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  • Matthew W. Peterson

How Do I Get Someone Out of Jail in Massachusetts?


It's not as easy as it is in Monopoly, but the process getting out of jail in Massachusetts is easy to understand.

If you or a family member are stuck in jail, getting free is critical. Not only does it help you maintain your job and be with your family, but it can also help in defending your case.


First, I am talking about jail before your case has concluded. If you pled guilty or were convicted, and were sentenced to jail or prison, that's an entirely different matter.


I can never guarantee that I can get a client out of jail, but here is the process.


If you're arrested for a crime in Massachusetts, you are generally taken to the police station to be processed. After that, you're either taken directly to court, or if it's a day or time that court is not in session, a bail commissioner will come see you.


Either the court or the bail commissioner will set a bail for you to be released. Bail is the amount of money you must deposit to be released from jail. For State cases, it's entirely in cash - there are no bail bondsmen in Massachusetts. You must also give the bail commissioner a $40 fee if you can make the bail at the police station.


The amount of bail set can vary widely. It depends on the crime you're charged with, your criminal record, your employment history, your connections to the community, along with a wide range of other factors. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can craft the right arguments to secure your release.


If the bail is set by the bail commissioner and you cannot make it, you're taken to the district court the next day for your arraignment. There, the district court judge sets bail - it can be higher, lower, or the same as what the bail commissioner did.


If you still cannot make that bail, you can seek bail review in the superior court. Your criminal defense lawyer can file for bail review. The process varies depending on what county you're in.


You'll be seen in superior court, usually by video, for your bail review. Your lawyer can be present in court to advocate for your bail reduction.


If you still cannot make that bail, your attorney can make a motion to reduce your bail in the district court. However, most judges generally won't consider releasing you unless you have spent a significant time in jail already.


If your bail is relatively low, your attorney can apply for the Massachusetts Bail Fund to post your bail.


If you're looking to post someone's bail, they're generally posted wherever they're held - usually the jail. They can also be posted in the clerk's office if the defendant is in court.


If you were on bail already when you were arrested, your bail may be revoked. This means that you will not be released for up to 90 days, no matter what. A creative criminal defense lawyer can still secure your release, but it's not a matter of simply posting bail.



If you or a member of your family are stuck in jail, it's critical to hire a criminal defense lawyer you can trust. I handle criminal cases in all Massachusetts courts. Call me today at 617-356-8217, and let's get started on your defense.



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