- 7 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Own recognizance – This involves a defendant signing a contract and agreeing to return for all court appearances. No bail is set and no security is required. This is commonly used for non-violent misdemeanor crimes. An OR release is also more common in counties where jail overcrowding is an issue.
Cash bond – A defendant who has enough money in cash, or who can get enough money to pay the entire bail amount from a co-signor, can post bail without the assistance of a bail bond agent. The advantage of a cash bond is there is no premium paid to a bail bond company.
Surety bond – A defendant without enough cash to pay the entire amount of bail often will turn to a surety bond. With the assistance of a bail bond agent, the defendant – often with the help of a co-signor – pays only 10 percent of the bail amount to the bail bond agent. The agent guarantees the entire amount of the bond to the court and the 10 percent premium is non-refundable.
XC bond – This type of bond is a mix of the surety and cash bonds. The court can decide to split the two types of bonds in a number of different ways. For example, the judge could order a $500 cash bond and a $5K surety bond.
XR bond – This is another hybrid bond and is a combination of the Personal Recognizance bond a the Surety Bond. The court may split up a $10,000 bail and order that $5,000 by through a PR bond and the other $5,000 through a Surety bond. This type of bond involves family members or friends and generally makes it more likely that the defendant will show up for court appearances because of the involvement of people he or she knows.
PR bond – While a Personal Recognizance bond is a way to get out of jail without posting bail in many states, Indiana has a different twist on a PR Bond. The court will not allow the bond to be posted by a bail bond agent. The goal is for the defendant to involve family members or friends to come up with the 10 percent. The family members and friends are then motivated to ensure the defendant shows up for all scheduled court appearances.
Property bond – This is not commonly used except in cases in which the bail amount if quite high. The defendant, or a co-signor, has a lien placed on property – such as a home or car. A lien in favor of the court is recorded in the county in which the property is located. There is considerable paperwork required to prove the value of the property and ownership by the defendant or co-signor.
- How to Get Bail
In Indiana, most counties have a bail schedule – at least for a majority of misdemeanors and non-violent felony crimes. Once the defendant has been processed into jail, it’s possible to post bail through a sheriff or clerk’s office without attending an initial hearing. If a defendant doesn't have enough cash to pay for bail, he or she can call a bail bond agent or family member or friend from jail for help.
- What Will Bail Cost
The only cost for a cash bond is the court fees and administrative costs that are subtracted from the amount of cash posted before it is returned to the defendant or a co-signor. For a surety bond, bail bond agents are allowed to charge only a 10 percent premium under Indiana law. If bail is set at $50,000, for example, the premium paid to a bail bond agent is $5,000. In some cases, the bail bond agent will also request collateral from a defendant. That collateral is returned as long as the defendant shows up for all court appearances.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
The length of time spent in jail often depends on the time of the arrest and the crime involved. An arrest during working hours for a misdemeanor – or any crime that has a preset bail amount – can mean only a few hours in jail. A more serious crime requires an initial hearing. That’s when bail will be determined by a judge. That can involve a wait of 24 hours, while a defendant arrested late at night often will require a wait until the next morning for the defendant to contact family members and/or a bail bond agent.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
There are both monetary and criminal consequences of not showing up in court while out on bail. If a defendant or co-signor posted a cash bond, the entire amount of forfeited to the court. If a bail bond agent was hired, the court demands the entire bail amount from the agent who usually hires a bounty hunter to locate and bring the defendant back to jail. The bail bond agent has up to 1 year to prove there was a legitimate reason that the defendant failed to appear in court and recover the 90 percent of the bail paid to court officials. On the criminal side, a warrant for the separate crime of failure to appear, along with a warrant for the original offense that brought the defendant to jail, will be issued by the court.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice you should visit an attorney.