Pretrial Release and Bond Frequently Asked Questions
PreTrial Frequently Asked Questions
If someone has been arrested and placed in jail, what is the process for setting a bond?
Once charges have been filed by the District Attorney, defendants appear in court so that a judge can determine whether the person needs to stay in jail, be released on bond or be placed on pretrial release supervision. These court appearances are held at 3 p.m. weekdays with the exception of federal holidays.
- Own Recognizance Bond – released without posting money and by signing a promise to appear
- Cash Only Bond – released by posting the entire bond amount in cash
- Surety Bond – released by posting a bond using a professional bonding company approved by the court
- Pretrial Release Program – released on own recognizance with conditions as ordered by the Court to be monitored by pretrial release services staff
What is the Pretrial Release Program?
The program provides an alternative to incarceration for eligible defendants. Defendants are assessed to determine their risk of re-offending and the likelihood of returning to court. Judges decide who gets in the program and what level of supervision is required.
Who is eligible for the Douglas County Pretrial Release Program?
All defendants in pretrial status are eligible for the pretrial release program, however, a person may not initially qualify if they have one of the following; a probation violation warrant, parole hold, other city/county or state detainer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Marshal detainer or a failure to appear warrant.
Are there any costs for the Pretrial Program? What if the judge orders electronic monitoring as a condition of my pretrial release?
No, all services provided through the Douglas County Pretrial Release Program are at no cost to the defendant, including any electronic monitoring.
Do I have to post a cash bond to be released on the Pretrial Program?
No, however, judges have discretion to order a cash or surety bond be posted as a condition of any pretrial release.
I have a family member who is eligible for the Pretrial Release Program, but still has a monetary bond requirement that we cannot afford. Why is that and how can we get the family member assessed by the program?
Bond and pretrial release are at the discretion of the Court. There are many reasons as to why a judge may choose to require that a cash or surety bond be posted for release. Since each case is unique, it is best to contact the defense counsel handling the case for more information.
I received a text/phone call regarding an upcoming court date and the call came from a number I do not recognize. How do I know this is legitimate?
Pretrial Services has an automated calling system to send out notifications to remind people of upcoming court hearings. The system has been programed to send out notifications two days prior and the day of the hearing. If you believe the information is incorrect, or you are not sure why you are receiving the notification, you may contact pretrial services at, 785-331-1300, for more information or verification.
I am required by the Court to serve jail time. I have been approved for house arrest, but do not have the money to pay a private company. Is there anything pretrial services can do for me?
Yes. Douglas County offers a House Arrest and Electronic Monitoring program. The Program provides electronic monitoring service at no cost to Douglas County residents, or as approved by the Court. For more information on the House Arrest program, or to set up services, contact Jolene Born, 785-331-1387.