Bonding Out of Jail
So, a loved one has been arrested, now what? Before you hire me, you'll need to get them out of jail. Assuming you've never been through something like this, here's what happens after an arrest.
FIRST: ARRIVAL AT THE JAIL. As you arrive at the jail, the arresting officer is completing his report, this takes 20-90 minutes.
SECOND: JAIL INVENTORIES PROPERTY / TAKES FINGERPRINTS / TAKES PHOTOGRAPH. This takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours
THIRD: FINGERPRINTS ARE SENT TO FDLE: Why? To see if you are who you say you are. This check can take 30 minutes to 4 hours.
FOURTH: WARRANT CHECK IS RUN. Done thru 2 systems, the Florida system and the National Crime Computer, and this can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 6 hours
FIFTH: WARRANT CHECK RETURNED
IF YOU COME BACK CLEAN, the jail supervisor will authorize your release, and this takes another 30 minutes to 3 hours.
IF YOU COME BACK DIRTY, and they find an active warrant, your bondsman or contact person will be provided the additional bond information, but the out of county response can take 2 - 4 hours!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOND OUT OF JAIL?
Most jails no longer accept cash. So, if you're trying to bond someone out with a $100,000 bond, don't show up at the jail with a suitcase full of cash--I doubt they'll accept it. Obviously, you'll want to call the jail first (or check their website) to find out exactly how they want their bond money. Most jails will accept a money order or cashier's check. I don't know of any jails that accept personal checks, but we have 67 counties in Florida, so you never know.
If you cannot afford to pay the bond in full, you should hire a bail bond to post the bail. Typically, a bondsman will charge a 10% fee for their services. For example, if you're in jail on a $100,000 bond, a bondsman will charge you a 10% fee. Thus, the family bonding you out will have to pay $10,000. They will not see this bond money again. Playing off our $100,000 bond example, the bondsman may require more than just the $10,000 fee. The bondsman may also require collateral. In other words, you may have to temporarily sign over a valuable asset to insure your appearance in court (maybe a house, maybe a car, maybe both?).
How can you reduce the bondsman's fee? Simple. Just hire an attorney and get the bond reduced.