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Bail: How to get out of jail quick

by Nov 18, 2010Uncategorized

The first question that goes through most people’s minds when they are booked into jail is “How do I get out?”  If you are not immediately released on your own recognizance, the first step to get out of jail is to get bail set.  Bail is money given as collateral to ensure that a person released from custody will return to court on the assigned date. In order for bail to be set, a judge must issue an order setting bail.

How do I get a Judge to set bail?

In Minnesota, a defendant has the right to have a bail hearing within 36 hours of the arrest. However, this “36 hours” does not include the day of arrest, Sundays, or legal holidays. Because of this limitation, it is possible for a person to be held in jail for up to 5 days without bail being set.

If you are arrested on a weekend, you likely will not be released until the following Monday. However, if you hire a lawyer, the attorney may be able to get bail set prior to your official bail hearing. Many counties allow lawyers to contact the “On-Call Judge” to set bail. Often times, with the diligent work of an attorney, a person can be released within hours of his/her arrest.

How much will my bail be?

The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the State from imposing excessive bail. Generally, the more serious the crime, the higher the bail. However, courts consider a number of different factors when deciding to set bail. According to the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, judges can take into account the nature of the alleged offense, the weight of the evidence, the family’s ties to the community, employment, financial resources, character and mental condition, length of residence in the community, record of convictions, and if there have been any past missed court dates.

How do I pay bail?

Most counties in Minnesota only accept cash or check for bail payments. If you pay the bail, you will get your money returned to you after your case is completed. However, it is important to note that any fine that is given to you may be taken out of the bail money prior to the return.

If you do not have enough money to pay the full amount of the bail, there is another option. In Minnesota, a bail bondsman is allowed to post the money for you. In exchange for the bond company putting up their money, they generally charge a fee of around 10-15% of the total bail amount. This 10% -15% is not returned to you after the completion of your case.

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