The first question on anyone’s mind when the enter a jail is how soon are they going to get out. The question is even more complicated if one is an immigrant with an ICE hold preventing them from leaving jail even if their criminal bail is paid. The main reason being is that an immigrant is really facing two cases and not one.
The first case is the criminal case and the second is the immigration case. That means two different courts, two different judges, and two different bail amounts. With that in mind, I advise clients that if they do have an ICE hold, they usually need to wait until their criminal case is finished before paying bail. This does not apply in all instances though. For most people of limited financial resources, save the money for when it can actually do the most good. Many people say, “but attorney, I called the jail and they said they told me Jonny or Juanito was offered bail.” My first answer to reply is that it may be true that one has been offered bail for the criminal case, but only DHS can tell one if they have been offered bail or an “immigration bond”.
It is sad when clients do not listen to this advice and go ahead and pay the bail amount and sadly realize that their loved one is not getting out of jail and the person who just paid the money is now broke. Saying “I told you so” afterwards does not help much. The better strategy is to wait until the criminal case is resolved by taking a plea bargain that does not ruin your immigration case if one did commit a crime, and then applying bail money to the immigration bond.
Bond amounts typically start at $1,500 and then go up. However, the $1,500 to $5,000 mark is average if one is offered a bond. A bail bondsmen usually charges a 15 percent premium and requests some assets to cover the bail amount. Also, if the bond is too high, an attorney can filed a motion for a bond redeterimination in the immigration court and attempt to have the judge reduce the bond to an amount within the immigrant or their family’s means and ability to pay
FYI!!! Some crimes and instances do not allow one to be bond eligble. These include crimes of moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, theft offenses, drug offenses, serious DUI offenses, and domestic violence charges. All the more reason to hold onto your bail money until one is sure that it will do something to help your loved one get out. If your loved one has an ICE hold, call my office at (801) 436-7529. I can probably help you.