- 5 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Own recognizance – Also known in Ohio as a signature bond. The court may allow a defendant to be released on his or her promise to return for all scheduled court hearings. This usually is allowed when the crime does not involve violence and the defendant does not have any previous criminal convictions. One of the best reasons to hire an experienced criminal attorney is to have someone arguing on your behalf for a signature bond release.
Appearance bond – This type of bond also is known as a 10 Percent Cash Bond. The defendant pays 10 percent of the total amount of bail to the court – this type of bond does not involve a bail bond company. If the defendant shows up for all scheduled court appearances, 90 percent of the amount posted by the defendant is returned. The rest is retained for court costs and administrative fees.
Surety bond – A bail bond agent will enter into a contractual arrangement with a defendant who cannot afford to pay for 10 percent of the bail. The bail bond agent guarantees the entire amount of the bond to the court, and for that service, charges 10 percent of the bail amount to the defendant. The 10 percent premium is nonrefundable.
Cash bond – The defendant can decide to put up the entire amount of the bail in cash. The advantage is that virtually all of that amount is returned, as long as the defendant shows up for all scheduled court hearings. The court only keeps certain fees and costs. Generally, this is used for smaller bail amounts for misdemeanor charges.
Property bond - A defendant can save on the premium paid to a bail bond agent but deciding to post property as bond. Under state law, the value of the property must be 1 1/2 times the amount of bail in the case. This option involves a number of fees - the same type of escrow, appraisal and title search fees use for a property sale or refinancing.
- How to Get Bail
A cash bond can be posted directly by the defendant. If a bail bond agent is involved, the bail process can take place over the phone or through emails. The bail bond company will confirm the bail amount and any additional costs and make sure the defendant and/or co-signer is credit-worthy.
- What Will Bail Cost
The state has mandated a 10 percent premium for bail bond companies. It is illegal to either charge more than that 10 percent or to offer a discount in order to gain more business. There are some minor additional costs for state charges and court fees for each of the different types of bonds in Ohio. For a $10,000 appearance bond, for example, the defendant or co-signer puts up $1,000. As long as the defendant shows up for all court hearings, $900 is returned, minus those state charges and fees.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
For a misdemeanor and an arrest that didn’t occur at night or during the weekend, a defendant could be released from jail within 2 to 8 hours, depending on whether a bail bond agent was involved. Bail bond experts say the process goes more quickly in local jails, where fewer arrests are handled than in county detention center with more people are arrested and processed on a daily basis. For a more serious crime, there will be a delay for an initial appearance, though that usually occurs the next day unless the arrest occurs on the weekend.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
If the missed appearance was some type of oversight or an emergency that occurred, the first thing to do is to contact your lawyer. The court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest for not appearing as required and you and any co-signer will be required to pay the full amount of bail in the event of a surety bond or an appearance bond. A lawyer may be able to get the bond reinstated. If you don’t also contact your bail bond agent immediately, the company will hire a bounty hunter to bring you back to court. You and any co-signer will be liable for any expenses incurred by a bounty effort in the effort to bring you back to court.