If you have a loved one in jail, wondering how long it will take for them to be released after posting bail is only natural. After all, you’ll want them released as soon as possible. Keep reading to find out more.
Usually, it takes around 30 mins to 4 hours for an individual to be released on bail once the paperwork has been filed. However, there is a whole range of factors that can impact the duration. The good news is that by understanding the bail process and how it works, you can help keep the time and costs involved to a minimum.
Contact us for an accurate estimate of how long it will take to get out of jail after bail is posted. We are always happy to help.
How does bail work?
Bail is a payment made to the court which works like a deposit, and allows for someone charged with a crime to be released from custody as they await their trial. To receive the money you pay for bail back you must follow the stipulations of your bail and attend court appearances for your case. If you fail to do this you will forfeit your bail amount, and a warrant can be issued for your arrest.
The cost of the bail you will need to pay differs between court systems, and states. Courts will hold their schedule which defines bail costs for specific crimes.
If you make bail (or partial bail) for someone else you become a co-signer. This means you are responsible for them during their release and have to make sure they attend court and meet the conditions of their bail. If they do not do this, the bail amount will not be returned and you will not receive your money back.
What are bail conditions?
There is a range of stipulations that may be added to the agreement when bail is granted. These are known as bail conditions and the defendant must comply with them to not risk being set back to prison/forfeiting bail.
Defendants may be asked to check in with their probation team. They may also be asked to surrender weapons.
Defendants may be asked to attend mental health treatment programs or substance abuse programs as part of their bail conditions.
Defendants may be required to limit/ track their movements including being subjected to electronic monitoring, travel restrictions, driving restrictions, and house arrest.
How long does it take to be released from custody after bail is paid?
There is no set answer to this question because the many factors below impact release time. However, as a general rule, it can take anything from 1-6 hours.
The complexity of the paperwork
Often the paperwork involved in making bail can be complex, especially if the prison officer that is doing has to check whether there are multiple warrants for the defendant. Where this is the case you can expect posting bail to take longer.
How busy the jail is
If the defendant has been sent to a large jail, or one that is particularly busy, posting bail can also take longer.
How many staff are available
Jails with more staff to help speed up the processing time, and will likely see shorter durations between payment of bail and prisoner release.
Number of defendants on the list
Jails receive bail payments all the time and they will be added to a list to be processed. If a defendant is at the top of the list, they are likely to be released faster.
Can bail be posted outside of business hours?
Yes, in some cases bail can be posted 24/7. This is why bail bondsmen offer a 24/7 service. Indeed, even if the prison does not accept bail applications 24/7, being able to have all your paperwork in order ASAP can help you get to the top of this list and increase your chances of being released quickly.
How much does it cost to bail someone out of jail?
You can expect bail bondsmen to add 10% to the amount of bail required by the court. Bondsmen also need a guarantee that they will get their money back, whether the defendant meets the conditions of their bail or not, which means you may need to use something like a property or vehicle as collateral.
You may also be able to reduce the costs involved by demonstrating you have a good credit score or using more than one co-signer on a single bond.
How does the bail process work?
There are several stages in the bail process, and understanding what to expect can help make it go more smoothly.
Step 1: Being taken into custody
Once a person is arrested they will be taken to the police station to be booked and have their fingerprints taken.
Step 2: The bail schedule is used to set the bail amount
The amount that bail is set at will be based on the bail schedule in the county of their arrest. At this point, the defendant has the choice to stay in jail until their court date or post bail to be released.
Step 3: Contact a bail bondsman
For those looking to get out on bail until their trial, the next step will be to contact a bail bondsman to begin the bail process.
Step 4: Sign the bail contract
The bail contract is drawn up by the bondsman. It is vital that at this point in the process, the person posting bail understands their responsibilities in line with the contract.
Step 5: The bail paperwork is filed, and the bond is paid for.
Once processed the defendant is released.
Step 6: Bond is exonerated
Once the defendant goes to court, and sentencing is completed, the bail bond can be judged as exonerated and will be refunded to the payee.
Final thoughts on posting bail
Getting a loved one out of jail can seem like a complex and expensive process, however, by working with a bail bondsman you can make it a lot easier and cheaper.