Multnomah County Bail Information
If you are arrested and have bail set, you should do whatever you can to make bail. As soon as you are able after being arrested, you should make phone calls to family and friends and/or a lawyer immediately. Sometimes, if relatives or friends can’t bail you out, a lawyer can also do it for you, although they will expect payment prior to posting bail. Getting out of jail before trial or plea can save you a ton of trouble, especially for lower level crimes. If you can’t make bail, you can end up rotting in jail for weeks, months, or even years before legal resolution. In one famous case in New York, a teenager was jailed for three years before his case was summarily dismissed. For many misdemeanors and even some low-level felonies, it is very possible to spend more time in jail pre-trial than whatever you might be sentenced to if found guilty. As such, it is essential to bond out and get your life organized.
In Oregon, there are no commercial bail bondsmen but in Multnomah County, you can often post 10% of your set bail. However, if you only post 10%, you will be charged an administrative fee of 15% to 20% of your posted money. If you post your bail in its entirety, you will not be charged this fee. For example, if your bail is $2500, you can often get out if you post $250, but you will be charged between $37.50 and $50 for this privilege. If you post the full $2500, you will not be charged at all. In some cases though, defendants will be required to post the full bail. Furthermore, if you are charged with a very serious crime, such as murder, there will be a hearing to determine whether you will be held without bail. Even if bail is set in these cases, it will often be prohibitively high, ranging into the millions. In fact, Oregon recently passed a law known as Measure 11, which mandates high bail for a certain list of crimes.
Conditions of Bail
If you are granted, and post bail, you will have to sign conditions of your bond agreement before being released from jail. At a minimum, bond agreements will require the following:
- Do not commit further crimes
- Do not leave the State of Oregon without permission
- Appear in court for all scheduled court dates
- Do not have any contact with the victim(s)
- Notify the court of changes in address and phone number
If you are found to have violated this agreement, a warrant for your arrest will be issued and the court can declare that you forfeit the money you used to post bail. At this point, you may be held without bail, or a new bail may be set that is higher – and whoever paid to bail you out the first time will not be happy.
Some bail agreements can be quite strict. For example, if you were arrested for DUI, your bail agreement may include a no alcohol provision. If you are caught with so much as a single beer, the police can haul you straight back to jail and you will lose your bond money and your freedom. Other bail agreements may include provisions on social media use. During his trial for securities fraud, New York financier Martin Shkreli infamously had his bail revoked for a Facebook post.