In this fourth installment of the ‘Demystifying Bail and Bail-Related Information’ series, we will address the topic of how to either post bail or obtain a bail bond for release in Washington from jail, spanning the time after your arraignment but before the resolution of your charges or, alternatively, prior to trial, assuming the judge has set a bail amount for you.

When addressing bail, a criminal defendant has two options: either post the entire bail amount or, alternatively, secure a bail bond for your release. Since posting an entire amount is pretty straight forward – i.e. you are required to pay the entire amount of bail with no reduction amount, for example, paying $30,000 of a $30,000 bail, we will not address that topic directly. However, information that may apply for securing a bail bond and your release may alternatively apply to simply paying the full amount of bail as well.

How to Secure a Bail bond for release in Washington

The first step is to have the court determine the amount of bail in your case. Second, you must contact a bail bondsman to issue you a bond if you cannot afford the total amount of bail. Often, bail bond companies are located a mere block or two from the jail. The bail bond agency is backed by an insurance company that permits the agency to promise to pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant does not show up in court when they are required to appear. Bail bondsman are also permitted to request payment through collateral, such as houses, boats, etc. in lieu of paying the bond’s premium (usually 10% of the full bail or bond).

If the defendant is failing to keep in contact with those they are required to stay in contact with or check in with or they violate a term or condition of release, the bail bondsman can call in a bounty hunter to track down the defendant and take them into custody to ensure they appear in court when required in order to protect the agency’s financial interests and fulfill its obligations.

It is important to keep in mind that bail jumping is a criminal offense which can significantly increase your sentencing range. Even if you believe yourself 100% innocent of the original charge and even if you are later proven innocent, the bail jumping charge will still be looming over your head. Given that bail jumping is a fairly easy charge to convict someone for, it is best to comply with the terms of your release.

If you have been charged with a crime and need experienced legal representation, contact the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 for a free consultation.

To be continued
Demystifying Bail and Bail-Related Information – Part V