Washington County Jail Inmate Bail & Bonds

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Washington County Jail

83 Court Street
Machias, ME 04654



Bail and Bond Instructions for Washington County

What is Bail?

Bail is what the arrested in Washington County must pay or do to stay out of jail until the first court appearance. 

The agreement to bail acts as a promise that the arrested will return to court for court dates and trial. Bail usually refers to a dollar amount, but bail can also mean something that has to be done, or a condition such as reporting to an officer of the court, a curfew, restraining orders or attending a treatment program. 

Bail is usually a significant enough amount of money and/or condition that the person will be negatively impacted and has incentive to return to court and not flee. A flight risk usually means that the person would flee the area, and not necessary that they are going to take an airplane. 

If a judge in Washington County feels that the arrested will return to court for further proceedings, the arrested could be released under a conditional release without needing to pay bail money. This is called Released on Own Recognizance, or ROR.  

Conditions for ROR might be to obey all court orders and laws, maintain contact with the lawyer, report changes in residence or have no contact with the victim. Family support will show the court that there are people who will make sure that the defendant makes it to court. 

If the judge or bail schedule determines that the defendant would be a danger to the public if they were released, bail can be denied, and the person will be detained in the Washington County Jail until the case is resolved or goes to trial.  Bail can be denied if the defendant did not comply with bail conditions from a previous arrest. 

What is the difference between Bail and Bond?

Bail and bond are used interchangeably to mean the same thing but technically, they are different.

The bail is the amount to be paid and a bond is a signed document promising payment of the bail amount with certain conditions.

Think of a bond as a loan to pay for the bail.  

The bond payment is always written to the court in your municipality, Washington County or the district court directly and does not go through the defendant. Chances of obtaining a bond from a bond company or clerk of court are better if family is involved.  

The thought of being in jail can cause the arrested to panic and try to secure a bond immediately.

DO NOT panic and take the time to understand all the options.  

More courts are now trying to work with defendants to make bail work and might provide non-monetary options or even reduce the bail. 

On the other hand, as anyone who has ever been involved in their criminal defense understands, fighting your case while ‘out on the streets’ gives you a much better chance of either winning, or getting a more favorable sentence.  

What are the different types of bonds in Washington County?

Based on a review of information from the arrest, the judge or bail officer will determine and notify the accused of which types of bonds are available to them. Maine courts will process bonds, eliminating the need for a professional bond company. 

There are three types of bonds recognized by the Maine courts:

1.    A personal recognizance bond which is the promise and signed statement of the defendant to abide by conditions of release and return to court when ordered.  There is no money or property (almost always real estate) to be put up. The bail commissioner may charge up to a $60 fee.

2.    An unsecured Bond is when the defendant is released without paying bail upfront, but they must pay the full amount if they do not appear in court. The bond commissioner can charge up to a $60 fee to execute this type of bond. If the defendant fails to appear in court or violates a condition of bail, the judge may issue a warrant for arrest.

3.    A secured Bond is when the defendant pays a portion of the bail up front in cash, or property.  If they show to court, the cash or property (valued at least 1 ½ the amount of bail) would be returned and if they don’t show up to court, would have to pay the entire bail amount.  The bail commissioner may charge up to a $60 fee. 

A professional bondsperson makes money, at least 10% of the bond amount by providing you with a bond. They are not often used in Maine because the courts can execute bonds and do not charge as much as a bondsperson would. The defendant or surety does not get that 10% or more back even if the terms of the bail are met. 

(There have been phone scams where a bond company calls and informs a person that their family member has been arrested and they ask for financial information.  A bondsperson will not call asking for money without involvement of the arrested.)

Does Washington County have bail?  

Yes, because Maine is a bail state, bail is accepted in Washington County. 

What kind of bonds are accepted in Washington County? 

Washington County recognizes most types of bonds. The court will consider what type of bonds will be accepted depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Bail is available in several forms including personal recognizance, unsecured bail, cash bail, surety bail or a supervision contract.

Who can set bail in Washington County?

In most cases bail is set by a bail commissioner. For more serious or violent crimes bail must be set by a judge.

When is bail set in Maine?  

If the defendant qualifies for the services of a Washington County bail commissioner bail will be set shortly after arrest. In cases where a judge is required to set bail this will take place at the initial appearance. This hearing is usually scheduled within 48 hours, not including weekends or holidays.

Can I get the bail or bond reduced in Washington County Maine? 

Yes, a judge may reduce bail set by a bail commissioner during the arraignment. If a judge set sets the initial bail your attorney may file a motion with the court for reconsideration.

In Washington County Maine, who can pay bail for me? 

The person posting bail should be a relative or close friend, called a surety, because they are promising and taking responsibility that you will return to court to get their money back. A surety is not responsible for court fees or paying off personal debts for the defendant.

Can bail be paid online in Washington County Maine?  

Maine counties do not currently offer online payment for bail. Please contact the jail for specific information on how to pay bail. Go to the Washington County Jail for more information about the jails in Washington County.

What options are there to pay bail in Washington County Maine? 

Cash, credit card, money order, debit care or surety. All bail payments must be made in person at the Washington County Jail where the defendant is being held.

Contact the jail for specific information on what methods of payment are accepted. Go to the Washington County Jail for more information about posting bail in Washington County.  

Will I get all my bond money back in Maine? 

