How do Bail Bonds work at Houston County Jail
Bail is the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial on condition that a sum of cash money be lodged to guarantee their appearance in Houston County Court in Dothan, Alabama.
Once the defendant is booked and filed for arrest, a custody and bail hearing will be scheduled, usually within 48 hours.
At the hearing the judge may issue a bail or bond amount. This bail or bond is a refundable sum of cash money paid to the court to provide incentive for the defendant to attend all scheduled court hearings.
Who do I call to find out the Bond for an Inmate?
Please call the jail at 334-712-0762 for the type of bond and any information that is required for a particular individual at Houston County Jail.
A bond is set according to a court-approved schedule.
The purpose of the bond is to assure the offender's appearance in court.
Instructions on how to post Bail or Bond in Houston County
Because Houston County and Alabama can change their bail bond procedures, it is always best to call either the jail or the court directly after an arrestee has been booked. Go directly to the Houston County Jail and Court pages here to find the phone number you need for this information.
Ask the jail or court representative these specific questions:
To save you the time and trouble, jailexchange.com has compiled the bail bond policies for the Dothan area which you can link to directly by going here.
If you feel the bail is too high and you wish to get it reduced, contact a lawyer or the defendant's public defender and get them to look into what they can do to get a bail reduction.
Option 1 - How to Post Bail using Cash for a Defendant at Houston County Jail
The first option, a cash bond, is to pay the full bail amount in cash, cashier's check, or money order. Personal Checks are not accepted.
Depending on the crime, this amount could be anywhere from $100 to $75,000 or more.
To pay a cash bond, go to Houston County Jail or to the court where the bail hearing occurred. Going directly to the jail will quicken the release of the defendant as any bail paperwork processed at the court will have to be transferred to the jail.
Cashier's Checks and Money Orders may be made out to Houston County Jail where the defendant is being held, but usually to the Houston County Sheriff's Office or to the Houston County Court.
Option 2 - How to Post a Private or Surety Bond for a Defendant at Houston County Jail
In the event that someone does not have the full bond amount available to him or her, there is what is called a private bond or surety bond.
This is an agreement made with a bail agent or bondsman who will post the full bail amount. In return, the defendant and/or cosigner will pay a premium to the bail agent. This premium will be 10-15% of the full bail amount.
For example, if bail is posted at $5,000, then the premium will cost approximately $500-$750.
A bail agent will often require some form of collateral, for example, a lien on a house, a car or jewelry. This is to ensure that if the defendant skips bail, or does not appear in court, the bail agent has some sort of compensation for the full bail amount being paid.
Remember, by making an agreement with a bail agent the signatory takes responsibility for paying the full bail amount if the defendant does not appear in court.
Option 3 - How to Post a Property Bond for a Defendant at Houston County Jail
If you are a landowner in Houston County you may be able to post a property bond. Property within Houston County may be used as collateral to bail someone out. All owners of the property must be present to sign the bond in order for this to happen.
To find if property located outside of Houston County can be used as collateral, call a local bail or bond agent or contact a defense lawyer.
Click here for additional information on how to post bail at Houston County Jail.
Who can post Bail or Bond for a Defendant at Houston County Jail?
Anyone over the age of 18 who can produce a valid government-issued photo ID can post bail. Accepted forms of ID include a Photo Driver's License, Passport, or Motor Vehicle issued ID.
In many circumstances, if the defendant has the resources, they can post their own cash bail from jail.
Surety Bonds are arranged by a third party, typically a Alabama state licensed Bail Bond firm.
Juveniles may only be bailed or bonded out of custody by a parent or legal guardian.
How are Bail or Bond Amounts decided in the city of Dothan, in Houston County, state of Alabama
As a general rule, a judge will most likely set a higher bail or bond for more serious crimes and a lower amount for less serious crimes. Other factors may include, but are not limited to:
When will the Cash Bail or Collateral be returned to me?
Money or collateral will not be returned until the defendant's court case is finished, so realistically it could take several months to years, depending on the severity of the charges. If a defendant posts his or her own bail, Houston County Court may retain whatever amount of fines or fees have accumulated throughout the trial.
What happens to my Bail or Collateral if the Defendant misses Court?
The Judge may order a failure to appear warrant for the person's arrest or the Judge may order a Bail Commissioner's Letter be issued that will be sent to the person with a new court date.
If cash bail was paid, the entire amount may be forfeited.
Houston County Jail uses the services of NCIC for remote video visitation. In other words, you can visit your inmate in jail by using your home computer, as long as it is equipped with a microphone and camera that supports video.
When available, the jail also provides use of ‘video visit kiosks’ in the Houston County Jail lobby if you do not have a computer at home. These ’on-site’ video visits are FREE.
NCIC Video Visitation fees are subject to change, but the cost to you is roughly $7.50 ($0.25 per minute) for a 30-minute visit + an additional fee of $2.00 for the connection.
On-site (at the jail) video visits are FREE.
How to set up your Video Visit
Your inmate will be notified by the Houston County Jail staff of the date and time for the visit. Be sure to be in front of your computer and connected to NCIC at least 15 minutes before the start of the visit.
NCIC Customer Service
Phone - 800-943-2189 or 903-247-0069
Email – [email protected]
For all the information you need to know, whether it be 'in person' at-the-jail visitation or remote video visitation with your Houston County inmate, go to our Visit Inmate Page.
Houston County Jail uses the services of NCIC for inmate phone calling. It is called a ‘friends & family account”.
In order to receive phone calls from your inmate, you need to do the following:
1. You cannot receive any calls to your phone number from your inmate until both you and your phone number are registered.
2. When you do receive a call, the number you will view on your phone from the incoming call is: 800-943-2189.
3. When allowed by Houston County Jail, families can also leave secure voicemails for inmates to listen to.
For all information, tips and procedures for sending money to an inmate in Houston County Jail, or depositing money at the jail, over the phone or by mail, check out our Send Money Page for Houston County.