So your friend was arrested and taken to jail, and now you have no clue what to do next. Find comfort in knowing that you are just one of many in the same situation. By following these easy steps, you can help bail your friend or loved one out of jail successfully. Step One The first thing you want to do if your friend has just been arrested is find out what jail or county their charges are in. An effective way to figure this out without calling every jail in the state is to first call the jail nearest to the site of the arrest. In most cases, this is jail your friend is being booked at. If you are unaware of where your friend was arrested, there are other ways to find the jail they are in. There are many inmate search portals online. By entering in the name and some other information of the inmate, these portals can usually detect which jail they are being held in. Once you figure out which jail your friend is being held in, you can proceed to the next step. Step Two Once the jail has been determined, you can then proceed to look into bail options. The most efficient and quickest way to do this is to contact a professional bail bond company in the area. You can find these bail agents online or in the phonebook. Just look under bail bonds and then your city. By calling a bail bondsman, you will have immediate access to all the information you need to bail your friend from jail. They will instruct you on all the different bail options there are, and which ones you actually qualify for. If you decide they are your best option, (which they usually are), step two ends with you hiring the bail company to assist in your friend’s release from jail. Step Three
By hiring the bail company, you will be required to fill out applications, forms, and contracts. These papers provide the state and the bail company with all the necessary information they need to support bail for your friend. The contract is to protect the bail bond agency in the case that your friend fails to appear for their scheduled court date, leaving the bondsman responsible to pay your friend’s original bond amount. Once these papers are signed and submitted, the fee is implemented. You must pay the bail bond agency 10% of the full bond amount. This means, if your friends bond amount is $5,000, you will be required to come up with $500 to secure your friend’s release from jail. This fee is non-refundable. Typical bail agencies accept all major credit cards, cash, and money orders. They do not usually accept checks, however, some do. Step Four Once the paperwork is filled out and approved, and the fee is paid, it is time to just sit back and wait for your friend to walk out of the jail. This can take anywhere from 3-8 hours, depending on the amount of traffic the jail is experiencing, the efficiency of the jailers, and the time it takes to get your friend processed and booked. Your friend cannot be bailed from jail until they are finished being booked. If they were arrested under the influence of an illegal or controlled substance, they cannot be booked until they are sober. In this case, the jailers will wait 8 hours to allow the inmate to gain sobriety. Then they can be booked. Once they are booked, they can post bail. The timeline depends on all these variables. Once they walk out of the jail, you are free to take any course you like, so long as it doesn’t bring you back to the jail anytime soon! But remember, because you were the co-signer of the bail agreement, it is your responsibility to make sure your friend shows up for all their court dates, or you will be responsible to bring them to the court or pay their full bond amount.