The bail process in Oregon is operated by the state instead of commercial bail companies. The non-profit nature of the process reduces the total cost of releasing a person from incarceration, as compared to paying bail in states where commercial bond agents are permitted to operate.
Bail in Oregon
Oregon is one of four states that do not permit the operation of private bail companies, along with Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Instead of making a non-refundable payment to a for-profit bail company, when a person who has been arrested in Oregon is bailed out of jail, a deposit is paid to the court. At the end of the hearing process, most of the bail is returned, whether the person is found to be guilty or innocent.
Bailing Out in Oregon
The process of bailing someone out of jail in Oregon starts with a judge setting the amount of bail, based on the degree of the crime, previous arrests and whether the person has a violent history. Bail is set at the arraignment, which usually takes place on the next day the court is open following the arrest. Once bail has been set, a payment of 10 percent of the total amount can be deposited with the court clerk to obtain a release. Property also can be pledged as security. In addition, bail can be posted at county sheriff’s offices to release someone held anywhere in the state. If the person does not appear for a scheduled date in court, that person becomes responsible for the full balance of the bail and a warrant for arrest is issued.
Bail bond companies generally charge 10 percent of the bond that must be posted for the release of the person that was arrested. For example, if a judge sets bail at $25,000, the company will charge $2,500 to post the bond. This charge is non-refundable, even if the arrested person is later found to be innocent. In Oregon, the deposit paid on the full bond amount is refundable after the accused appears at all scheduled court dates, minus 15 percent for court fees and any fines that have been assessed.