After your court date has been set, you’ll need to leave a certain amount of money with the court if you want to leave and be free until your hearing. This amount is typically known as your bail and it can actually be money or assets. The bail bond is the legal contract you sign when posting bail and it says you agree to come back for your court date or lose the money instead. You can either leave the entire amount required with the court or you can hire a bail bond agent who will do so for you for a nonrefundable fee.
Posting bail, also known as self-bail, can be done with cash or any credit cards you had on you when arrested. Simply inform the jailers that you wish to post your bail and that you have the necessary resources with you. When this is established, they will bring you the necessary paperwork.
If you don’t have the resources on you when arrested, you can call a family member or friend and have them post bail for you in your name. Whether they use their own resources or ones you didn’t have with you when arrested, this will be up to you.
Whomever you choose to help will have to come to the sheriff’s office, country clerk or police station. Generally, locations for posting bail are open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. However, the procedures for posting bail will usually depend on whether it’s day or nighttime. Fortunately, the police will be able to explain.
If you want to use a bail bond agent, you can call one from jail or ask your family member or friend to do it for you.
You will need to fill out specific paperwork for your bail bond agent. This shouldn’t take more than half an hour though. However, you will need to disclose any available resources you have, whether or not you have a criminal record and what it entails, contact information and a number of references.
Lastly, you’ll have to sign a pledge that affirms you plan on returning for your court date. If you don’t, there are many states where you bail bond agent can legally come after you, arrest you and haul you into court if you don’t appear on your own.