Bail money is returned to the person who paid the bail; in whole or in part once the case is finished. There may be fees, restitution (money to pay for damage caused by the crime) or fines that come out of that amount. 

If you used a bondsperson, you would not get your 10% back. Property is returned by the court or bondsperson after the appropriate requests and formal paperwork are completed with the court.

Can I get bail or a bond with no money down in Washington County?

Yes, Maine offers several types of bail which will not require money down including personal recognizance, unsecured bail, and property surety. 

Please remember that if a bail commissioner is assigned to the case there is a fee which must be paid in addition to the bail itself.

What are the least expensive and affordable bail bonds in Maine?  

The Washington County Jail or court in this jurisdiction can provide you with a list of approved bonds through the court or bond agent.

Who do I call to find out the Bond for an Inmate?

Please call the jail at 207-255-3434 for the type of bond and any information that is required for a particular individual at Washington 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 Washington County

Because Washington County and Maine can change their bail bond procedures, it is always best to call either the Washington County Jail at 207-255-3434, or the court in the jurisdiction (i.e. Municipal Court, District Court, etc.) where the offender was charged, right after an arrestee has been booked. 

Ask the staff at the Washington County Jail or the Washington County Court Clerk these specific questions:

  1. Is the defendant eligible for bail or a bond?
  2. How much will the bail or bond be, and what are the additional fees?
  3. Where do I go to pay it?
  4. Are there any days or times of the day or night when I cannot post bail?
  5. What types of payment are allowed? Cash? Money order? Credit card? What types of credit cards? Property or other collateral? Surety bonds?
  6. Do I have to use a bail or bond agent?

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. The sooner you get working on this the quicker you will get your loved one released. 

This entire process will go smoother and faster with a criminal attorney or bail agent handling it for you.

Option 1 - How to Post Bail using Cash for a Defendant at Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington County Jail where the defendant is being held, but usually to the Washington County Sheriff's Office or to the Washington County Court.

To purchase money orders visit any Western Union, Moneygram or Post Office.

Option 2 - How to Post a Private or Surety Bond for a Defendant at Washington 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 Washington County Jail

If you are a landowner in Washington County you may be able to post a property bond. Property within Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington County Jail.

Who can post Bail or Bond for a Defendant at Washington 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 Maine state licensed Bail Bond firm.

Juveniles may only be bailed or bonded out of custody by a parent or legal guardian.

Washington County Justice System Flowchart

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, Washington 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 Washington County 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.

How to Schedule and Visit an Inmate in Washington County Jail

To schedule and set up a visit, either at-the-jail or remotely from your home, follow these instructions:

  • Register and/or log in.
  • Select Washington County Jail, then your inmate.
  • Review the days, available hours and the cost of remote and on-site visits in Washington County.
  • Schedule your visit.

To get more complete instructions, and understand visit lengths, times, locations, fees and all the other rules including children, dress codes and more, check out or Visit Inmate Page.
NOTE: All visits are recorded and whatever you say and do will be monitored. It is best to never discuss sensitive information regarding your inmate's pending case.


How to Rent a Tablet for an Inmate in Washington County Jail

To rent a tablet for an inmate in Washington County follow these instructions:

  • Register here.  It is recommended you use Chrome or Firefox.
  • Pay for the subscription using Paypal.
  • You get charged the 1st of each month. 
  • You get charged a full month even if it's only used for a partial month.
  • No activation or early termination fees.
  • Your Washington County inmate will recieve their tablet in 3-5 business days, after you pay.

If you have any questions:

For all Washington County information on Tablet Rentals for your inmate, check out our Tablet Rental Page.


Washington County Jail Inmate Mail Policies and Address - What Can You Send, and Where?

For inmates receiving mail in the Washington County Jail there are different addresses and policies depending on the inmate's status, as well as what type of mail they are receiving; personal mail, legal mail, subscriptions or books sent from a third-party such as Amazon.

All mail is to be shipped to the Washington County Jail:
Washington County Jail
83 Court Street
Machias, ME 04654

For complete information on mail policies, what you can send an inmate and what address to send them, check out our Inmate Mail page.


How an Inmate Makes a Phone Call to You or Others from Washington County Jail

To set up a phone account so that your inmate can call you from Washington County do the following:

1. Enroll in an account with Securus Technologies.

2. Choose one of three account types, Securus Debit, Advance Connect or Direct Bill.
3. Choose [facility_name_1}, then connect with your inmate.
4. If you have any questions, call Securus: 972-734-1111 or 800-844-6591.

To find out fees, how to's, calling times, limits on phone calls and other systems Securus has do that you can communicate with your Washington County inmate, check out our Inmate Phone Page.
NOTE: All of your inmate's phone calls are recorded and stored. It is advised not to discuss their pending case.


How to Send a Text or Email Message to an Inmate in Washington County Jail

To send a text or email message to a Washington County inmate, do the following:

Washington County Jail uses Securus eMessaging for Inmate Email.

Register here. (You are already registered if you signed up with Securus for 'Phone' or 'Remote Visitation' in Washington County or any jail or prison in the country).
1.  Sign up for eMessaging
2. Find your Washington County inmate.
3. Purchase a book of Securus ‘stamps’.
4. Type & Send message.

For all Washington County information for sending secure messages to an inmate in Washington County Jail, including instructions, video examples, fees, limits, tablet rentals and more, check out out Text/Email an Inmate Page.


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