One question we commonly receive from clients is: how long does it take to process someone out on a bail bond?

The process for bailing someone out of jail isn’t all that complicated, nor does it take very long. You can begin the bail bond process as soon as you find out a friend or loved one has been arrested. There’s a period of time after someone is taken into custody that lasts several hours. This period is known as booking and processing, during which the arrestee will have their photograph taken, fingerprints recorded and a comprehensive background check will be conducted. After booking and processing has been completed, bail will be set and it will be possible to obtain an inmate’s release via bail bond. Since bail is only set at the end of booking and processing, it’s impossible to bail someone out before the full procedure is complete.

Once booking and processing has completed and the bond has been posted, there will be an additional period of time before the inmate is released. This period of time can vary greatly depending on the jail’s size and how busy it is. Some smaller jails can have an inmate processed out relatively quickly, though many will take 4 to 6 hours to do so. Other larger facilities, such as Twin Towers or Men’s Central Jail can take upwards of 12 hours to process an inmate out (if not longer) once the bond has been posted. The reason these jails take so long to process someone out is due to the fact that they’re some of the largest, busiest jails in the world. Inmates are constantly being transferred in and out of the jail day and night, and they need to go through processing. Additionally, others are being bailed out at the same time, and they too will need to be processed out. That being the case, large jails tend to have a lengthy queue.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure your friend or loved one spends as little time in custody as possible is to begin the bail bond process as soon as they’ve been arrested.