Process of Getting out of Jail
—How Do I Bail Someone out of Jail?
Getting out of jail is a complicated process that begins, in most cases, with magistration. Each defendant is brought before a magistrate judge to have charges read and bond set.
But before a person can even be magistrated, the officer must turn in an Affidavit of Arrest or Probable Cause Affidavit (PC Affidavit). The officer has 24 hours for misdemeanors and 48 hours for felonies to turn in the PC affidavit. During this period, a person CANNOT be released. The officer’s actions can significantly delay someone’s eligibility for release from jail.
What many people don’t know is that magistration can be waived by hiring an attorney to meet with the magistrate judge. The process is streamlined and the client can be freed on bond much sooner.
If you don’t hire an attorney, you must wait to have bail set. Once bail is set, the next step is getting freed on bond. There are several types of bonds used to free a defendant. Keep in mind that the only bond that a friend or family member can post is a full cash bond. The other types of bonds include: Personal Bonds, Surety Bonds, and Cash Deposit. Hiring an attorney for jail release increases your options and can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars versus posting a cash bond. An attorney works with the magistrate to get a personal bond approved with the least number of restrictions, saving you additional cash. Personal bonds nearly always save you money. Each bond type sometimes come with restrictions and stipulations that can make them very expensive.
Chambers and Associates can expedite the bond process and take it directly to the judge for authorization, saving you time and money. And fees charged for the jail release frequently can be applied to your legal defense fees, should you choose Chambers and Associates for your legal defense.
—How Do I Bail Someone out of Jail Online?
It’s truly amazing how much can be accomplished online in the 21st Century, and perhaps someday the jail release process will be simplified to the point where even bailing a loved one out of custody will be easy as paying your cable TV bill. Such is not the case at the present time. The jail release process can be very complicated.
An experienced attorney knows how the legal system works and will frequently save you both time and money, allowing your friend or loved one out of jail with significantly less cash up front (compared to posting a cash bond or using a bail bond company). The jail release fee charged by our firm, in many cases, can be applied to a defendant’s overall legal bill should he/she retain our firm as his or her attorney of record in future proceedings.
The first step is making a free and confidential call to Chambers and Associates. We will gather the necessary information and tell you how the jail release system works. Even if you choose an alternate solution to your immediate problem, you’ll hang up the phone better informed.
—Can you Get out of Jail on Weekends, Nights or After Hours?
The short answer is yes, in many cases. In Travis County, a magistrate judge is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s why Chambers and Associates is available around the clock. And, having an experienced attorney on your side is critical to streamlining the jail release process.
Most defendants will be magistrated. After they are processed at booking, a magistrate judge will eventually read the charge or charges and set the bail amount. Getting to magistration can take as long as 24 hours for a misdemeanor and up to 48 hours for a felony. That gives the arresting officer or detective time to write up a report on why you were brought to jail.
An experienced attorney can expedite the jail release process by meeting directly with the judge to cut the red tape of magistration. By waiving magistration, your attorney can seek an immediate bail amount from the judge and signature on bond, getting the client released from jail significantly faster. A bail bondsman cannot offer this service.
If your loved one is jailed inside or outside of Travis County, call us. We can help, or at least point you in the right direction.
—How Do I Fix a Warrant?
Clearing a warrant could be the smartest thing you do all year. Getting arrested while in the company of family, friends or coworkers can be an unsettling experience. In many instances, an experienced attorney can fix a warrant in just a few hours, avoiding all the hassle and embarrassment of being detained in public. Typically, a defendant or their family cannot fix a warrant directly. Resolving a warrant requires either talking to a judge to get it recalled or posting bond by means of a walk through.
For state and county criminal cases, there are basically two types of warrants:
An existing-case arrest warrant demands that law enforcement arrest a person and bring the person to court. These warrants are issued for a variety of reasons including failure to appear, probation violations or for not paying a court-ordered fine.
A new-case arrest warrant is issued when a judge agrees that a police officer or detective has gathered enough evidence to show that you committed a crime.
If you missed a court appearance or otherwise believe there may be an outstanding warrant with your name on it, then you should take immediate action and consult an attorney. There are alternatives to going directly to jail, and using an experienced attorney could increase your options. For example, the court might be willing to schedule a hearing before an arrest happens. Or, perhaps a judge might allow you to voluntarily appear instead of being unexpectedly booked into jail.
Chambers and Associates can help with a wide variety of issues including a bond revocation, bond forfeiture, a failure to appear, and probation violations. Take action immediately and you may be able to avoid going directly to jail. A free consultation will give you options and help you understand the alternatives to arrest.
All About Bonds
—How Does an Attorney Bond Work?
In Travis County as well as many Texas counties, an attorney can secure an individual’s release from jail. There are three ways an attorney can secure a person’s release: Attorney-sponsored Personal Bond, Attorney Surety Bond, and Judicial Order. Without hiring an attorney or bail bondsman, you must put up the full cash bond.
A good attorney will assess the situation to determine the most cost-effective and fastest avenue for being released from jail. Typically, we will visit with a judge and negotiate the defendant’s release, securing an attorney-sponsored personal bond. We work directly with the magistrate or judge to obtain a quicker release and favorable pretrial release conditions.
Getting released on personal recognizance can save you thousands of dollars compared to the up-front costs of a cash bond. A skilled defense attorney gets all the necessary paper work in order and presents it directly to the judge who sets bail. A good attorney advises the client on the legal implications of the arrest and is available to explain the legal system to friends and family.
