What is the Bail Process?

A Man in Handcuffs.

How the Bail Process Works

Whenever you are arrested in Louisiana, whether for a felony or misdemeanor, for most offenses you’ll be given an opportunity to post bail to get out of jail. While it may sound complicated, the bail process in Lafourche Parish, LA is actually fairly simple.

When you are arrested, you’ll first be booked into jail. All of your information will be taken down and then you will be jailed. Depending on the circumstances, you may be in jail anywhere from a matter of hours to a few days. Much of this will depend on when the bail hearing is held and when judges are available to hold the hearing.

Often with misdemeanor charges, the bail is set by a bail schedule, so it may be only a few hours after your arrest that you can be released. No matter what the charges are, you’ll have some kind of hearing before the court to set the amount of bail for your release.

Once bail is set, you can get help paying it by giving the team at A-1 Bail Bonds of Louisiana a call. We can be reached 24/7 at 985-446-9007

What is the Purpose of Bail?

Bail is an amount of money set by the court allowing a person to be released from jail after their arrest. With misdemeanor charges, such as a first-time DUI in Louisiana, the bail is usually set by a schedule, whereas felony offenses will depend on the type of offense and your background and criminal history. As part of the bail process, you’ll have a bail hearing to determine the amount of bail for your release. Your release is based on a promise to the court that you’ll return to court for all scheduled hearings.

In some cases, depending on the charge, and on your background, the judge may elect to offer you recognizance bail. This means no money is charged for bail. Instead, you’re released on your own recognizance, based on your promise to appear in court as scheduled. The bail amount or recognizance bail may be affected by your criminal record, your status in the community, whether you have a job or not, and whether or not the court perceives you as a flight risk. 

How Do You Post Bail?

As part of the bail process, you’ll have to post bail in order to be released. If you have the money available, you can post the full amount in cash to be released. Most people don’t have the full amount of bail readily available to pay, so they must consult a bail bond agent like those at A-1 Bail Bonds of Louisiana. If you are unable to pay bail, you will have to remain in jail until your court date, which could be several months down the line.

Normally, a defendant’s family member or friend will have to contact the bail bond agent to post bail. In most cases, the bond agent charges a fee, usually about 10% to 15% of the bail amount, to secure the defendant’s release. Once the fee is paid, the bond agent gets the defendant released as quickly as possible.

For example, if you are arrested on a weapons violation and bail is set at $10,000, and the fee is 10% of the bail, to bond out, you’ll have to pay the bonding agent $1,000.

What are the Different Types of Jail Bail Bonds?

There are six main types of bonds, as outlined below.

  • Citation release: in some cases, depending on the charges, you may not have to spend any time in jail, but will still have to show up for court. In this case, police will show up at your residence with a citation release showing the time and date you have to appear in court. These are usually issued for very minor offenses.
  • Surety bond: These are the types of bonds normally issued by a bond agent.
  • Recognizance: Bail fees are waived by the court based on the defendant’s promise to appear in court. 
  • Property bond: The defendant provides titles or other documents showing ownership of property as collateral to the bail bond company.
  • Immigration bond: For illegal immigrants, there are two types of bail bonds, delivery bonds or voluntary departure bonds. A delivery bond is a promise to immigration authorities that the illegal immigrant shows up to all court hearings. With departure bonds, the immigrant voluntarily leaves the country by a set date. 
  • Cash bond: The full amount of bail is paid to the court.

Do You Get Bail Money Back?

As part of the bail process, if you’ve paid the full amount of the bail in cash, the bail money will be returned once the case is settled, as long as the defendant shows up for court. If you used a bail bond agent to bond out of jail, the bail bondsman gets the full amount, as long as the defendant shows up for the court date. Bond agents can charge additional fees if the defendant fails to show up in court.

Hands Behind Bars.

Call Us Today

While the bail process in Lafourche Parish, LA can seem lengthy and stressful, at A-1 Bail Bonds of Louisiana, our professionals try to make it as stress-free as possible. We explain the process carefully so you can make informed decisions. We also offer several payment and credit options. Our services are available around the clock, so call anytime at 985-446-9007.