Options For Release From Jail
After a defendant has gone through the booking process, there are a number of methods toward release. The most common route out of jail is through the bail bond, which is also known as a “surety contract.” In some cases, a defendant may not qualify for release and will need to wait for arraignment.
The process of Booking
After an arrest, a defendant is taken to a police station, sheriff’s office, or local jail. The booking process requires fingerprints, scanning, photos, and a check for warrants or issues with immigration, parole, or probation. Booking generally takes about four hours but may require more time in a large jail system.
The most common route out of jail is through the bail bond, which is also known as a “surety contract.” A bail bondsman enters into an agreement with a family member or friend of the defendant that guarantees the defendant will adhere to all court dates, obligations, and other responsibilities.
Another form of release is “own recognizance.” In this case, the judge allows the defendant to leave jail after promising in writing to return for all required court dates. Own recognizance is only granted when a judge carefully considers a defendant’s history, community ties, employment, and flight risk. Public safety is the top priority, and there is never a guarantee of its own recognizance, even when all conditions are met.
A property bond is a complicated process that is similar to refinancing. It secures a home or property with 150 percent equity of the set bail. Property bonds can take months to complete and require a number of fees. If the defendant fails to appear or otherwise breaches agreements, the court can force a foreclosure.
This method of release is the most straightforward. The defendant, or someone that person knows, pays the bail amount with cash, a cashier’s check, or money order. The money is held until the defendant’s case ends, at which time it is returned, with any administration fees removed. The drawback to a cash bond is it may take many months for the money to be released, and the funds will be held indefinitely if the defendant misses a court appearance.
Often referred to as “cited out,” this release method is a verbal promise from the defendant to return to court as required. A citation release is issued when the crime was minor, such as a driving infraction. The defendant is obligated to honor all mandates set by the court or face having an arrest warrant issued.
Being arrested is a serious situation, and there are different options for being released from jail. Contacting experienced bail bondsmen will help to answer questions and find the correct solution.