- 4 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Personal recognizance – Under North Dakota law, this is the preference for the pre-trial release of defendants. The judge can deviate from a release without the payment of bail unless there are factors that indicate the defendant would not show up in court, such as being charged with a serious felony, having prior criminal convictions or other issues determined pointed out by prosecutors.
Cash bond – A defendant, or co-signer, can pay the entire amount of bail in cash. This option facilitates a fairly quick release from jail in most situations and doesn’t require the payment of a premium to a bail bond agent for a surety bond. However, a defendant who chooses this option must take into account the cost of hiring an attorney and other expenses related to the arrest.
Surety bond – While it is possible for defendants or co-signers to afford cash bonds for misdemeanor crimes, bail amounts increase steeply for more serious crimes. If a defendant doesn’t have enough cash, a popular option is a surety bond. The benefit is that a bail bond company will charge 10 percent of the bail – a premium that is nonrefundable – and guarantee the rest of the bail to the court. A co-signer or more than one co-signer can be used to come up with 10 percent premium. Bail bond companies may require collateral to cover some or all of the rest of the cost of the bail.
Property bond – The court also will accept property to secure bail, as long as it is located in the state. The defendant must show that he or she owns the property, as well as its assessed value and the amount of equity in that property. The equity must at least equal the amount of the bail ordered in the case.
- How to Get Bail
Bail is available in the majority of cases once a defendant has been processed into the local correctional facility. The defendant can initiate the process with a phone call to a bail bond company or a family member or friend can do that on behalf of the defendant. The amount of bail will generally be available – all county courts have bail schedules – unless the defendant has been charged with a more serious felony. In that case, an arraignment will be held, usually with 24 or 48 hours, and the bail will be set.
- What Will Bail Cost
If a defendant has the cash to pay the entire amount of bail, and shows up for all court hearings, the cost of bail is only a minimal charge for state and court fees. If a bail bond company is hired for a surety bond, the cost is 10 percent of the bail. For example, if the bail is set at $25,000, the premium to the bail bond company is $2,500 – which is nonrefundable.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
That can vary depending on how busy the jail or correctional facility is and the time of the day of the arrest. An arrest at night or on the weekend likely means at least an overnight wait to post bail. However, if a defendant is arrested during weekday, working hours, the process to be booked and to post bail can be completed in 3 to 6 hours, according to bail officials. Sometimes, a defendant will want to argue about a high bail amount. That is possible during a bail reduction hour, but it will involve at least another day in jail.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
If the missed court appearance was just a mistake, the presence of an experienced criminal attorney can help in a hearing to try to convince the court to set aside a bail forfeiture order. If the court isn’t convinced, the bail will be forfeited. That means the bail bond company loses the entire amount of the bail and will seek to recover that amount from the defendant and any co-signers. In the meantime, the court will issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest – a separate crime in addition to the original crime that brought the defendant to jail in the first place.