How Do You Get out of Jail after an Arrest?

Posted on by New Mexico Criminal Law Offices

arrest previewWhether you are arrested for felony or misdemeanor cases here in New Mexico, the court sets bail that allows for your release.

If you are curious how to get yourself out of jail post-arrest or you want to help release a loved one, you have several options.

It is best to consult a defense attorney, because certain circumstances may bar that person from release – which means they are held in jail until their trial date.

Your Options for Getting out of Jail after an Arrest in Albuquerque

The court offers a few options for those who want to be released while they wait for their day in court. These options include:

Cash Only Bail

Cash only bail might be set under specific circumstances. Cash only bail means that you must pay the entire cash bond to get your loved one out of jail. Bail is paid to the court, and your loved one is released.

Do I Get the Money Back?

Yes, you should receive your bail bond back if the defendant shows to all hearings. If the defendant does not show or misses several hearings, the courts charge warrant fees out of your bond – and often there is nothing left in the end. If your loved one skips bail entirely, you forfeit the full cash bond amount.

How Do You Post a Cash Only Bail?

To pay your bail, you go to the Metropolitan Court or the Second Judicial District Court’s Criminal Division. You have a 24-hour customer service window at the Metropolitan Court location, and you can post the bond there in person, at any time.

Bail Bonds

Sometimes the courts will accept a bond or surety bail. This means that you receive full cash bail through the posting of a bail bondsman. Bail bondsmen are ideal in certain financial situations, and the advantages include:

  • You only post 10 percent of your funds. You receive a bondsman who will pay 90 percent of the cash bail amount, while you only post 10 percent. If you cannot raise the entire amount requested by the court, this is your best option.
  • You do not have to worry about filing the paperwork. A bondsman will handle all paperwork and ensure your loved one gets out of jail. Once you pay them your ten percent, they then handle the release process.
  • You only lose your 10 percent. If bail is skipped or the defendant misses hearings, you only lose your ten percent deposit while the bondsman risks the rest.

While the idea of a bondsman sounds excellent, you must realize there is a downside to using this route:

  • There are costs. Yes, you pay ten percent, but there might be other charges and the criminal history of the defendant can increase the charges. Also, while you only pay ten percent, that ten percent is non-refundable. Therefore, even if the defendant were to show to court for each hearing, you will not receive your money back like you would with a cash bond.

Property Bond

A property bond allows the court to place a lien on the personal property of the defendant or the party willing to pay the bond as a way to secure the defendant’s appearance in court. Realize that, if the defendant were to skip bail, the court has the right to seize the property and sell it for the remaining cash bond amount.

Released on Own Recognizance (ROR)

The judge might consider a defendant not a risk or, based on their ties to the community, decide that the defendant is likely to show to their hearings. For that reason, they would not issue a bond amount and instead allow the defendant’s release as ROR.

Conditions are set with ROR, and the defendant must follow them. If they fail to do so, ROR is revoked and the defendant returns to jail.

Violent crimes and felonies rarely see ROR. Instead, ROR is reserved for first-time offenders and those charged with minor misdemeanor offenses.

When You Cannot Pay Bail at All, What Happens Next?

The judge sets your bail amount during your arraignment. If you file a motion to reconsider, the judge may lower that bail amount or waive it. The court might also consider a release alternative, such as house arrest or placing you in the custody of a third party. If you cannot afford bail, your attorney will look through your finances and negotiate with the court as best they can.

Your attorney might petition to the court for a lower bail amount after you have been held in custody for so many days or if they have enough evidence to show that the court should lower your bail amount.

Hire an Attorney before the Bail Hearing

The best thing you can do for yourself if you are arrested for a crime is to contact an attorney before arraignment. During the arraignment, you hear the charges against you, enter a plea, and hear your bail (if any). You want an attorney who has already looked into your financial situation and can come up with a recommendation to the court during that hearing – preventing you from staying in jail longer than necessary.

To get started, speak with a defense attorney from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices at 505-375-4661. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.