- 4 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Own recognizance – This involves being released from jail by signing a contract agreeing to return for all court appearances. No bail amount is set. It can be helpful to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to ask about the option of being released OR. For the most part, OR release is only available for misdemeanors and for defendants with little no previous criminal history.
Cash bond – This is probably the next fastest way to get out of jail, behind an OR release. The defendant, or someone acting on his or her behalf, pays the full amount of the bail in cash. Since a bail bond agent is not involved, there is no premium charged. If the defendant shows up for all court appearance, the cash will be returned – minus only court fees and administrative costs.
Surety bond – How can a defendant with little or no available money pay a $10,000 bail – or a bail set at $100,000? With a surety bond, the defendant hires a bail bond agent and pays only 10 percent of the entire bail amount. In exchange for that payment, which is not returned, the bail bond agent guarantees the other 90 percent of the bail to the court. In some cases, the bail bond agent requires collateral from the defendant or a co-signor.
Property bond – While property can be utilized as collateral for a surety bond, a property bond involves turning over the title to a piece of property – such as a home, car or jewelry – to pay bail. The defendant must have full ownership and the value of the property must at least be equal to the amount of the bail. The court puts a lien on the property, and if the defendant does not return for all court hearings, can foreclose on the property and force a sale.
- How to Get Bail
In Hawaii, there are jail schedules for a majority of misdemeanor crimes. After a defendant has been booked into jail, he or she can either pay the amount of bail in cash or contact a family member or friend for help or call a bail bond agent to prepare a surety bond to cover the amount of the bail.
- What Will Bail Cost
Hawaii law sets the bond premium for bail bond agents at 10 percent. For example, if the bail is set at $25,000, the defendant pays $2,500. In some cases, bail bond agents will set up a payment plan to help defendants post bail. A cash bail will cost the entire bail amount and does not involve a bail bond agent.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
For many people arrested in Hawaii, the bail process takes about 1 to 3 hours, according to criminal defense attorneys. It is possible for the process to last longer if the arrest takes place at night or on the weekend or if the crime is a serious misdemeanor. For more serious crimes, bail will be determined during an initial hearing that usually occurs within 24 hours of arrest in Hawaii. Another reason for a delay involves a defendant arrested for drunk driving. The defendant will be kept in jail for several hours to assure he or she is no longer impaired.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
Missing a court appearance violates bail, whether the defendant is release on his or her own recognizance, by posting cash or on a surety or property bond. The bond that was given to the court is forfeited. The court issues an arrest warrant for failure to appear in court, as well as a warrant for the original offense. Any collateral used will be seized and if a co-signor was involved, a bail bond agent will attempt to secure the full amount of the bail from that co-signor.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice you should visit an attorney.