The retention of a jail release attorney is a crucial jump start to your legal defense. It demonstrates to the judge that you plan to vigorously defend yourself in court. And, in most cases, the jail release fee charged by the bonding attorney can be applied toward your future legal fees.
—What Does the Bail Amount Mean and How Does It Get Set?
Bail is a general reflection of the seriousness of the crime along with other factors such as a defendant’s past criminal record. A judge can raise or lower the standard bail amount, deny bail or waive cash bail altogether, allowing a defendant to be released on his or her personal recognizance. The last option is the most desirable, of course, and the odds of obtaining a personal bond are significantly improved by hiring an attorney for jail release. If we’re contacted early enough, we may be able to influence the amount of the bail set by the judge.
A skilled defense attorney collects the information needed to win a client’s release from jail with the fewest pretrial conditions. The list of factors we’ve presented to the judge to secure a defendant’s release is nearly endless. The common factors include: limited criminal record, being gainfully employed, and close ties to relatives and the community. But complicated situations call for creative solutions. We’ll ask many questions to gather the information we need to be successful.
Costs of Posting Bond/Jail Release
—How Much Does It Cost to Get Out of Jail or to Bail Someone out of Jail?
For new-case arrests, there are three basic ways to get out of jail: A cash bond, a surety bond or a personal bond. In most cases, a personal bond is your best option because it can significantly reduce the amount of up-front cash needed to affect the release. Here’s a brief summary of how the bond system works.
Cash Bond: This is usually the most expensive option. The defendant or his/her family posts the entire amount of the bond in cash. If the magistrate judge sets bail at $10,000, then that’s the amount of cash needed to bond out with a cash bond. The money is held during the months that the case is pending and eventually refunded back to the payer (minus administration fees) upon judicial order. If a court date is missed, the entire amount of the bond is forfeited to the county.
Surety Bond: This bond is a promise by you and a bail bondsman to pay back the full amount of the bail, should the defendant fail to appear in court. The bail bondsman charges a non-refundable fee and almost always requires the family or client to put up real property collateral (such as a home) that exceeds the amount of the bond. That collateral could be seized and sold should the defendant fail to appear in court.
Personal Bond: This is also commonly called “being released on your personal recognizance.” A personal bond requires the authorization of a judge. If a magistrate judge sets bond at $10,000, then the defendant would be liable for the full amount should he or she fail to appear in court. In most counties, there’s a Personal Bond office who interviews defendants and determines personal bond eligibility, but the process can take days to complete. In addition, at the recommendation of the personal bond office defendants could be tagged with expensive bond requirements/conditions such as ankle monitoring, supervision, counseling, and urinalysis.
Jail release attorneys, like the ones at Chambers and Associates, streamline the process. Our attorney meets directly with the magistrate judge, getting the magistration process waived and bond set immediately. The personal bond forms go directly to the judge for authorization, and the client is freed. Some or all of the fee paid to a jail release attorney, in most cases, can be applied to a client’s subsequent legal defense.
Using a jail release attorney to obtain a personal bond allows you to get a head start on your defense strategy. At Chambers and Associates, initial consultations are free. We are not only interested in getting the client out of jail quickly, but we also look for ways to save money and think about the long-term resolution of the case.
Time to Get Released from Jail
—When Will My Loved One Get out of Jail?
There are only two ways to get out of jail: Post Bond or Resolve the Case. Resolving the case can take months and months. Most people reading are concerned with the time of release with posting bond so we’ll focus on this answer there.
The jail release process can be agonizingly slow without an attorney. The booking and magistration process alone can take up to 24 hours for misdemeanors and 48 hours for felony charges. Once bail is set after magistration, a bond must be posted. Whichever route you choose for posting bond (waiting on an interview for a personal bond, hiring an attorney, or paying a bondsman), the “release clock” doesn’t start clicking until the bond is signed by all parties and posted with the sheriff’s department. For estimation of release time see: How long does it take to get released from jail after posting bail?
Hiring a skilled defense attorney is not only cost-effective; it can streamline the process significantly. A jail release attorney cuts through the red tape by taking the paperwork directly to the judge who sets bail. A magistrate judge is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, in Travis County.
—How Long Does It Take to Get Released from Jail After Posting Bail?
As a general rule, it takes anywhere from 2-8 hours to be released from jail, once a bond has been signed by all parties and posted with the sheriff’s office/jail. The jail uses the time to process the necessary paperwork and do final warrant checks. The process is slower and the wait time increases depending on conditions of bond, time of day, time of year (holidays), volume of inmates and the facility in which the defendant is housed.
Arrested, Now What? (Arrest/Booking Process)
—What Happens After Arrest/What Happens After Booking?
After being arrested in Travis County, a person is either taken to the central booking center or an interrogation room. The sheriff’s office eventually assumes custody of the defendant after being briefed by the arresting officer.
The booking process includes fingerprinting and the taking of a booking photo (more commonly known as the mug shot). Personal possessions, including cash, credit cards and cell phones will be taken by jail personnel and, in most cases, retained until you are released from custody.
You will have the opportunity to make a phone call at some point, even after you’ve been placed in a holding cell. All calls from the jail are MONITORED and RECORDED (unless to your attorney). It is wise to call a jail release attorney or advise your trusted family member to call an attorney. While an attorney isn’t free, we typically save our clients money. Being arrested can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. A good attorney will make sure you spend as little as necessary and keep you free from the grip of the system.