit” of their money. At this point, a fugitive recovery agent (bounty hunter) may be employed to locate the individual to ensure the bail bondsman gets their money back.

Method 4: A Waiver

For smaller bail amounts, a waiver can be signed to grant a person their release without a fee. The person being bailed out must appear in court when scheduled, however, or the fee will be required at a later date.

Revoking a Bond

If you feel that the client will not go to court, is combative about the bond process, or is still running with a crowd that could result in additional police involvement, you have the right to revoke the bond and place that person back in jail. There are costs to revoking a bond.

Criticism for the Cash Bail System

According to former criminal defense attorney Rob McGuire, “Money bail has advantages to the criminal justice system in that criminal defendants are required to ‘invest’ in their release and further gives incentive to a private industry to return the defendant to custody if they fail to appear. Several significant studies, however, have illustrated how the money bail system falls disproportionately on the poor and forces indigent defendants into perilous decisions– such as pleading guilty to be released instead of persisting in their innocence in a righteous cause – that must give every criminal practitioner and citizen pause. To truly honor the presumption of innocence is not to charge a fee for admission to the presumption.”

How to Bail Someone out of Jail: A Guide

Well, there you have it! That is a detailed guide on how to bail someone out of jail!

So, using this information, you should be able to save a ton of money on bail, or even avoid it completely, which is a huge plus.

Jackson Williams

Jackson Williams is a writer with Attorney at Law Magazine. He has written for the publication for more than six years.

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