- 5 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Release on recognizance – As described above, Nebraska law requires that a judge first consider a release on recognizance. A bail amount is set but the defendant does not pay any money to be released, instead signing a document promising to show up for all court hearings. It is common for the court to put a defendant in the custody of a family member, who then is responsible for the defendant’s appearances in court.
Appearance bond – Once bail has been set, the defendant is required to pay 10 percent of that amount to the Clerk of Court. The money is kept as “appearance bond costs” and not returned to the defendant. The minimum payment under an appearance bond is $25.
Surety bond – This has a different meaning in the state because there are no bail bond companies. Instead, a surety bond is paid by a relative or loved one who must be approved by the court. In some cases, more than one surety can be used. A surety bond gives a family member or friend a strong motivation to ensure the defendant makes all scheduled court appearances. If the defendant fails to show up in court, a forfeit means the family member loses that money.
Cash bond – A defendant with sufficient cash, who is not granted a personal recognizance release, can pay the entire amount of bail in cash. There is no premium retained by the court, other than relatively minor court fees and costs. This option is generally only used with misdemeanors when the bail amount is relatively low.
Hybrid bond – It is possible for a defendant to combine sources in order to reach a bail amount that is deemed sufficient by the court. That could include cash from the defendant as well as cash or property put up by individual sureties acting on behalf of the defendant.
2. How to Get Bail
Once a defendant has been booked into a jail or holding facility, it is usually possible determine the amount of bail from schedules available in all jails in the state. Preset bail amounts are available for most misdemeanors and some felonies. A defendant can pay that bail amount or request a release on recognizance. The bail process is delayed and a bail hearing is necessary if the crime involves domestic violence, sexual battery, is a third offense DUI or involves a serious felony.
- What Will Bail Cost
Since there is no commercial bail bond system in the state, it is easier to get bail that does not require the payment of a premium. That’s the case with cash bonds and surety bonds. However, when a defendant or co-signer posts 10 percent of the total bail amount as an appearance bond, that money is kept by the court.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
For most misdemeanors and some felonies, a defendant can post bail very quickly – in just a matter of hours – because no bail hearing is required. In that case, bail can be paid with the Clerk of Court, online or at kiosks located at most jails. When a bail hearing is necessary – because of the seriousness of the crime or when a warrant from the District Court or another state is involved – the process is delayed, usually no more than 24 hours. However, defendants arrested on the weekend often will have to wait until Monday for a bail hearing is one is necessary.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
A court will order a bail forfeiture when a defendant does not follow all conditions of release or when the defendant does not show up for a scheduled court hearing. In the case of an appearance bond, the defendant will be required to pay the entire amount of the bond. The court will issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant for the crime of failing to appear in court. This crime is in addition to the original offense that brought the defendant to jail in the first place.