“Hello, you have a collect call from an inmate at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center Detention Facility. To accept the charges…”
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve received that phone call in the middle of the night, I’d probably have enough to afford a couple dozen rolls of toilet paper on the black market. While you may not receive hundreds of these calls during your life, it’s a pretty safe bet to say you’ll receive that call at least once if you live in Dallas County. No one ever thinks they’ll be arrested or have to get someone out of jail until it happens. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when a friend or family member is arrested in Dallas County and how to get them “bailed out.”
First, accept the call, but make sure you only discuss what needs to be discussed during the phone call. It’s important to remember that every phone call is recorded and can be used as evidence against the person who’s been arrested. If your friend or family member has been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, now isn’t the time to ask them how much they had to drink, what they were thinking, “why’d they pull you over,” etc.
You want to make sure you know where the person is located, and how to go about getting them out of custody as soon as possible. That means getting their book-in number, which jail location they’re in and if they’ve seen the judge to get their bail set. Also make sure you know their full legal name and date of birth. Here is a helpful link for finding anyone who is the Dallas County jail. https://dallascounty.org/jaillookup/search.jsp
The next thing to do is make arrangements to either physically go to the Dallas County jail location and pay the bail amount in full (a “cash bond”), or hire a bail bond company to post bond for you (a “surety bond”). The “bail” is the dollar amount set by a judge that has to be paid to the county in order for your friend or family member to be released from jail. If the money is paid, the person is released. Later on, if the person’s case is filed and they fail to appear at court, the money is forfeited to the county and you can’t get it back.
Most people typically hire a bail bond company to post bond for them. The advantage of hiring a bail bond company is that they only charge a percentage of the total bond amount as their fee for posting the entire bond. For example, let’s say your friend is arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, and his bond is set at $2,500. The bail bond company will typically charge between 7%-10% of the dollar amount of the bond as their “fee” for posting the bond with the county. Instead of paying $2,500 in cash to get your friend out of jail, you’d only pay around $200-$250. However, unlike a “cash bond,” which is refunded after the criminal case is finished, the bond company’s fee is non-refundable.
Once the bail amount has been set, and you’ve either paid it or paid a bond company to post the bond, you’ll need to “hurry up and wait.” It typically takes 8-12 hours for a person who is arrested to see a judge and get bail set, although sometimes it can take longer. Once the bond has been posted, the person is typically released within a couple of hours – though it can take longer.
The final step in this process is to immediately seek out a criminal defense attorney to help fight the charges. There are a number of proactive measures your attorney can take to try and keep the charges from ever being filed. A good criminal defense attorney can also try and get the bail amount reduced in the event it is too expensive for you to pay.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a crime, you need an aggressive and experienced criminal defense team working for you to make sure that your arrest does not become a conviction. Call the attorneys at Hamilton Grant today to make sure your rights are protected.