- 4 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Personal recognizance – A PR or OR bond is one in which the defendant is not required to pay any money. Instead, the defendant signs an agreement promising to return for all scheduled court hearings. In some cases, the court can attach conditions to the release, such as showing up regularly for work and staying away from witnesses or victims in the case.
Cash bond – A defendant or co-signer must be able to pay the entire amount of a cash bond. The money is paid to the court so there is no premium involved that would be kept by a bail bond company. If the defendant shows up for all scheduled court hearings, the cash bond is then returned – minus only minor state charges and court fees.
Surety bond – Defendants who can’t afford to pay the entire bail amount in cash, or who would rather save as much of that money as possible to pay for an attorney, can hire a bail bond company for a surety bond. Under this arrangement, the defendant, or a co-signer, pay 10 percent of the total bail amount to the bail bond agent. In return, the agent guarantees the entire amount of the bail to the court. The 10 percent premium is not returned.
Property bond – Instead of paying 10 percent of the bail in cash, the defendant, or a co-signer, can pledge property to cover the total amount of the bail. The property can be stocks, bonds, a credit card or other property. For very large bail amounts, defendants can sign over the mortgage to a home, car or piece of land. The property must be located in the state and all owners – if there is more than one – must sign off on the arrangement.
- How to Get Bail
Once you have been fingerprinted, photographed and the other elements of being processed as a prison in jail are finished, you can either go forward with a cash bond or contact a family member or friend for help. The amount of bail will likely be known because courts in the state all have bail schedules. If the crime is a serious felony, the bail amount won’t be on the schedule and a bail hearing must be held to determine the amount of bail.
- What Will Bail Cost
Oklahoma mandates that bail bond agents can only charge a 10 percent premium for bail bond services. For a $20,000 bail, for example, the defendant or a co-signer would have to pay $2,000 to the bail bond agent. For a property bond, the only costs are state charges and court fees that must be paid. Bail will cost more only if the defendant does not show up for all court hearings. That will trigger a bail jumping charge and any co-signer will be sued for the full amount of bail by the bail bond company. In the case of a property bond, the property is seized and sold to pay for the bail and incidental charges. situation.
- How Long Will I Stay in Jail
Bail from a bail bond company for a misdemeanor will usually take a few hours to process, according to bail bond officials. That’s on top of the booking process, which usually takes 2 to 4 hours. Booking and bail take longer in bigger cities, such as Oklahoma City. If a defendant is charged with a serious felony, there will be an additional wait for a bail hearing, usually held the next business day following the arrest. Also, if a defendant thinks bail is too high, or the charge relied on by the police officer is incorrect, the defendant can argue for a bond reduction either during the arraignment or in a special hearing. That will usually add 24 to 48 hours to a defendant’s wait in jail.
- What if I Miss a Court Appearance
That would potentially qualify as bail jumping, a separate felony in Oklahoma, unless the defendant, or the bail bond agent or attorney, contacts the court to request that the bail be reset. If a defendant doesn’t quickly notify the court, the bail bond company has a 75-day window to find and bring the defendant back to court without having to pay the entire bail amount. If the bail is forfeited, the bail bond company pays the entire amount to the court and sues to recover that amount from the defendant and any co-signer. Also, the bail bond agent can legally seize and sell any property given as collateral at that point.