- How long does it take to get out of jail?
- Creating the bond hardly takes any time at all. Most of the time the paperwork takes about 15-20 minutes.
Once the bond is taken down to the jail, it can generally take anywhere from 2-4 hours for your loved one to be released.
Although this is the general rule of thumb, once the bond is posted, it is then up to the jail to process the bond and get your loved one released. If they are busy, or perchance go into lockdown, then the release time can be longer than normal.
Please be patient if this happens. Calling us or the jail to check on them only impedes the process. The easiest way to see if your loved one has been released is to go to our Search the Jail page. Once the bond has been posted, you will see the words bonded out in their information field. At this time you know they are in the process of being released. Once their name is no longer on the screen, it means they have been released and you can head on down to the jail to pick them up.
- Will my premium be returned when my case is finished?
- Bonding agencies are like insurance companies. When a defendant is bonded out, they pay a premium, usually 10%-15% of the bond and promises to appear in court every time they are told to do so until the case is dismissed or a judgment is given.
The bail bond premium is non-refundable. The premium is a fee for the bail agent’s services to manage the defendant and make sure he or she shows up to all required court appearances.
- What is collateral?
- Sometimes a bond can be very high and as a cosigner, you may not have the means to guarantee that if the defendant does not show up to court as scheduled that you will be able to fully pay for the entire bond.
When this happens, we ask for collateral to guarantee the bond.
Collateral can be:
Unencumbered Real Estate – per Texas law, you cannot put your homestead up for collateral. If you have other property or a home that you don’t live in, you can sign the deed over to us for collateral. Once the case is completely finished and everything is in good standing, your property will be deeded back to you.
Items of major collateral such as a car, boat, motor home, etc. are deemed good, but must be surrendered to the bail agent who will hold them in a secure place. These items are normally valued at their current resale value, not what you originally paid for them. You must also have a clear title on these items to use as collateral.
Personal items of high value such as jewelry, firearms, computers, cameras, stereos, etc. can be used as collateral, but like items of major collateral, must be surrendered to the bail agent who will hold them in a safe or other secure place. These items are normally valued at their current resale value, not what you originally paid for them.
If you have enough credit on your credit card, you can use that as collateral. Your credit card will be charged for the entire amount of the bond and when the case is completely finished and the defendant is in good standing, you will be refunded the bond amount back to your card.
- When is my collateral returned?
- Collateral is returned upon completion of the court case.
This happens when either:
- the charges are dropped
- the person is found innocent at trial
- the person is sentenced to probation/jail time.
Of course, the collateral will only be returned if there is no outstanding balance due on the premium. The bail bond agent has a fiduciary (formal legal) responsibility to safeguard all collateral. To have collateral returned, we must receive a written request of collateral return once the case is over. Collateral will be returned within 30 days of written request.
- What if the person does not appear in court as promised?
- A bench warrant is issued for the person’s arrest and the person’s name will appear in police bulletins as a fugitive. Although specifics vary depending on the jurisdiction, generally the court also authorizes the bail agency to have arrest authority for the individual as well.
The bail agency normally calls the person’s home, work, and other references to try to find the fugitive and convince them to appear. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the agency may then search and employ apprehension specialists (private investigators) to arrest the fugitive.
From the perspective of someone who guaranteed the appearance by posting collateral, you want to convince the fugitive to surrender himself/herself to the police or court as soon as possible. Normally, if the fugitive is returned before actual remittance to the state, you can usually get your collateral back.
If the fugitive does not surrender and cannot be found by the forfeiture date, the bail agency remits the entire bond to the court and proceeds with legal action to (seize, if necessary) liquidate your collateral.
Because EZ Out Bail Bonds by Doug has very experienced bail agents, we have one of the best return rates in the country. We also have some of the best private investigators in the business that have apprehended major felons and fugitives for other agencies. As a guarantor, you will be glad that we are good at what we do.
