Polk County has the largest population in Iowa and the Polk County Jail is the largest county jail in Iowa. It sees more inmates each year than any other jail in the state. That said, posting bond or bailing out of the Polk County Jail is no different than bailing out of any other Iowa jail. So, no matter what jail you find yourself in, these instructions will help you get out.
First a note on the difference between bailing out of jail and bonding out of jail. Bail is the amount of money you must pay to get out of jail. When you or another private individual pays that money you are bailed out of jail. When you hire a bail bondsman and that bondsman posts your bail you are said to bond out of jail. You pay the bondsman a percentage of the total bail, usually around 10%, and the bondsman agrees to pay the court the total bail if you fail to appear. The bond is bail money paid by the bail bondsman.
To bail or bond out, you must first ascertain the total bail amount. Bail amount will vary based on the charges. Once you know the bail amount you can determine whether you or a friend or family member can afford to pay the bail. If not, then you will need a bail bondsman’s help. For friends and family on the outside finding bail amounts for Polk County inmates is easy. Simply visit Inmates on Web and click on the inmate for a list of charges and bail amounts. Amounts may vary from time to time especially within the first 24 hours of incarceration. When a person is first taken into custody the bail amounts are set according the Iowa Uniform Bail Schedule. Within 24 hours, usually early in the morning the day after arrest, an arrested person appears before a judge at an initial appearance. The judge is free to, and often will, change the amount and conditions of bail. Thus, it is sometimes wise to bail or bond a person out of custody as quickly as possible.
If you are the inmate you must ask jail staff for your total bail amount. When you are brought to the jail you have the right under Iowa Code Section 804.20 to make phone calls to family members and attorneys. Verbally invoke your right under 804.20 to call family members or attorneys. When you call make sure you know the bail amount (and REMEMBER ALL JAIL CALLS ARE RECORDED SO DO NOT TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED). If you have funds available on the outside make arrangements for someone to obtain them and post your bail. If you need a bondsman, use the phone book at the jail and call a few. They are usually available 24 hours a day and will assist in bonding you out of jail. The same goes if you are a friend or family member trying to bond an arrested person out of jail. Call a few bail bondsman and decide who you are comfortable with. The bondsman will explain everything you need to know and the process is generally easy.
If you are going to post bail for someone you must have either cash or a cashier’s check. Personal checks will not be accepted. During normal business hours you can post bail either at the Polk County Jail or at the Polk County Clerk of Court Payment Processing Center located within the Polk County Courthouse (1st floor) in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Any other time bail must be posted at the jail.
Polk County Jail – 1985 Northeast 51st Place, Des Moines, IA 50313 (515) 323-5400
Lastly, we at Stowers & Sarcone are highly skilled, professional criminal defense attorneys and if you, your friend or loved one is facing criminal charges CALL NOW (515) 224-7446. For after hours emergencies calls (515) 650-3979.