Posting your own bail..

I generally read news stories about how a person of average means is arrested for some misdemeanor crime, is processed through the system, and then released, for example, “after posting $2500 bond” with no stay in jail. This is usually at night, while intoxicated, so how does that person have the money?

Are they just fortunate to have their credit/debit card on them? Can the cops call their bank and verify that the funds are there?

In my wilder, younger days, I had bail money in my checking account, but they wouldn’t let me out until someone else physically showed up with cash, certified check, or money order in hand. Has technology helped?

You can’t get somebody out of the local county jail with credit or debit cards, or a check. It still has to be cash.

I know a number of guys that keep 5,000 USD in bail bonds in their wallet for just such occasions. AAA offers them as part of their service.

By AAA, do you mean the American Automobile Association? If so, cite?

I have no doubt there are hundreds of AAA Bail Bonds in the US, though.

Not likely, a bond must be signed by the bondsman and it is case specific. Since there is no way to know the case number in advance you can’t get a bond in advance. Furthermore the bond must be for the specific amount. Furthermore, 5000 is a pretty low bond in most cases where the set bond amount is $5000 or less the arraigning judge will release the person on their own recognizance. Why keep one in your pocket when you can call any bondsman as long as you are not indigent he will probably write the bond with no cash down and set up a payment plan to pay his $500 fee.

But those are only for traffic offenses, and don’t include most of the ones that would get you arrested like DWI.

I am just thinking of Tony LaRussa when he was arrested for DUI in Florida a couple of years ago. He was released after posting $500 bond. Was he lucky enough to have $500 cash money on him, or can the police do something else?

It’s not like when you are in jail, you can log on to your Ameritrade account and transfer money…

I’m pretty sure the American Automobile Association was meant. It used to be part of their standard membership benefit; on the back of your membership card there used to be language stating that the card could be deposited in lieu of bail up to $5000. But that was limited to traffic offenses, and, I think, exclusive of DUI/DWI. Seemingly the idea was that if you got caught for speeding or something like that, and fell into the clutches of a power crazed local constabulary and court system, you could avoid having to become their overnight guest.

I don’t know when that ended; my current membership card doesn’t have it.