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What do you do when you know your friend or family member is being held on bail -- but you don't know for how much, or potentially even where? This can happen quite easily. You might get a midnight voice mail that's sparse on details, or you might hear about it from a third party. Because individuals in jail don't have free access to contact their friends and family members, you're going to have to do a bit of legwork yourself.
Begin By Calling the Police Departments
Often the easiest way to find out where an individual is being held is to call local police departments. The arresting police department may not have custody of them, but they will know which jail they were sent to. You will need to know the individual's full name and date of birth. Many individuals who have a low bail amount may be held directly at the arresting police station.
Check With Your County Jails
If the police station cannot find a record, you'll need to instead access the county jail system. Many counties have booking sites where you can look for individuals currently being held; others need to be called directly. Either way, do keep in mind that there may be a lag while processing is still occurring. If you still can't find the individual being held, it may be time to either contact a lawyer or start expanding your search to additional counties.
Ask the Appropriate Party for Charges and Bail Information
Once you've found where your loved one is being held, you can then ask regarding the charges and the bail information. It's important to know how many charges there are as there will usually need to be a bail bond written out for each one -- and there may be fees associated. If your loved one has just been processed, there may not yet be a bail amount. Still, they should be able to give you information on whether to call back. Once bail has been set, you should be able to go to the department or jail to get your loved one bonded out -- if you have the money to do so.
If you still can't seem to find your loved one or their bail amount, you may want to instead call a bail bondsman directly. Bail bonding companies tend to have existing relationships with the local police departments and jails; they will be able to call around to find the individual being held. From there, they can determine what needs to be done to get them released. Have a peek here for more information.Share