Types Of Release Options In Everett, WA

What Are The Release Options If Someone Is Arrested?

Cell - Jail in Everett, WA

There are three basic options available:

  • Release on Personal Recognizance (P.R.)
  • Cash Bail
  • Surety Bond

Surety Bond

An alternative to cash bail is a surety bond. The process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by an admitted insurance company having adequate assets to satisfy the face value of the bond. The bail agent guarantees to the court that they will pay the bond penalty if a defendant fails to appear for the scheduled court appearances. The bail agent's guarantee is made through a surety company and by pledging property owned by the bail agent.

For this service, the defendant is charged a premium, typically 10% of the bail amount. Prior to the posting of the surety bond, the defendant, friend, or relative must contact a licensed bail agent. Once a bail agent is contacted, an interview or appointment is scheduled immediately.

By involving the family and friends of a defendant, as well as through the acceptance of collateral, the bail agent can be reasonably assured that the defendant released on a surety bond will appear at all of his or her court appearances. After this procedure is completed, the bail agent posts a bond for the full bail amount, financially guaranteeing the defendant's return to court as scheduled.

With money on the line, the bail agent has a financial interest in supervising the defendant and ensuring that he or she appears in court each time the court requests. If the defendant does not appear in court, the bail agent has time and the financial incentive to find the defendant and bring him or her to court.

Cash Bail

Cash bail means a person must give the court or jail the total amount of the bail in cash. The cash is held by the court until the defendant appears at all of his or her court cases, and it is concluded. Full cash bonds provide a powerful incentive for the defendant to appear in court. If the defendant appears for all of his or her scheduled court appearances, the cash bail should be returned in full.

Release On Personal Recognizance

Another method of release pending trial is through a pre-trial release program administered by the county or a law enforcement agency. Usually, the employees of these programs interview defendants in custody and make recommendations to the court regarding the release of individuals on their personal recognizance, such as for individuals without any financial security to ensure a return.

The interview process is often conducted over the telephone, usually with little inquiry into the defendant's background. The interview process attempts to determine whether the detainee is likely to appear in court. There is usually no verification of information provided by the defendant. Since no money, property, or bond is posted to secure the defendant's appearance in court, he or she faces no personal economic hardship from the conscious decision not to appear in court.