People who are jailed for criminal offenses are many times allowed to bail themselves out of jail. However, a significant number of defendants lack the financial resources to post their own bail. Even if they have the money, they may not have access to their bank accounts or assets from behind bars.
In these cases, they need to call someone to come to the jail facility and bail or bond them out. You can help a friend or loved one by learning how to bail someone out of jail.
Can You Bail Someone Out of Jail?
Jail facilities allow people to bail friends, relatives, neighbors and others out of jail. In fact, it is not uncommon for defendants to call people that they know to help them post bail or bond. Most offenders do not have access to their bank accounts, credit cards or other assets to bail themselves out while in jail.
Further, many people in jail do not have the financial means to post their own bail or bond. They need someone on the outside to call a bail bonds service to arrange for a bail bond to be posted for them.
Whether or not that you want to know how to bail someone out of jail yourself depends on your finances and relationship with the defendant. It can be an expensive endeavor signing for someone else’s bond. You need to determine if you can afford to take on this financial obligation and if the risk of the person not showing up for court is worth the risk of you arranging for the defendant’s bail bond.
If you cannot afford to pay for someone’s bond, you can still call the bail bond agency on his or her behalf. The bail bond agent can go to the jail facility to enact the contract with the defendant. You are not under any obligation to put up collateral or pay for a bail bond if you cannot afford it.
How to Bail Someone Out of Jail
To bail someone out of jail, you need to follow the process that the court in the jurisdiction requires of you. Each jurisdiction differs when it comes to bailing someone out of jail. You can find out what this process is and how to follow it by calling the jail facility or by visiting the website for the detention center.
In general, however, the process for bailing someone out of jail starts by finding out where he or she is detained. Large cities typically have several detention centers. Law enforcement can take criminals to any of the facilities depending on the jail space that is available at the time of arrest.
After you find out where the person is detained, you then need to learn if the person has been booked into jail and arraigned. If the offender was arrested during the overnight hours or on the weekend or a holiday, he or she will need to wait until the next business to be arraigned.
Many jurisdictions only do arraignment hearings on weekdays. Some hold arraignment hearings once a day while others have arraignments several times a day during the work week.
If the offender has been arraigned, he or she will be told if he or she can post bail to get out of police custody. The defendant must post at least 10 percent of the bail amount in order to get out of jail. The bond must be paid to the court clerk or the clerk at the law enforcement center in full before the offender can be released.
You likewise need to find out what kind of bond needs to be posted to secure the person’s freedom. The most common bond types required by courts are:
- Private bonds or 10 percent of the bail amount
- Public bonds that are paid to the state
- Signature bond or ROR (released on own recognizance)
- Surety bond
- Property bond that requires collateral like a house, car or jewelry
If you posted the bail or bond, you are responsible for ensuring that the person shows up to his or her future court dates. If a bail bondsman posted the bail bond, the bail bond agency will ensure that the defendant makes his or her court appearances.
Can You Bail Someone Out of Jail at Night?
The question of can you bail someone out at night can be more difficult to answer. It is true that bail bondsmen are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. However, their around-the-clock availability does not mean necessarily that the jail facility will release the defendant or that a clerk is available to accept the bond or bail payment.
Many jurisdictions, for example, do not have night courts where people can be arraigned. When people are arrested during the overnight hours or on a weekend or holiday, they often must wait in jail until the next business day to appear at an arraignment hearing. If they need someone to bail them out of jail, they cannot tell the person how much money that they need or what kind of bond must be posted until they appear before the arraignment judge.
The dilemma of can you bail someone out of jail at night also depends on the type of bond that the court needs. If the defendant needs to post a cash bond, bailing the person out can be easier and faster than if the court requires a surety or property bond. Likewise, a person can get out of jail faster if the arraignment judge allows him or her to be released on his or her own recognizance.
Courts in every jurisdiction allow people to bail others out of jail. However, the process can doing so can be expensive and complex. When you have been called to bail someone out of jail, you need to consider if you can afford it and whether or not the court allows people to be bailed out at all times of day including after hours.