Most of the time, when someone calls the bond office to have someone released from jail, they have no idea how the bond process works. These are your options when you or someone you know is looking to bond out of jail.
When someone is in jail and a bond has been set by a judge, they have three basic options:
- Stay in jail until a court date is set
For smaller misdemeanors, this can be anywhere between 2-4 weeks. For felonies, it can be anywhere from 3-6 months.
- Pay the bond in full.
At this point, they will be released from jail. If they choose this option, that money will be held as collateral to ensure he or she will make it to all of his or her court dates. If they make it to all of they’re court dates, the courts will reimburse them all of their money, minus court costs and a $50.00 handling fee. If they miss their court date (what we call bail jumping) the courts keep it indefinitely. This is the best option to take if you have the finances to do so. However, on average, bonds can range anywhere between $1500 to $5000 dollars (and even higher for more serious offenses), which makes it difficult for a majority of people to come up with such high lump sums of cash in one day.
- Hire the services of a bondsman.
For a fee (usually a percentage of the bond), the bondsman will place the full bond amount with the courts, and in return the person incarcerated will be released. The length of time it takes for the person to be released varies based on which jail the person is incarcerated in, but as an example, once the fee is received, it usually takes on average 1.5-2 hours if incarcerated at the Denton county jail.
Once a bond has been posted and the individual has been released from custody they will need to contact our office as soon as possible. The new client will then pick a time from our flexible office hours to come in and fill out paperwork. The paperwork only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Once completed, we explain the rules, regulations, and obligations while on bond with us. This includes, but is not limited to, weekly phone check-ins, guidelines for payment plans and the information we need to be continually updated on. These rules will apply until the client has their court responsibilities completely disposed of for all bonds and made all payments.