How Long After Posting Bail Will an Inmate Be Released?

A loved one’s arrest can be a scary and stressful event, and you may push for his or her release as soon as possible. Bail can certainly speed up the process, but how long after posting bail does the process take? The answer depends on a few different factors.

The Typical Bail Process Timeframe

Once bail has been posted, the discharge process can take as little as 30 minutes or as much as 24 hours. Typically, though, the whole process, from start to finish, takes between four and eight hours. Do not, however, quote your Sullivan County bail bonds agent on that, as the process is different for everyone, and circumstances unique to your loved one’s case can either shorten or lengthen the release process.

Factors That Affect the Speed of Discharge

For most families, it’s unrealistic to expect an inmate’s release within 30 minutes or even an hour. A number of factors can delay the release of a defendant. The top six influencing factors are as follows:

  • How busy the jail is during that particular day or night
  • The number of personnel available to help
  • The size of the jail
  • The number of defendants awaiting their release
  • Where a defendant falls in line
  • Whether the arrest occurs on the weekend (This could extend the release process to 48 hours or more.)

Posting bail is not an automatic “get out of jail free” card. Once your bail bondsman pays the bail and the jail processes the paperwork, the officers on duty will need to double-check and then triple-check your loved one’s background. If your loved one has any outstanding warrants for his or her arrest, the judge presiding over the case may decide to rescind the opportunity for bail altogether. Jurisdictions do not want to make the mistake of releasing someone who may have one or several warrants out for his or her arrest.

If everything checks out, however, the whole process can go fairly quickly. It also helps to work with a bail bond agency that is familiar with the jurisdiction, its rules and the bail process.

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