How Bail Works
What happens first to the person arrested?
First, the arresting officer takes the person to jail where he or she is 'booked' for their particular offense.
How long does the booking process take and what is involved?
The booking process is generally long and tedious for both parties. During this process the jail is running the arrestee's name and social security for pending warrants in other states and cities. A copy of the arrestee's fingerprints is sent to the jail for comparison and identity verification of that individual; photographs are taken, booking numbers assigned, courts and appearance dates are set, along with the bail amount; which normally coincides with the charge (offense).
What happens next to the defendant after he/she is booked. When can they be bailed out of jail?
These are the most common things that happen once a person is booked.
  1. Sometimes a defendant is released and no charges are filed.
  2. The defendant is released on his/her own recognizance (R.O.R), however, the person must make all court appearances or there will be a warrant issued and the process begins again.
  3. The defendant is released on bail bond.
  4. No bail is set and the defendant must remain in jail until he/she goes to court.
What does a bail agent do?
The bail agent is the person who posts your bail bond with the jail and obtains the release of the defendant. The bail agent cannot post a bond until all the requirements, listed in the first question, have been met. The jail will not release anybody without the bail amount defined, the court and date set, and confirmation that there are no pending warrants.
How long does it take for the defendant to be released once the bail bond is posted at the jail or the person is released on an R.O.R. (own recognizance)?
Generally, there is not much difference in timing between these two types of releases. The process once again is up to the jail and depends on the amount of detainees being processed for release, in other words, they work on a first in – first out basis. The bail agent has no authority over the jail to expedite any detainee's release. Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights and holidays are usually very busy.
Can I speak to the person who has been arrested and is waiting to be booked?
The only way you can communicate with the arrested person is when you receive a call from that person in jail.
Does that person get ONLY ONE phone call?
While in the process of booking, the person can make many calls, either to you by collect call, to the bail company (we accept all collect calls), and depending on jail restrictions, establish a 3-way call between you, the defendant and a bail office to negotiate bail-only. These calls may be short, but the necessary information can be made during this time, with appropriate introductions between all parties that may expedite one's release.
What happens if the defendant is bailed out and fails to appear in court?
If the defendant can’t be located or refuses to go to court, then the bail agent will need to locate and bring the defendant into custody. Generally, this is done with the help of the family or the bail indemnitor/co-signor. If a fugitive recovery agent is needed to bring the defendant to court; additional fees may be charged to the indemnitor/co-signor.
*Notice
Think it over carefully before you co-sign someone’s bail bond. It’s your responsibility to make sure the person shows up in court. If you think the person you want to bail out will intentionally not go to court, do not arrange bail for them because you will be held civilly liable.
How much does it cost to post bail?
Bail Premium amounts in the State of Mississippi are set by law.
Mississippi statute 83-39-25 provides that the bail premium on each bond shall be Ten Percent (10%) of the face bond amount or One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) whichever is greater except on a bail bond written for a defendant who resides outside the state of Mississippi or who is charged with a capital offense and then the premium shall be Fifteen Percent (15%) of the face bond amount or One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) whichever is greater. In addition to the premium a bail agent shall charge a processing fee of $50.00 per bond and they may charge $50.00 travel fees for traveling to another county.
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