Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff Inmate Bail & Bonds

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Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff

PO Box 267
Pawnee City, NE 68420



Bail and Bond Instructions for Pawnee County

What is Bail?

Bail is what the arrested in Pawnee 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 Pawnee 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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff 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. Bail is usually denied in cases of violent offenses. 

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, Pawnee County or district 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 Pawnee 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.

To describe the types of bonds, let’s use an example of buying your neighbor’s car. Your neighbor decides the price of the car and how they would be paid. Similarly, the court (meaning a police or bail officer, clerk of court, bail magistrate or judge) determines the bail amount and how it would be paid. Here are different options that the seller of the car or the court might consider:

You could pay full asking price for the car in cash. This is similar to paying cash bail.  The full amount of bail would be paid to the town or county clerk or at the jail. Cash, cashier’s checks and credit cards are usually accepted.

You could sign an agreement on your own or with another person to pay for the car at a future date knowing that your neighbor would know where to find you if you stopped payment. This would be similar to a cash bond or a personal recognizance (PR) bond which are bonds to where someone representing the defendant signs paperwork promising to pay the bail amount if the defendant does not show up to court. There is no money due up front. 

If the defendant does not show up, the full amount of the bail will be due to the court and the people who signed the paperwork will be responsible for paying the court and the court will send the sheriff’s department to arrest you. 

Cash bonds and PR bonds are types of unsecured bonds because you are not securing it with any money down. In bond terms, a surety is a person who will be responsible for making sure that you will show to court and will be responsible to pay the bond if the arrested person does not show up.

Surety can be family, friend or a bondsperson. Your attorney cannot act as a surety.

You can put a deposit down for your neighbor’s car and sign an agreement that the car will be paid off at a later date. Cash percentage in lieu of bonds is when the defendant pays a percentage of the bail amount, usually 10%, to the court which then holds the money until the case is over. 

The amount is returned to the person who paid the 10% after the case is over. In most cases, the full amount is not returned if there are court fees or fines due. This is a type of surety bond if another person signs the bond paperwork.

(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 Pawnee County have bail?  

Yes, Pawnee County recognizes bail, however, does not permit bail bond companies to operate in the state. Bail is offered as either a personal recognizance or 10% cash bail. Nebraska does not permit property or surety bonds.

During bond proceedings, the defendant can have an attorney present but does not have the right to an attorney. Judges in Nebraska rely on a statewide bail schedule, which sets out a recommended range of bail amounts for different offenses. Pawnee County judges can still exercise discretion in setting bail above or below the recommended range.

Nebraska does not allow private bond companies but rather the county courts and jailer process the paperwork needed for the bond. The defendant can either pay the full cash amount or ask the court for a cash percentage bond where the defendant pays 10% to the court, which is not returned and covers court costs. The full bail amount will become due if the defendant does not show to court and the court could issue a warrant for arrest with the Sheriff’s department.

There may be other conditions for release in addition to the bail amount. Conditions usually include drug testing, abstaining from drug and alcohol use, meeting with a Pretrial Release officer and having no contact with the victim.

What kind of bonds are accepted in Pawnee County? 

Pawnee County recognizes either full cash payment or a cash percentage bond where the arrested pays 10% to the court.

Who can set bail in Pawnee County?

For misdemeanor cases, bail is set according to an established schedule by the officers processing the booking. Felony cases require a judge to set bail.

When is bail set in Nebraska?   

For misdemeanor cases the bail is set according to a schedule and that information will be available during booking. Felony cases require a bail hearing in front of a judge. This hearing is normally scheduled for the next available court date. According to Nebraska state law, the hearing must be scheduled within 48 hrs. of arrest.

Can I get the bail or bond reduced in Pawnee County Nebraska? 

Yes, you or your attorney make file a motion with the court asking bail to be reduced.

In Pawnee County Nebraska, who can pay bail for me? 

The person posting bail could be the defendant, a relative or close friend, 

Can bail be paid online in Pawnee County Nebraska?  

Nebraska counties do not currently offer online bail payments. Contact the jail for specific information on how to pay bail. Go to the Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff for more information about the jails in Pawnee County.

What options are there to pay bail in Pawnee County Nebraska? 

Nebraska only allows one type of bail payment – cash. Some county jails do have the ability to accept credit or debits cards when making payment.

Go to the Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff for more information about posting bail in Pawnee County.  

Will I get all my bond money back in Nebraska? 

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. 

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

The judge or officer who sets bail determines which kind of bail will be an option for you, but a cash bond and PR bonds usually do not require cash down, though you might have to pay court fees.

A cash bond or a personal recognizance (PR) bond are bonds where someone representing the defendant signs paperwork promising to pay the bail amount if the defendant does not show up to court. There is no money due up front. 

If the defendant does not show up, the full amount of the bail will be due to the court and the people who signed the paperwork will be responsible for paying the court and the court can send the sheriff’s department to arrest you. 

Cash bonds and PR bonds are types of unsecured bonds because you are not securing it with any money down. 

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

Since bond companies are not permitted in Nebraska, it is best to speak with a booking officer or pretrial release officer regarding how to best be able to pay the bail amount.

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

Please call the jail at (402)852-2969 for the type of bond and any information that is required for a particular individual at Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff.
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 Pawnee County

Because Pawnee County and Nebraska can change their bail bond procedures, it is always best to call either the Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff at (402)852-2969, 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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff or the Pawnee 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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff

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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff 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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff where the defendant is being held, but usually to the Pawnee County Sheriff's Office or to the Pawnee 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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff

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 Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff

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

Who can post Bail or Bond for a Defendant at Pawnee County Jail & Sheriff?

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 Nebraska state licensed Bail Bond firm.

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

Pawnee 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, Pawnee 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 Pawnee 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.

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