- 5 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Personal Recognizance – Generally, non-violent defendants can ask the court to consider a release without bond security. This is one of the many reasons that an experienced criminal attorney is a necessity for someone jailed in Louisiana.
Cash bond – This is no different than cash bonds elsewhere in the country. A bail bond company is not involved so there is no premium payment. Instead, the defendant or a co-signer puts up the entire amount of the bail.
Commercial surety bond – Under Louisiana law, bail bond companies that are licensed and regulated through the state Department of Insurance can enter into a contract with a defendant to receive 12 percent of the bail amount in exchange for guaranteeing the entire amount to the court. The 12 percent premium is non-refundable, and bail bond companies routinely require a co-signer.
Property bond – In some cases, a defendant or a co-signer will put up a piece of property to cover the cost of bail. The land must be located in the state and the court will record a mortgage against the property after receiving the title and ensuring there is sufficient equity to pay the bond, if necessary.
Personal Surety Bond Undertaking – Known in the state as PSBU, this option involves bringing in a third party who pledges to guarantee the bail amount. The PSBU does not make a payment in advance, but a hearing is usually conducted to determine the third party is financially able to co-sign on behalf of the defendant. There is a charge to the PSBU – in Orleans Parish, the cost is $200.
- How to Get Bail
A defendant must first be booked into jail, a process that takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the jail. After the booking process is finished, the defendant is given the opportunity to make a phone. This call can be made to a family member or to a bail bond agent. Or, if the defendant has enough cash to pay the full amount of the bail, it’s possible to pay that cash immediately – as long as the amount of bail is known.
- What Will Bail Cost
Cash bail will be returned minus only court and administrative fees. If a bail bond agent is used, the cost is the 12 percent premium, in addition the fees. In the case of a PSBU, the cost is $200 in many parishes, as well as court costs other charges. Some bail bond companies may allow defendants to pay the 12 percent premium on a payment plan.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
For most misdemeanors, it’s possible to be booked and post bond in a matter of hours, according to criminal defense attorneys. That’s because all parishes have a bail schedule for most misdemeanor crimes. For a more serious crime, state law requires that a defendant be brought before a judge in person or by closed-circuit TV – within 72 hours of arrest. The more serious the crime, which requires the bail to be set during an arraignment, the longer a defendant may have to wait to be released from jail. Also, any defendant arrested for impaired driving must remain in jail for a set period of time – usually 8 hours – to ensure he or she is no longer impaired before being released.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
The crime of failure to appear occurs when a defendant fails to show up to a scheduled court appearance. The judge will immediately issue an arrest warrant for failure to appear and also issue a warrant for the original crime. The court will retain a cash bond and if the case involved a commercial surety bond, the court will seek the remainder of the bond from the defendant and the co-signor. Under Louisiana law, the bail bond company has 180 days to request a hearing and reimbursement of the bond.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice you should visit an attorney.