DIYTips & Tricks

How to Bail a Loved One Out of Jail: A Helpful Guide

Having to bail out a loved one is something common in many families. Sometimes the arrest may happen suddenly and in some cases, it is anticipated. But whichever the case, the first thing that comes to your mind is how to get your loved one out of jail once they get arrested. This is where the concept of bail and, perhaps, bail bonds comes in.

Bail is a process of ensuring a person is released from jail or any custodial facility. In such a case, the person arrested is released from jail temporarily. When a defendant is bailed out of jail, they agree that they will be available whenever the courts need them.

Bail is usually signed between the court and the defendant. But in situations where the defendant can’t sign it, then a family member or bail bondsman can sign and become part of the agreement. In most cases, a bail bond is in form of cash or anything with monetary value.

Nevertheless, here is how to bail a loved one out of jail.

1. Understand What Bail Is

Not many people understand what bail is and what it entails. Before you start the process of bailing out your loved one, it is important to know what the entire process involves. Equipping yourself with the right information will help speed up the process and get your loved one released.

When bailing someone out of jail, there’s a certain amount of money you are supposed to deposit to the court. Upon paying the bail amount, the accused person can wait for the trial at home. The bail money will be refunded to the depositor if the defendant appears in court for the hearings. Likewise, the money won’t be refunded in the case that the defendant fails to show up for the court hearings.

2. Gather the Necessary Information

Bail is usually posted after someone has been arrested. After the arrest, you may get a call from the person who has been arrested or from someone else. Ask the person who contacted you where exactly the arrest has been made. This is important information. You can then ask them to give you some time to prepare and get there.

The next step will be to contact the police department that conducted the arrest. The law enforcement agents will likely connect you to the jail authorities where your loved one is being held.

After getting in touch with the jail, find out the booking status of the defendant. You will only be required to post bail in case they are to remain in custody after booking. There will be no need for bail if they are to be released after booking.

3. Learn About the Condition of the Accused Person

The amount of money needed to bail someone is usually determined by the defendant and the circumstances surrounding their arrest. The major factor that judges use to determine the bail amount is the nature of the crime. Some crimes have higher bail amounts compared to others. But a majority of violent offenses don’t qualify for bail.

A court will look at the employment history and criminal record of the defendant. If it is a repeat offender, then the amount of bail is likely to be higher. First-time offenders may receive a lower bail amount.

4. Get the Bail Bonds

In case you don’t have the money to post bail for the accused person, there are several options available. Bail bonds are some of the best options to get the amount of money needed for bail. The surety bond will be issued to you via a bail bonds agent or bail bondsman.

For example, if you live in the San Diego area, you can contact a business that offers bail bonds in San Diego and agree with them on the payment and the terms of the bail. 

After the court has determined the bail amount, the bail bondsman will require you to pay at least 10% of the bail from your pocket. They will then clear the rest of the amount.

5. Wait for the Trial

After posting the bail, the accused person will be free to walk out of jail. But you will need to ensure they appear for hearings as per the court orders. 

It is vital that they show up to court for their hearings. Failing to show up can cause the defendant to land themselves right back in a jail cell. If you suspect that your loved one is trying to avoid court, a bounty hunter may be hired to find the defendant. Bounty hunters are usually authorized by bail bond companies or bail bond agents.


The process of bailing out a loved one is simple and straightforward. All you need to do is understand the process and identify the right bail bondsman if you choose to seek the services of one.

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