How does a person who is in jail physically pay bail?

Hypothetical situation.

Hapless Joe has been picked up by the police for some minor offense in Middle America. The judge sets bail at $1000 because the offense is minor and Joe doesn’t have a serious record.

Joe has $1000, and would like to pay the whole thing now and get it back on his trial date rather than pay $100 to a bail bondsman. Problem is, Joe is sitting in a jail cell and he doesn’t have anything to pay on him as his cash, credit cards, atm/debit cards/ checkbook are either in the jail property office, in the evidence room, in his car that was towed, at home, or someplace else.

How would Joe practically make payment? Could he ask “Excuse me, I would like to post bail, but my ATM card is in the jail property office. Could you get it for me and then escort me to the nearest First Trust Bank so I can withdraw money to pay bail?” or “Excuse me, could you escort me home and back so I can pick up my checkbook so I can pay bail?” and actually get that assistance? Or is he out of luck unless he can find a family member or friend to help him out?

In my jurisdiction, he doesn’t. He either gets somebody to retrieve his cash to put up a cash bond, or contacts a bail bondsman to put up a surety bond on his behalf.

I think that’s the whole point. You’re in jail, and the goverment isn’t going to be reasonable, because doing so would release you too easily. How would you ever learn your lesson?

Musicat, were you being sarcastic? I would think that the presumption of innocence would (at the very least) entitle him to use whatever of his that they’re holding.

No sarcasm there. Presumption of innocence is a high-sounding ideal, and indeed a court is supposed to operate on that presumption. Not so for cops. They usually have an automatic assumption of guilt. If you don’t have a friend or family member to help you out, or a good lawyer, you have no choice but to do business with a bail bondsman, or rot in a holding cell. To the credit of bail bondsmen, most will take you at your word, and bail you out on your word that you have the money and can pay.

I’m with SeldomSeen on this one. Having been on the receiving end of a cop’s displeasure once, there is no presumption of innocence if the law wants to fuck you over for a little while. If it wasn’t for Habeus Corpus, it might be a lot longer.

I worked for a temp agency and they put me in a bail bonds office, a person in jail needs someone to “go bail” for them. Well that’s the term we used.

From what I saw, if the bond is set under a thousand and the offense is non-violent and the person doesn’t have a record, they would most likely just keep saying to the person, try to find someone to come in a put up the bond. If you had no one, the would issue an “I-Bond” which in Illinois means they let you go on your word.

I’m sure different states call it different things.

I would think the cops wouldn’t escort you to an ATM as it would be a nightmare if something happened and the person came back with, the cop was trying to exort money out of me. It’d be easier to I-Bond you.

Some places even take credit cards, so you could even get yourself out that way. It’s possible to earn points for bailing yourself out. :slight_smile:

The thing to remember is cops don’t want you in jail. Judges don’t want you in jail and the prison officers don’t want you there. It’s too crowded already.

So unless you’re a real danger to society, they’ll be pretty co-operative about keeping you out.

When you’re in custody, the police or prison is responsible for you. After seeing the type of people in jail, I wouldn’t let anyone I HATE stay in jail rather than bail them out, if at all possible.

When I first started there, we’d have people not show up, so I would call and say “You missed your court date, you need to come into the office so we can, get you rebonded out.”

And they’d come in, go to the station, and in a few hours be bonded out at a higher bond, another court date. And the same person could keep doing this. I remember asking the owner why judges allowed this, as the person is making no attempt to show up.

The owner said, “Judges don’t want you in jail, if you don’t have to be. If this person is missing his court date but turning himeself in, he’s not likely to flee, so the judge just reschedules” The owner didn’t care as he made more money. I had one guy do this FOUR times before the fifth time he showed up. He wasn’t violent, he’d just go out and get drunk and be a public nuisance.

I should say what I said applied to Chicago and Cook County Illinois, and it’s the second biggest county in the USA (population), so a small town county might be somewhat different.

And why wouldn’t someone want to do business with guys like this? (SFW commerical)

I’d call them. They seem…trustworthy.

I was able to pay my bail with a credit card from the jail. There was a fee for doing it, but I didn’t have to use a bondsman, or wake up a relative at 2 in the morning.

Omg, that is a SNL skit unto itself.

With the name, I assumed it was a Christian thing. Ten percent of your money, i.e. tithes, and you get out of bondage, i.e. sin. And the guy is referred to as a bishop.

But, with the thing about gangs in there, the real looking number, and the guy making himself responsible instead of God, it doesn’t sound like it.

Is it really the case that you can be denied access to cash or credit cards that you had on you, and then held in custody because you can’t make bail?

I’d (perhaps naively) imagine that a call to a lawyer (which you are allowed to make) would soon sort this out.

In my jurisdiction, you can use cash in your possession to post bail. A large cash bond may prompt a hearing to determine the source of the cash, which must have … er… legal ancestry.