If you get arrested in Maryland, our first concern is getting bailed out of jail. In Maryland, the bail process is a little bit different than in many other states.
Below are some important steps in the process of getting you bailed out of jail.
Appearing before the judicial commissioner
Here in Maryland, you will make an appearance in front of a judicial commissioner. This person is not a judge and may not even be an attorney. They are appointed to their position and will be the one who explains your charges and detail the penalties that you could face. They also determine whether you should be released on bail.
Most defendants are eligible for bail, although those who are deemed to be either a flight risk or a danger to the community may not be allowed to be released.
How you can get free
There are a few different ways pre-trial defendants can get out of jail. They include:
- Personal recognizance – This is the best option for getting set free because it requires no money to be spent. Judicial commissioners allow personal recognizance (PR) releases for defendants facing minor, nonviolent crimes who also don’t have extensive rap sheets. They must also be able to show their ties to the community, which makes them less likely to flee. The defendant must sign the release promising to return to court for all appearances.
- Cash bond – If your bond is $2,500 or less, you (or your co-signer) can post 10% of the bond in cash. All bond co-signers must be at least 18 years old. Should a defendant fail to show up for a court appearance, the full amount of the bond becomes due. Misdemeanor crimes typically get cash bonds.
- Property bonds – When you have a higher bond set, i.e., for most felony offenses, you can use a property bond to ensure your release. The owner of the property signs an affidavit in which they agree to put the equity value of their home or land for the defendant’s release.
- Commercial surety bonds – Bail bonds agents contract with defendants to guarantee the whole of the bail for 10% down. This is typically used for higher bonds for serious felonies.
Learning more about the bail bond system is helpful if you find yourself arrested in Maryland.