Frequently Asked Questions about Bonding Out

This is basic information only. Every case is different. If you need detailed information or legal advice, please contact your attorney.

  1. What is bond?
  2. Who determines how much bond an inmate must pay?
  3. What forms of payment do you accept?
  4. Who can post bond?
  5. If I bond someone out of jail, when will I get my money back?
  6. What is a cash bond?
  7. How much does a cash bond cost?
  8. How do I post a cash bond?
  9. If I post a cash bond, will I get my money back?
  10. What happens if I posted bond for a defendant and he misses court?
  11. How do I post a property bond?

What is bond?

Bond (or bail) is an amount of money in cash, property, or surety bond that must be paid for an arrested person to be able to leave jail before his case is completed. The purpose of a bond is to make sure that person attends all of his required court appearances.

Who determines how much bond an inmate must pay?

Bond amounts for misdemeanor charges are determined by the court. Felony charges and some additional "no-bond" charges require the defendant to see a judge to have a bond amount set before being able to post bond and be released prior to court appearance.

What forms of payment do you accept?

The Ada County Sheriff's Office accepts cash, cashier's check, money order or a surety bond, secured through a licensed bond agent.

Who can post bond?

Any person can post his or her own bond. If the defendant cannot afford to bond him/herself out of jail, any other person age 18 or older can post the bond.

If you don't have the cash to cover the full bond amount, you may wish to hire a professional bail bond agent, who generally charges a fee of 10% of the total amount of the bail required. Contact the bond agent directly for specific information on services and fees. All bond agents are required to be licensed by the State Department of Insurance.

If I bond someone out of jail, when will I get my money back?

If you post a cash bond, you may be eligible to receive some or all of your cash bond back after the case is finished and the necessary paperwork has been processed.

Idaho law, I.C. 19-2923, allows the court to use the cash bond to pay any fines or costs that might have been imposed against the defendant. If you use a bond agent to post a surety bond, you will not get the surety bond agent's fee or the Sheriff's fee back.

What is a cash bond?

A cash bond is the full amount of the bond required to release a defendant from jail, paid in cash.

How much does a cash bond cost?

If you are posting a cash bond, you must pay the full amount of the bond.

How do I post a cash bond?

If you or another person can post a cash bond, you can pay the jail directly and do not need to hire a bail bond agent.

If I post a cash bond, will I get my money back?

If the defendant attends all required court appearances and either pleads guilty or is found guilty, by Idaho law, I.C. 19-2923, a cash bond can be used to pay fines and costs.

If you are using your money to post a cash bond for the defendant, please tell the clerk or jailor your name and address. If you are using the defendant's own money to post the cash bond, tell the clerk or jailor that the receipt for the bond money should be made out in the defendant's name. The bond receipt should be made for the person whose money is being used for the cash bond. If there is any money left, it will be returned to the person whose name is on the bond receipt.

If the defendant attends all court appearances and the charges are dismissed or dropped, the person whose name is on the cash bond receipt will receive the refund of the cash bond.

What happens if I posted bond for a defendant and he misses court?

The judge will issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest and the bond money will be forfeited. If you posted a cash bond for the defendant, there are only two ways you can get your money back:

  1. You must find the defendant and turn him or her back to the jail within 90 days of the bench warrant.
  2. If the defendant is arrested and put back in jail within 90 days of the warrant, you can request your cash bond back.

Fill out the required paperwork and give it to the court. The judge will review it, and, if approved, the cash bond will be mailed back to you. If the defendant isn't found or arrested within 90 days, the court will keep all of your cash bond.

How do I post a property bond?

Because using your property as bond is a complicated legal matter, please contact your attorney.

Do you have other questions? Contact the Ada County Jail at (208) 577-3000.