Bail process in Miami. When you are arrested in Dade County, you will be brought to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. This facility is better known as Miami TGK Jail. After you have been processed and booked, you will be allowed to contact a friend or family member or a bail bond agent to begin the jail release process. If you were arrested for a misdemeanor, the bail amount should be available immediately from a county bail schedule. For more serious crimes, a judge will set bail after a bond hearing, often adding hours or a day or more to your wait to be released.
Types of Bail in Miami.
- Signature release. Also known as a release on recognizance, this option is generally only available to defendants accused of misdemeanors that do not involve violence and some lesser felonies. You will be required to sign a document agreeing to return to court for all scheduled hearings. However, you will not have to pay any money.
- Cash bond. Under this option, a defendant – with or without the help of a co-signer – must pay the entire amount of the bail. The court then returns the bulk of that money, minus court fees and costs, to all defendants who show up for scheduled court appearances. This is perhaps the fastest way to get out of jail after arrest.
- Surety bond. Under Florida law, 10 percent is the premium that bail bond agents charge for surety bonds – no more and no less. A defendant, or co-signer pays 10 percent of the value of the bond to the bail bond agent. The agent guarantees the entire amount of the bond to the court and supervises the defendant. The premium paid to a bail bond agent is the cost of doing business and is not returned.
Bail co-signer obligations. If someone is willing to act as a co-signer on your behalf, it’s important to know the requirements. Co-signers must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of b United States. Most bail bond companies also require a significant connection to the community by having lived in the Miami area for at least a couple of years and solid credit standing. Policies regarding collateral vary from company to company, but it is more likely when the bail is significant or the co-signer is considered a risk.
Bail costs and options. Be wary of any bail bond company that offers a bail premium that is either more or less than 10 percent. Many companies will arrange for low down payments and payment plans, but the state-set premium cannot legally be altered. Paying bail in cash is a way to avoid the 10 percent premium, but it’s important to have enough money available to hire a criminal defense attorney and take care of other costs, such as towing fees, should they apply.