Silver Bow County Jail & Sheriff Roster Lookup, MT, Inmate Search (2024)

What is Bail?

Bail is what the arrested in Silver Bow 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 Silver Bow 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 Silver Bow 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 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.

Payments to a bond company are not refundable. It is a long process to get back property title or money that was given to the clerk of court or bondsperson to secure the bond.This could put your loved ones into a difficult financial situation.

Another reason not to unnecessarily rush into securing a bond is that if the court notes that you came up with the money to pay a bond company, they may assume you have resources to pay a defense attorney and decline public defense.

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 Silver Bow 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.

You could sign an agreement that if the car were not paid off, that your neighbor would get your house or something of value.

A property bond is a bond that the courts might consider in which the bond is pledged in land or home real estate (mobile homes are not accepted).

Usually, the property must be in the same state as the courts, and it must be worth at least 1 ½ - 2 times the amount of the bond.

There are multiple court fees involved to execute a property bond with the courts and a tedious process to get the property deed back. This is another type of surety bond if another person or a bond company is used to secure the bond.

You could also go to a local bank and take out a car loan offering property or anything of value for collateral. You may get someone to co-sign on the loan and offer their property. The bank charges fees, interest and could keep your property if you did not pay the loan back, or even on time.

A professional bondsperson makes money, at least 10% of the bond amount by providing you with a “loan” called a bond. The percent that they charge is fixed by the state and cannot be negotiated. The defendant or surety does not get that 10% or more back even if the terms of the bail are met.

With a property bond, the property deed would need to be signed over to the bondsperson and everyone on the deed would need to be involved.

Since the bondsperson signed off, to be responsible that you show to court as your surety, they can send a bounty hunter to bring you to court if you flee. A bondsperson does not have to give you a bond if the defendant seems to be too much of a risk.

Ask the bondsperson to explain all the costs: percentage, fees or court fees. There is never a reason to rush through signing the paperwork with a bond company. Make sure that everything told to you is in writing and that you understand what you are signing. Ask questions, and if you feel rushed or don’t understand the contract with the bond company, you might want to call another one.

(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 Silver Bow County have bail?

Yes, Silver Bow County recognizes most types of bonds.

What kind of bonds are accepted in Silver Bow County?

Silver Bow County permits five types of bonds:

• By a deposit with the court of an amount equal to the required bail of cash, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, or other personal property approved by the court.

• By pledging real estate situated within the state with an unencumbered equity, not exempt, owned by the defendant or sureties at a value double the amount of the required bail.

• By posting a written undertaking executed by the defendant and by two sufficient sureties.

• By posting a commercial surety bond executed by the defendant and by a qualified agent for and on behalf of the surety company.

• By posting an offender's driver's license in lieu of bail if the summons describes a violation of any offense as provided in 61-5-214 and if the offender is the holder of an unexpired driver's license.”

Who can set bail in Silver Bow County?

For most non-violent crimes bail is preset according to a bail schedule. More serious and violent crimes require a defendant to appear in front of a judge who will determine bail amount.

When is bail set in Montana?

For most non-violent crimes bail is preset according to a bail schedule and that information is available during the booking process. More serious crimes will require a hearing in front of a judge. This hearing, also known as a bail hearing, will generally be scheduled for the next court day. State law requires the bail hearing to take place within 48 hrs. not counting weekends or holidays.

Can I get the bail or bond reduced in Silver Bow County Montana?

Yes, your attorney can request a bail or bond modification.

In Silver Bow County Montana, 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. A professional bondsperson who is approved by the State of Montana could be the surety and execute a bond to the court on your behalf.

Can bail be paid online in Silver Bow County Montana?

Yes, Silver Bow County does offer online bail payment. Contact the jail for specific information on how to pay bail. Go to the Silver Bow County Jail & Sheriff for more information about the jails in Silver Bow County.

What options are there to pay bail in Silver Bow County Montana?

Most all jail and courts accept cash, a cashier or bankers’ check. Some accept a credit card with fees. Please contact the jail for specific information on what methods of payment are accepted. Go to the Silver Bow County Jail & Sheriff for more information about posting bail in Silver Bow County.

Will I get all my bond money back in Montana?

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 Silver Bow County?

Yes, 'no money down bail or bond' is available in Montana. Unless you are released on own recognizance the court will require payment in full, however, some bail bond agents do offer 'no money down' bail.

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 will send the sheriff’s department to arrest you.

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

The Silver Bow County Jail & Sheriff or court in this jurisdiction can provide you with a list of approved and licensed bond companies, but they cannot recommend a specific company. You are not obligated to use the first company available and can call several companies to compare what kind of bonds that the bondsperson is willing to execute.

The percentage of bail that the bond company can charge is set, usually at 10%, by the state and cannot be negotiated.

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Silver Bow County Jail & Sheriff Roster Lookup, MT, Inmate Search (2024)
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