How Does a Parent Bail Their Child Out of Jail in Baltimore?

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Young people often end up in trouble with the law in Baltimore. Their issues usually start in school and escalate. Unfortunately, the streets of Baltimore offer many opportunities for young people to make bad choices. Not all adolescents have supportive parents. However, many have parents who help them when they get in trouble, no matter how old they are. Our criminal defense team is sometimes asked ‘how does a parent bail their child out of jail in Baltimore?’

Getting bail in Maryland is often a lottery. Cash bail penalizes people on low incomes and the unemployed. Despite moves to reform Maryland’s bail system, your ability to buy your way out of jail remains important. Family members such as spouses and parents often help in bailing defendants out of jail in Baltimore. Incarceration in Baltimore is a sobering and upsetting experience, particularly the first time you are locked up. In this blog, Baltimore bail bonds lawyer Randolph Rive discusses how a parent can try to bail their child of of jail. 

How to Bail Your Child Out of Jail in Baltimore

Parents often struggle to find out how bail bonds work in Baltimore. The process parents use to bail their child out of jail in Baltimore is the same as that used by other family members. The law makes one important caveat.

If your child is in the juvenile criminal justice system, he or she does not have the right to seek bail or a jury trial. However, juveniles are often released to their parents or guardians before an arraignment unless they are facing very serious charges. The sentences given out by the juvenile courts in Baltimore are typically less harsh than those meted out by adult courts. Charges may be reduced or dropped and exchanged for counseling, rehab, or community service orders. Maryland typically treats young people under the age of 18 in the juveniles courts. In rare cases involving very serious crimes, a juvenile can be transferred to the adult courts and treated like an adult.

It’s important for parents to act fast if they want to bail their child out of jail in Baltimore. People who are 18 or older are brought to a booking facility after their arrest. This is usually the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. Arrestees are then brought before a district court commissioner. 

The commissioner checks the police had probable cause for the arrest. He or she will set release conditions.  Defendants usually appear before the commissioner within hours of their arrest. It’s unusual for a defendant to languish in a booking cell but Baltimore experiences surges in arrests at certain times of the day and night.

The hearing before a commissioner is not open to the public meaning parents cannot attend it. 

The commissioner informs the defendant the following information:

  • Details of the charges and potential penalties;
  • Your child’s right to be represented by an attorney;
  • Your child’s responsibilities for hiring an attorney;
  • Whether he or she qualifies to be represented by the Public Defender.

The commissioner determines whether the accused should be bailed. If so, a bond amount is set. The commissioner may also decide the accused can be released without financial conditions. This is called personal recognizance. More than half of all defendants are released without bail in Maryland. If your child is released on personal recognizance, no money has to be paid as a guarantee. Commissioners often allow non-violent defendants with scant criminal history to be released on personal recognizance. They may also decide someone charged with a violent offense poses a threat and deny bail altogether or set a very high amount. Commissioners are not judges or lawyers. You can challenge their decisions at a bail hearing the next day. You may want to contact a Maryland violent crimes lawyer for violet cases. 

Should You Act Fast to Bail Your Child out of Jail in Baltimore?

It’s always distressing to know your child is languishing in a jail cell. Even short periods behind bars can be detrimental to your people. Lock-ups are often brutal and unpleasant places. Young people, vulnerable people, and those who suffer from mental illnesses can are particularly at risk. Act fast to get your child out of jail as soon as you can. If a commissioner set bail, contact the court to pay the amount and secure release. Alternatively, hire a Baltimore juvenile crimes lawyer to help you with bail or to represent your child at a bail hearing. 

Will You Be Able to Afford to Bail Your Child out of Jail in Baltimore?

Reforms in cash bail in Maryland have made it more affordable for parents to bail out their children. However, you should be aware of the potential financial implications if your child fails to show up to court. A commissioner will not usually set a cash bond for more than $2,500. Parents can secure the release of their son or daughter from a cell in Baltimore by paying 10 percent of the bail amount. Anybody above the age of 18 can co-sign a cash bail bond. If your child fails to show up for a scheduled court appearance his or her parents are on the hook for the whole bail amount. You should always be sure your child will make court hearings before you post bail. Find out your child’s appearance dates.

If you can’t afford the 10 percent of the cash bond, which would be $250 on a $2,500 bond, there are two other options. Occasionally, the court grants a property bond to people who can’t afford cash bail. The property must be worth at least as much as the bail amount. If you enter a property bond, the court can enforce a lien, foreclose, or collect the property if the accused does not show up to all hearings of the court. The lien is released at the end of the case if the defendant attends all court hearings.

Alternatively, you can hire a bail bonds agent. The agent gives the money to the court to secure a defendant’s release from jail.  The defendant or a co-signor such as his or her parents must first enter an agreement with the bail bond agent.

Bail bonds agents charge a non-refundable fee for their services. Maryland law caps the fee a bondsman can charge clients to 10 percent of the bail amount. Family members of the accused must pay the money upfront.  If the defendant doesn’t show up for a court appearance, the bail bondsmen must pay the full amount of the bond to the court. The bond agent then collects the remaining 90 percent from the defendant or a co-signor.

It’s important to bail your child out of jail in Baltimore if possible. The Baltimore Sun noted the city sees thousands of spurious arrests. A U.S. Department of Justice report on Baltimore Police, revealed prosecutors threw out more than 11,000 charges from 2010 to 2015 because they lacked probable cause or just did not merit prosecution. 

Police engaged in numerous unconstitutional stops. Minorities are disproportionately targeted. The issue is exacerbated by citizen complaints. A report by the state of Maryland, found than four in 10 of the warrants issued by district court commissioners in the state in 2012 followed citizen complaints. They require no investigation beyond a sworn statement by the complainant.

Ask an Attorney – How Does a Parent Bail their Child out of Jail in Baltimore?

Finding out how to bail your son or daughter from a Baltimore jail is a fraught process. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our criminal defense team can help you make bail decisions and apply to release your child from jail. Hiring a Baltimore criminal defense lawyer can give you more peace of mind. A lawyer will appear at bail hearings and argue your case. Please contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon as possible at (410) 431-0911.

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