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Posting Bail
Old 06-10-2014, 09:42 AM   #1
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Posting Bail

Ok, my experience getting patted down as a result of something like having a liscense frame that covered the state name

Narrow Custom License Plate Frames

got me thinking.

So, when one is arrested, how easy is it to post bail?

When you get booked, are there usually bail bonds to call advertised at police stations? Or do you have to hope to contact a family member?

Is there such a thing like AAA where you call a bail service that's good across the country?

In current events the Walmart truck driver who got arrested hitting the limo that Tracy Morgan was in, I see is out of $50K bail.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:45 AM   #2
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I think I'll wait until until I come to this bridge to figure out how to cross it.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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I have always wondered that too! This thread made me realize that there are many aspects of being a member of society that I have never (and hope to never) been a part of.

I have been pulled over and received a ticket. But never arrested, never posted bail, never spent any time in a jail, never had the police even come to my house.

I think I like it like that!
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:15 AM   #4
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I can offer some advice. Best is to ask a friendly policeman at the jail. If you have not caused them problems they might advise you as to the lowest cost provider of bail bonds. If the police are not willing, ask some of your fellow prisoners. Pick an older guy, who looks a bit scruffy, as he probably has more experience with the different bail bondsmen than some young guy in a business suit.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:34 PM   #5
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Ok, my experience getting patted down as a result of something like having a liscense frame that covered the state name

Narrow Custom License Plate Frames

got me thinking.

So, when one is arrested, how easy is it to post bail?

When you get booked, are there usually bail bonds to call advertised at police stations? Or do you have to hope to contact a family member?

Is there such a thing like AAA where you call a bail service that's good across the country?

In current events the Walmart truck driver who got arrested hitting the limo that Tracy Morgan was in, I see is out of $50K bail.
With my limited experience as being a volunteer cop for several years, this is the way it was at my pd...

We had a list of bail bondsmen available for folks to contact when they wanted to get a person out of jail.

As far as a thing like AAA..I got nuthin'... My thought is, if a person has a lawyer on retainer, that would be the first call to make.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:59 PM   #7
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My AAA Plus membership card states "This card can be accepted as an arrest bond for most minor traffic violations as detailed on the Bond Certificate".

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Old 06-10-2014, 03:08 PM   #8
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Seems like the situation is kinda gotta learn by experience thing.

About an AAA like service. I suppose that would be something like a bail bondsman company on retainer as I figure folks are getting arrested and getting bail all the time.

Wouldn't it be nice if arrested you can call number like "1-800-FREEME2" (not a real number, I made it up) as I'm sure the need is there.

Oh, on my way to vacation (the same interstate where I got pulled over at), there as this big billboard with an attractive looking woman (I assume as an attention getter) as the words like "You call, we spring you out" bail bondsman. I guess folks getting detained on that stretch must happen more than once.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:30 PM   #9
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I am pretty naive about all this, and thank heavens I am. Most of my "knowledge" is preconceptions from watching Law and Order and similar shows.

That said, I think that if I was ever in jail, I'd use my one phone call to call someone who cares about me, like Frank. Then he could arrange my bail and so on. I don't see how you could pay in advance by yourself, if you are incarcerated. You wouldn't have cash or even your credit cards to read the numbers from. And given the nature of the occupation, I would imagine that bail bondsmen would insist on being paid up front.

There's an ad on TV here for a bail bondsman with an easy-to-remember phone number that is part of the little song in the ad (along with "he's gonna gitcha gitcha gitcha out of jail" ). But really, I don't see how that would do any good.

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Old 06-10-2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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Despite almost 30 years in law enforcement I know very little about this. Where I worked once they were in jail they were the Sheriff's Department's problem. I believe that most bail bond companies charge ~10% of the bail, and that's theirs to keep. Of course they get that up front. I would imagine the contracts have additional fees if the person fails to show for court but since they're dealing with people who are probably both not good at keeping promises and poor good luck on collecting that.

