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How to Bond Someone Out of Jail

Having a loved one in jail can be a very overwhelming and stressful process, especially for someone who doesn’t know the different options for how to bond someone out of jail.  There are three ways to bail someone out of jail:

  1. Property Bond
  2. Cash Bond
  3. Professional Bonding Company

Below is an explanation of each type of bond, but make sure you keep reading until the end for the practical considerations for each type of bond.  If you aren’t sure how to figure out if someone has a bond, click here for an article that explains an overview of the process that includes finding out the bond amount.

How to Bond Someone Out of Jail with a Property Bond

For a property bond, you will use a piece of real property instead of money for the bond. Real property typically means a piece of land or a home.  Each sheriff’s office tends to have a slightly different way that they calculate how that equity in that property is determined. Some require the property to be in the county where the jail is located.
For determining the amount of bond a piece of property can be used for, it is usually based on a combination of the tax assessor’s value and outstanding mortgages on the property.  That amount is compared to the bond amount.  Some jails want the property to have double the bond amount, while other jails want it to have have a certain amount equal to the bond amount plus an additional dollar amount.
To find out exactly what the jail you are trying to get the bond from requires for a property bond, you should contact the jail for that information.
A property bond can be a good option for somebody who has equity in their property, doesn’t mind having a lien on their property for a period of time while the case is ongoing, and they’re not planning on trying to sell their property anytime soon. The downside to this option is that it can take a little bit of time to make sure you have all the right paperwork together. If you choose to go this route, we always recommend having a backup plan just so you can get your loved one out of jail as quickly as possible in case you run in to a problem.

How to Bond Someone Out of Jail with a Cash Bond

With a cash bond, you put up the entire dollar amount of the bond in cash with the jail.  Usually, you’ll pay this in the form of cash or a money order.  Some jails will even accept credit cards, but that’s usually the exception and not the norm.
With this option, you have full amount of the bond tied up for however long the case lasts.  Some people mistakenly think that this is through the first court date, but that is not accurate.  This money is tied up until the case is concluded, which depending on the kind of case and the court can sometimes take years, but once the case is over, you generally get all of that money back (with the exception of about a $20 jail fee that you don’t get back).

How to Bond Someone Out of Jail with a Professional Bonding Company

When working with a professional bonding company, they will usually charge you a fee somewhere between about 10 to 15% of the total bond amount.   Instead of you putting up the entire bond amount, they will put up the entire bond amount on your behalf.
You don’t get any of the money you pay the bonding company back.  They keep that as their fee for putting up the entire bond on your behalf.  The advantages to a professional bonding company is it requires less cash on hand to get someone out of jail.  There are also some bonding companies also have payment plans, which can give you more time to pay the bond.
For a guide on how to work with a professional bonding company, click here.

Practical Considerations

When considering their options, we tell people to consider the following:

For A Property Bond:

  • Do I have enough equity in my property?
  • Am I okay with there being a lien on the property?
  • Do I plan on keeping the property for the foreseeable future?

If the answer is yes to all of those questions, then a property bond may be the best option for you.

For a Cash Bond:

  • Do I have enough cash for the bond?
  • Am I willing to have that cash tied up with no access to it while this case is ongoing for months or years?

If the answer is yes to both of those questions, then a cash bond may be the best option for you.

For a Professional Bonding Company:

  • Am I okay with paying a fee that I don’t get back?
  • Do I want to avoid putting a lien on any property, or do I not have property I can use?
  • Do I not want to have a larger amount of cash tied up, or will it be difficult for me to access that cash quickly?

If the answer is yes to those questions, then a professional bonding company may be the best option for you.

Still Unsure How to Proceed?

There may be more specific factors or other things to look at in your individual case.  We help our clients work through the options and the pros and cons of each type of bond to fully understand their options.  If you would like help understanding which option is best for your circumstance, please contact our office so that we can help you figure out the best option to get them out of jail as quickly as possible.

What if they have no bond or I can’t afford the bond?

If you are in a situation where your loved one doesn’t have a bond, or the bond is too high for you, then getting a criminal defense attorney involved early in the process is important.  As criminal defense lawyers, we can get hearings scheduled for bond or attempt to negotiate a lower bond with the prosecutor.  If you are in this situation, contact our office to see how we can help your loved one get a bond.

What Happens After Bonding Someone Out of Jail

Once your loved one is release from jail, they are now going to go through the traditional criminal court process.  You can click here to learn about what to expect in the criminal law process once your loved one is out of jail.

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