Many judges require defendants to post a bond to be released from custody. Please be aware that if you fail to appear in court, a judge may order the state to forfeit bond. Recently, the chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court met with all Kentucky judges to encourage the collection of bond forfeitures. If the judge has set a bond at $10,000/10 percent, this means that the defendant is released on the condition that a friend or family member posts a $1,000 surety bond. Please note that if the defendant fails to appear in this case, the family or friend will forfeit $10,000, not just the $1,000 posted bond

Please contact me to learn more about how to post a bond in Jefferson County, Kentucky

New Rules For Lawyers By The Kentucky Supreme Court

Defense attorneys may no longer call a judge and request that he or she review a bond. Resulting from the case of Commonwealth v. Michael Wilson, the Supreme Court specifically prohibits all lawyers from calling judges without the prosecutor participating in the phone call with the court. Unfortunately, the prosecutors office has yet to address this issue and make prosecutors available to conference call a judge. We are attempting to encourage the county attorney to work with the court and bar in the development of protocols for conference calling a prosecutor and a judge.

Important Information To Provide Your Attorney

As a result of this ruling, it is more important than ever to secure as much information about the person who is arrested. Typically, I ask my clients:

  • What is their criminal history?
  • Where do they work?
  • How long have they worked in their current position?
  • What is their job?
  • What contacts do they have with our community?

My goal is to show the judge that my client is not a risk to the community nor a flight risk; he or she will return to court. I want to be able to explain why my client is not a risk to re-offend and is not a risk to him or herself or the community.

If the defendant has a bad record or a record of not appearing in court, or if the charge is significant, I will need to know how much the family or friends can post as a bond.

Bond Protocol

Judges typically set bonds every four hours. The judge will review the charges, the warrant or citation, the criminal history and the information regarding the defendants prior court attendance. Setting bond is based on the seriousness of the offense, the perceived risk of the defendant to harm him or herself or others, and the risk of failing to reappear in court. When someone is arrested, a Probation and Pretrial Services worker will interview the person arrested and advise the judge regarding whether that defendant is a low, medium or high risk not to reappear in court. If your friend or loved calls from jail, please tell him or her to be polite and answer the Probation and Pretrial Services worker's questions.

At this point, a judge has several options. The judge may decide to release a person on his or her own recognizance (R.O.R), release the defendant on a set of conditions such as no contact with the prosecuting witness or no driving, set a bond for the defendant to post, or agree to release the person on home incarceration or a pretrial release program similar to a day reporting center. Given the experience of the bench in Jefferson County and the statutory language, the judges in Jefferson County traditionally set reasonable bonds. Part of my job is to provide the judge with accurate information at arraignment regarding my client's ties to the community, work history, criminal history, risk assessment to self or others, family and friends involvement with the defendant, and prior attendance in court.

If the judge has set a bond, I recommend that you contact the Jefferson District Court Clerk's Office at 502-595-4428. This message center will provide you instructions on how to post a bond. In order to post a bond, you will need to be at least 18 years old and possess a valid U.S. government-issued identification. The clerk's office will accept cash, certified check, debit or credit card. Please note that the clerk's office does not accept Visa cards. You will need to pay a $25 bond fee to post a bond.

Please note that once the bond is posted, it will take six to eight hours before the family member, friend or loved one is processed and released from jail. The defendant will be given an arraignment court date of two to three days after his or her release from jail.

I am a dedicated Louisville criminal defense lawyer, and I strive to make myself available to clients at all times. To schedule a free consultation, contact me online. Or you can call my office at (502) 589-6190 or (502) 648-1759 (text after hours).

Resources For Bonds And Contact Numbers

Inmate bond payments can be posted in person at the Hall of Justice located at 600 W. Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202.

In order to be eligible to post a bond payment at the Hall of Justice, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must appear in person.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must provide a government-issued valid picture identification.
  • You must post the bond payment with Cash, Certified Check, some Debit Cards, or Credit Cards.*

*Debit Cards have a service charge and MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are now accepted.

Bond Online or Kiosk Option:

If an inmate qualifies for Self-bond you can add money to the inmates spending account which the inmate can allocate funds to post the bond payment. Fees will apply ($70 for every $1000 bond). Inmates can only choose to allocate the funds towards the bond if they meet the following criteria:

  • Inmate must be a resident of Kentucky with a valid address in the system.
  • The bond is for cases in District Court only (No Circuit Court Cases).
  • No DUI Cases.
  • No Domestic Violence cases (EPO, DVO, Assault w/DV).
  • No booking fee balance with Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.

If you would like to post bond for an inmate and have any questions, call the District Court Clerk's Office at (502) 595-4428 or (502) 595-3060.

They will be able to provide the information you need based on the inmate's status and which court is handling his or her case.

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Louisville, KY 40202
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