- 5 Ways to Get Out of Jail
PR Bond – Often, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help a client get released on personal recognizance. No bail amount is set; instead, the defendant signs documents promising to show up for all court hearings. A defendant with little or no criminal history who has been arrested for a non-violent crime may be able to qualify for pretrial diversion programs. These also do not require any bond to be posted.
Cash bond – The defendant or a co-signer can put up the entire bail amount in cash. This is generally only used with misdemeanor crimes where the bail amount is below $5,000. If the defendant shows up for all court hearings, the cash is returned minus any court fees or other costs.
10 Percent Cash Deposit bond – This is usually not offered for more serious crimes. However, when a defendant is unable to afford the bail, this is a way to avoid the 10 percent fee paid to a bail bond company while also involving a friend or family member who is likely to be able to make sure the defendant shows up for all hearings.
Surety bond – When a defendant or co-signer is unable to afford the entire amount of bail in cash, a surety bond is often the next option. A bail bond agent will write up a contract involving the defendant, the court and the bail bond company. The defendant, or co-signer, only has to post 10 percent of the bail amount. The bail bond company guarantees the rest.
Property bond – For some serious crimes, defendants remain in jail because they can’t afford even 10 percent of the bail. For a defendant or co-signer willing to put up a home or other significant piece of property, the court gets a lien on the property and can force a sale if the defendant does not show up any scheduled court hearings.
- How to Get Bail
For lesser crimes, a defendant is often able to pay the bail amount in cash and can be released directly from jail after being booked and processed. To get help from a co-signer or bail bond agent, a defendant must wait about 1 to 3 hours for the booking process to be completed before getting help over the phone.
- What Will Bail Cost
Under Michigan law, the 10 Percent Cash Deposit Bond is the only option where there is no cost to post bail. The entire 10 percent is returned as long as the defendant shows up for all court hearings. With a cash bail, court fees and costs will be subtracted. The same is true with a surety bond, which also involves the payment of a 10 percent premium to the bail bond company. Additional costs associated with posting bail include a $10 processing fee for all defendants, along with a $12 booking fee.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
This can vary based on a variety of factors. For virtually all misdemeanors, Michigan courts have preset bail amounts. It’s possible for defendants to post a cash bond and be out of jail shortly after the booking process is completed because of that. Hiring a bail bond agent will add 1 to 3 hours in interviewing and paperwork. A defendant arrested late at night or on the weekend likely will wait at least until the next morning. If the crime is serious and bail must be set in court, Michigan law requires that arraignment hearings be held no more than 48 hours after the arrest.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
The court issues a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest and most bail bond companies – if a surety bond was involved – will hire a bounty hunter to bring the defendant back to court. Any cash bond will be forfeited and the co-signer for a 10 Percent Cash Deposit bond will be required to pay the full cost of the bond. The court also will seek the full amount of the bond from a bail bond agent, who in turn, will seek that money from the defendant and any co-signer. The costs to search for a defendant who has skipped bail must be repaid by the defendant or co-signer.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice you should visit an attorney.