An easy way to get a rough idea of the demand for bail services in your area is to look in the yellow pages (the hard copy) under "bail bonds" and see how many listings there are.

And if you think you might need one write the number down on a scrap of paper and keep that in your wallet.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:50 PM   #11
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Where I used to live, there are two (count them, two) bail/bonds places across the street from the county jail (used by the city and county). Just a guess, but I'm guessing they do an hourly "fishing expedition" to the jail - but I could be wrong. Otherwise, I'd bet they have their number on the wall someplace by the phone prisoners use.

I would assume there are different processes for different "crimes". I know a girl who got picked up for DUI. Bail or no bail, she had to spend several hours in jail to "sober" up (come down from a .10 IIRC.) THEN she could post bail.

If it is a significant criminal offense (any violence or personal injury or death involved) I am assuming one would have to wait until arraignment to hear what bail is set by a judge. At that point, you would already (hopefully) have a lawyer and, unfortunately, would have probably spent a night or more in jail. But, again, no experience other than what I see on TV.

The one time I paid a "bail" was when I got stopped for speeding in another state. I had to post cash "bail" in order to leave and I was informed that I could plead guilty and simply forfeit the bail. Seemed much better than returning to the jurisdiction to "fight" a speeding ticket. I would assume for minor traffic infractions, it works pretty much like that - but that was 40 years ago, so don't count on it as YMMV.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:55 PM   #12
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But if it is a serious crime, don't they take all your stuff away from you and make you change into, er, "jail clothes" or whatever they call that uniform? Then you wouldn't have any credit cards or money to pay a bail bondsman or lawyer. Sounds like a time when one would have to rely upon the kindness of friends.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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This link gives a good summary of the bail process:

HowStuffWorks "The Bail Process"

Generally, for small offenses with low bail you can post right away after being booked, and sometimes they will accept credit cards. For more serious offenses one has to go before a judge (which may take a day or 2 depending on the time), and that is where one most likely will need to contact friends/relatives if the bail set by the judge is high.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:31 PM   #14
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This link gives a good summary of the bail process:

HowStuffWorks "The Bail Process"

Generally, for small offenses with low bail you can post right away after being booked, and sometimes they will accept credit cards. For more serious offenses one has to go before a judge (which may take a day or 2 depending on the time), and that is where one most likely will need to contact friends/relatives if the bail set by the judge is high.
Thanks Jollystomper. Good reading. Make me nervous reading, but good nonetheless
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:07 PM   #15
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Better to avoid arrest.

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Old 06-10-2014, 06:55 PM   #16
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Have your close relative post bail. Pay them some interest if necessary. Lots cheaper then the bail bond guy. I went through this for a relative years ago. Money was returned by the county after the court date. What a racket.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:52 PM   #17
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Better to avoid arrest.

Very sage advice. We were taught the same thing in self defense training. The instructer (former LEO) taught us to nicely say that we would cooperate fully when we had exercised our right to legal counsel.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:41 AM   #18
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It sounds like most of the posters have not had much 'fun' in life...

It was a long time ago, and I was going a bit too fast on a motorcycle. If the bike wasn't supposed to go that fast, why would they give you a speedometer that went that high?

My bail was $100. If you have money in your wallet, after they take your picture and prints, you post bail and are out. More serious crimes the bail is set by a judge. I only had ~$80, so I called a friend.

If you need a bondsman, they put up the money for you if you give them 10%. But, if you do not have the full amount somewhere, they are not going to risk it. If you had a $100K bail, and your NW was only $10K, they are not going to put up the rest of $90K.

The bondsman that was there in the booking room told me "You were quite the celebrity on the police radio". So they must listen for 'action' too.

In my case, I plead guilty to speeding at the court date a few weeks away. I received a $105 fine, plus $25 court costs. I paid the remaining $30 and was good to go.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:40 PM   #19
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