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Even if you're familiar with the ins and outs of the bail bond system in your state, getting a call from a loved one who's been arrested in another state can be a disconcerting experience. You may not know what to do or how you can assure your loved one's safety (and freedom) pending trial. Fortunately, the process of bailing out a loved one from another state doesn't need to be complicated. Read on to learn more about your rights and responsibilities when enlisting the services of an out-of-state bail bondsman.
Will Bail Even Be Needed?
In some misdemeanor cases, defendants can be released "on their own recognizance" pending trial. This helps reduce jail overcrowding and ensures that those who are arrested for low-level offenses and who may not be able to come up with a cash bail themselves won't need to sit in jail until their trial date arrives. Those who don't appear for their future court dates can still be subject to re-arrest on a bench warrant—they just won't be at risk of their bail being revoked if this happens.
But because it can be harder to track down out-of-state defendants, these types of bail-free releases are less common for those who aren't from the area. This means that it's more likely than not that your loved one will be asked to post bail (either cash or bond) before their release from jail.
How Do You Get Bail in Another State?
Your first step is to figure out the jurisdiction of the offense. In the vast majority of cases, it will be the county or city in which your loved one was arrested. But there are some exceptions. For example, if the person who was arrested is a military member and was arrested by other military officers, he or she may be subject to a military—not a state or federal court—proceeding. These proceedings are governed by special rules, and you may want to consult an attorney to learn more about your loved one's options.
But if, as in most cases, the local county court has jurisdiction, you'll need to contact a bail bondsman who is able to issue bonds in that county. Many bail bondsman companies are licensed in multiple states, giving them the ability to issue bonds in each state. In other cases, you can just call a local bondsman and arrange for payment over the phone or by wire transfer or money order. Although bail bond agents charge a fee (usually 10 percent of the total bail amount), as long as your loved one appears for each subsequent court date, this should be all you pay.
Can Your Loved One Return Home Before Trial?
In most cases, leaving the state before trial (once you've been bonded out) isn't a problem. However, your loved one will still need to return to this state each time he or she is scheduled to appear in court. In some situations, their attorney may be able to appear for them without requiring them to be present, but it's crucial to make sure their attendance isn't needed before a court date is skipped. Failing to appear could mean their bond will be revoked and a bench warrant issued for their arrest.
Even if your loved one has no plans to return to the state where they were arrested, once a bench warrant is issued, something as simple as a traffic stop could mean arrest and extradition to the state in which the charges were filed. States generally cooperate with each other when it comes to tracking down active warrants, so missing a court date is something your loved one will want to avoid at all costs.
For more information on bail bonds, contact a company like Steele Boys Bail Bonds.Share
13 August 2018