When a person is arrested, they don’t necessarily have to remain in jail until the date of their court appearance. By posting bail – which can take the form of cash or property – the accused person assures the court that he or she will return when the time comes. If you want to post bail for a friend, family member, or even yourself, here’s what you’ll need to do.
Find Out the Conditions
When setting bail conditions, a court considers numerous factors about the defendant. These factors include, but aren’t limited to, the seriousness of the charges, any past criminal acts, and the likelihood of the person failing to appear in court. In some cases, a court will use an algorithm to arrive at a bail amount.
Understand Your Options
Sometimes, a person might be released on own recognizance. This means the court considers the defendant’s word to be sufficient enough to merit release. A written promise will need to be signed, but no money or property will need to be handed over. This kind of release is usually only granted when the crime in question is relatively minor.
A cash bail is exactly as it sounds – you would use personal funds as a way to secure the release of the defendant. If you plan to bail another person out, be sure to call the courthouse and find out what kind of payment will be accepted. Most courthouses accept cash or cards, but not personal checks.
Instead of cash, some people consider a property bond. This isn’t an option in every area. In Colorado, a county assessor will need to determine the property’s value.
Don’t have the cash or property to ensure the defendant’s release? Another option is a surety bond. This is when a bail agent steps into the process and volunteers to deal with the financial consequences if you don’t show up for court later. You’ll have to pay the bail agent a premium. In Colorado, that premium will be a minimum of $50, or 15 percent of the bail amount.
If you’re in jail, it’s still possible to reach out to a bail agent. Some jails even have a listing of bail agents’ numbers you can call. For example Patriot Bail Bonds located in Colorado, serving the whole city of Denver, offers these bondsman’s services 24/7.
Wait for Release
Defendants who posts bail are usually released within the day. But remember, just because you’ve been released doesn’t mean you’re free of all responsibilities. Return on your court date to avoid additional financial and legal problems.