- 5 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Cash-only bond – This is different than a cash bond and is used by the court in cases in which there is doubt about whether the defendant will show up in court. Co-signers can participate, with the goal of having more people personally invested in whether the defendant shows up for all scheduled court hearings.
Cash bond – It’s possible for a defendant or co-signer to pay the entire amount of the bail in cash. This is most common with misdemeanors where the bail amounts are fairly low. No bail bond agent is involved so there is no 10 percent premium paid – one reason that defendants who can come up with the money choose this option.
Surety bond – What happens with a $15,000 bond – or a $150,000 bond? Few defendants or their families have that much cash to post. That’s when a bail bond company is involved. A surety bond is a contractual relationship between the defendant (and perhaps a co-signer), the bail bond company and the court. The defendant pays only 10 percent of the bail – a premium set by New Mexico law that cannot be changed – and the bail bond company guarantees the entire amount of the bail to the court.
ROR bail – In mostly misdemeanor cases, with defendants who have not committed a violent crime and have little or no criminal record, the court can order a release on recognizance. No bail is set and the defendant signs an agreement to show up for all court hearings. Hiring an experienced defense attorney can boost a defendant’s chances of ROR bail. A local attorney knows what situations are most likely approved by the courts, and offering stipulations such as drug testing or house arrest can increase the chances of ROR bail.
Property bond – This option is sometimes chosen with high bail amounts. One advantage is using a home or other property, once its value and ownership has been established, it is then possible for the defendant to spend what money he or she has on a lawyer.
2. How to Get Bail
As described above, the process can be triggered by a phone call from the defendant to a family member – or directly to a bail bond company. A defendant with sufficient cash can simply wait until the booking procedure is completed and post a cash bond, which is often the fastest way to get out of jail after an arrest.
- What Will Bail Cost
If cash has been posted, there is no 10 percent premium charged and only court fees and costs will be subtracted from the amount paid. For surety bonds, state law dictates the premium bail bond companies can charge is 10 percent. That cannot vary. However, some companies may offer a payment plan, particularly for larger bail amounts. Additional costs come into play only if the defendant doesn’t show up for all scheduled court hearings.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
That can vary, depending on the crime involved and the time of the arrest. Misdemeanor crimes and some felonies have preset bail amounts. Court officials simply look up the amount on the bail schedule and there is no need for a bond hearing, which can add a full 24 hours to a defendant’s wait in jail to be released on bail. Other delays can occur if the arrest is late at night or on the weekend. For an arrest during working hours, a defendant could complete a bond contract with a bail bond agent and be released from jail in as little as 4 hours.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
There are two ways to violate a bail agreement – one is to refuse to follow stipulations put in place by the court (such as staying away from a victim) or missing a court appearance. That begins the forfeiture procedure. If a cash bail was used, the court will keep all of the money posted by the defendant or co-signer. With a surety bond, the court will seek the entire amount of the bail from the bail bond agent, who then will likely hire a bounty hunter to search for the defendant. If unsuccessful, the bail bond agent will seek the full amount of the bail from the defendant or co-signer, and seize and sell any collateral.