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How do I bail out my loved one?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Law

If your loved one has been arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you may wonder how to get them out of jail as soon as possible. The process of bailing someone out can be confusing and stressful.

First, what is bail?

Bail is a set amount of money that the court requires defendants to pay as a guarantee that they will show up for future court dates. To be clear, though, bail is not a punishment, nor is it intended to be a fine. Instead, bail is a way of ensuring that defendants do not flee or commit new crimes while awaiting trial.

How is bail set?

Bail is set by the judge or magistrate based on several factors, such as the nature and severity of the charges, the defendant’s criminal history, their ties to the community, their risk of flight and their ability to pay. Bail can be set at any amount, from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances of each case. Bail can also be denied altogether, if the judge or magistrate determines that the defendant poses a danger to the public or is likely to flee.

Cash bond

There are three main ways to pay bail for your loved one in Fort Lauderdale. The first is cash bond. You can pay the full amount of bail in cash or by cashier’s check at the Broward County Main Jail or any other Broward County Sheriff’s Office facility. You will need to provide proof of identity. You will get a receipt and a bond copy. You will get your money back at the end of the case, minus any fees or fines.

Surety bond

The second is a surety bond. You can hire a licensed bail bondsman to post bail. A bail bondsman is a person or a company that agrees to pay bail for someone in exchange for a fee, usually 10% of the bail. You will need to sign a contract with the bail bondsman and provide collateral to secure the bond. The bail bondsman will then post bail for your loved one and get them released. You will not get your money or collateral back from the bail bondsman, even if your loved one shows up for all their court dates.

Release on own recognizance

In some cases, the judge or magistrate may allow your loved one to be released from jail without paying any money. This is called ROR, and it means that your loved one promises to appear in court and follow any other conditions of their release. To request ROR, you will need to file a motion with the court and present evidence of their eligibility.