- What is a PR Bond?
- PR Bond stands for personal recognizance bond. It is different from other means of getting released from jail in that a bail amount is set but then waived. This means a defendant doesn’t pay for a cash bond or surety bond, or post property as collateral for bail. A PR bond is based on a promise that the person who has been arrested will appear at all required court hearings. This type of bail is typically offered for lesser crimes when the defendant is not considered to be a flight risk.
When a person is arrested, a bail amount that is commensurate with the crime will be set. Generally speaking, the jail where arrests are processed will have a record that lists bail amounts for specific crimes, which can facilitate a release of the defendant if a PR Bond is approved. If the PR Bond is denied, the person that has been arrested will be required to post a cash bond or hire a bail bondsman to post a surety bond.
The court can also implement a set of conditions that the defendant must follow to remain free on a PR Bond. For example, an arrest for domestic violence might require the defendant to stay away from and avoid contacting the alleged victim. Conditions for release after a drug-related arrest may include attending Nar-Anon meetings during the court hearing process. Failure to meet conditions for release can also result in arrest and the requirement to post bail.
The decision process for release on personal recognizance starts with the consideration of the degree of the crime. The chances of being released for a non-violent misdemeanor are much better than for a felony arrest. The second consideration is whether the defendant poses a flight risk. One example of assessing flight risk would be whether the defendant lives in the local area or was arrested while on vacation from another state. Prior arrests and violent behavior are also significant factors in the decision process.
- What is a Cash Bond?
- A cash bail bond, typically referred to as “cash only bail bond”, is a Court-ordered financial guarantee requiring the full amount of the bail to be paid in cash. This is in contrast to the more commonly known “Surety Bond” which may be purchased from a licensed bail bond agent, such as E Z Out Bail Bonds by Doug for 10-15% of the bond amount. At times a bond may be set for such a low amount that a cash bond may be better. For example, our bonds typically start at $165.00 ($150 for the bond plus the $15.00 jail fee). If a bond is set at $200, it might be worthwhile to just pay a cash bond to the jail. Cash bonds are posted at the jail for the full amount of the bond. They must be paid with the exact dollar amount; the jail will not make change. Cash is retained with the Court until the Defendant’s case is disposed and/or the bond is exonerated.
- What's the difference between a misdemeanor or felony?
- Most bail bonds are either a misdemeanor or a felony.
A crime can have the same general classification but be broken down into several levels of severity, some of which may raise the seriousness from a misdemeanor to a felony.
A good example of multiple levels of severity is the general class of crime referred to as assault. In the case of assault, threatening to cause harm to a person but not carrying through on the threat would be classified as a misdemeanor. An assault that resulted in actual bodily injury, or in which a weapon was used as part of the assault, would be considered a felony.
Theft is another example of a crime that has differing levels of severity. Petty theft is the unlawful taking of property or money from another person without their consent. The distinction between whether theft is a misdemeanor or a felony is dependent on the value of the cash or property stolen. Many states consider theft of up to $500 a misdemeanor and larger amounts to be a felony. Felony theft is often referred to as larceny.
Other crimes are distinguished as being misdemeanors or felonies depending on whom the crime is committed against. The crime of indecent exposure falls into this category. Exposing one’s private parts in public in such a way as to alarm others is considered to be a misdemeanor. However, if the exposure is before a child, then the crime rises to the level of a felony. Different states set different age limits as to where the line exists between misdemeanor and felony indecent exposure.
In most instances, traffic violations are classified as misdemeanors. Examples of misdemeanor traffic violations include:
- Driving without a license
- Driving without insurance
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
Felony traffic violations include: leaving the scene of an accident and vehicular homicide.
Another potential felony traffic infraction is repeated DUI’s. In this case, many states upgrade repeated charges of DUI from misdemeanor to felony status. While the criminal act being committed is the same, multiple violations can result in a felony charge that carries harsher punishments.