- 5 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Released on recognizance – Known as ROR, the defendant only has to sign a contract agreeing to show up for all court appearances. The judge makes this decision based on the report from the Pretrial Services officer.
Cash bond – If the defendant has enough cash to pay for the full amount of the bail, a cash bond is perhaps the quickest way to get out of jail after an arrest. Cash bonds are generally only used for misdemeanors, in part because the bail is lower.
Partially secured bond – One option for the judge to encourage the defendant to show up in court is to request a certain percentage of the bond in cash. The money is paid directly to the court and is returned, minus fees, if the defendant follows all bail conditions. An example would be a $20,000 bail that would require a 10 percent cash payment or $2,000 to the court. A co-signor who is 18 or older also can make this payment on behalf of the defendant.
Unsecured bond – The judge sets a bond amount but the defendant is not required to pay the money before being released from jail. The difference between an unsecured bond and an ROR is that a defendant who doesn’t show up for all court appearances must pay the unsecured bond amount. A defendant who skips bail after an ROR release owes no money to the court.
Property bond – This option is not used often. The process is fairly lengthy and requires that the property be located somewhere in Kentucky. The defendant, or someone on behalf of the defendant, must prove ownership of the property and establish an equity value that is at least twice the amount of the bail. The court records a lien on the property.
- How to Get Bail
Without bail bond agents, Kentucky attempts to make the process as simple as possible by including kiosks in jail so that defendants, or family members or friends, can look up the case and post a bond. For defendants that can only afford to pay 10 percent of the bail amount to be released, that payment can be made 24 hours a day in any jail in the state.
- What Will Bail Cost
The 10 percent paid to the court is returned to all defendants who show up for court hearings. However, the state has a number of fees that all defendants must pay. This includes a $31 booking fee, a $5 jail bond fee, a $4 court fee and $430 for every day in jail.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
This process is not as complicated in Kentucky because there are no bail bond companies and no bounty hunters. An officer in the Pretrial Services Division must interview every defendant no more than 12 hours after arrest, but for misdemeanors with no aggravating circumstances, a defendant can post bond within a few hours of release because Pretrial Services officers often can conclude an interview in a less serious case quite quickly. For a more serious crime, an arraignment is usually held within 24 hours of arrest before a judge. The judge then relies on the pretrial report to set bail.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
The court keeps the 10 percent payment for a partially secured bail and seeks the rest of the bail from the defendant or a co-signor. An arrest warrant is immediately issued for the defendant – for the original offense as well as failure to appear in court. There is no bounty hunter involved, but a co-signor may try the defendant in order to recoup the bond. If the defendant does return, bail may not be allowed. If it is, the amount will be much higher than the original bail.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice you should visit an attorney.