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How to Bail Yourself Out of Jail

Posted on Apr 10th, 2024 by Jesse Kleis 457 Views

Once someone is arrested and a bail amount is set by a judge, there are a number of steps to get released from jail after posting bail. Here we're going to show you exactly what you need to do to bail yourself out of jail.

What is Self-Bail?

Self-bail, or bailing yourself out of jail, refers to the process where a defendant posts the full bail amount directly with the court or the arresting agency to secure their release from custody. This is one of the options available to defendants who have been granted bail by the judge. There are a few key things to consider:

  • The defendant must pay the entire bail amount set by the judge, which could range from a few thousand dollars up to a million dollars, depending on the case. This bail amount is refunded only after the defendant appears for all required court dates and comes back minus any administrative fees.
  • When posting bail directly, a defendant may have to wait to be released from custody, with a typical waiting time between 30 minutes and four hours.
  • In some cases, the court may allow the defendant to use collateral instead of posting cash bail, and this could include property. By posting the full bail, a defendant doesn't have to use a bail bondsman.
  • In certain cases, the judge may release the defender on what is known as their own recognizance, also known as "OR" or "ROR," which means they won't have to post any bail amount and will take into account a number of different factors, for example, criminal history, ties to the community, and threat to public safety.

DIY Bail: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Determine if you are eligible for release on your own recognizance. If you are approved because you've committed a low-level crime, are not considered a flight risk, and have no criminal history, or are deemed to be a threat to public safety, you may qualify.
  2. If you are not eligible for release on your own recognizance, you need to find out the total bail amount set by the court, and this is the full amount you will need to post in order to secure your release.
  3. Determine if you can post the full bail amount directly in cash. However, if you cannot, either have someone on your behalf or you can contact available bondsmen. They may require a cosigner who agrees to be financially responsible and will be able to post the full bail, typically for a fee of 2% to 10% (or sometimes 1%) of the total bail amount. You may also have to put up collateral.
  4. Once bail is posted, you'll be released from custody, and you need to comply with all conditions of your bail, such as appearing for all court dates to avoid the bail being revoked.

When somebody has been arrested, you can bail yourself out of jail following this process. The key is to act as quickly as possible. The faster the bail is posted, the sooner you can be released from jail, and this is why bail bondsman companies can be invaluable, especially if you don't have the finances, as they have excellent working relationships with the courts in Santa Ana, ensuring a swift release to start preparing your case.

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About The Author

Jesse Kleis is a seasoned California Bail Agent, boasting over a decade of comprehensive experience in the bail industry. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Sociology from California State University. In addition to his work as a bail agent, Jesse is also an active Sociology Instructor, furthering his commitment to professional education.

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For faster service please call: 844-400-2245 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you or a loved one has been arrested and need to be bailed out quickly and confidentially. Or if you simply have questions regarding bail, an arrest, or inmate information please do not hesitate to call or fill out our contact us form. We are available 24/7 for all of your bail needs. 


For faster service please call: 844-400-2245 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you or a loved one has been arrested and need to be bailed out quickly and confidentially. Or if you simply have questions regarding bail, an arrest, or inmate information please do not hesitate to call or fill out our contact us form. We are available 24/7 for all of your bail needs.