How do I post bail?

There are two types of bail: cash bail and bond bail.

Cash Bail

If both the person posting bail and the defendant are in court, cash bail can be posted in the courthouse, and the defendant can be released before being transferred to jail. This most commonly occurs at the initial arraignment. If you plan to post bail for a defendant following an arraignment or other court appearance, you should tell a court officer, so that the defendant will be held in the building for release. Bail posted in the courthouse must be paid in cash; the courthouse cashiers do not accept any form of check.

Bail can also be paid at any City jail, although defendants are usually released fastest if the bail is paid at the facility where they are being held. City jails will accept certain kinds of certified or government checks as well as cash, but there are restriction on the amount and type. You can find rules about posting bail on the N.Y.C. Department of Correction’s website.

Alternatively, you can obtain information about posting bail, as well as information on locating defendants and jails, retrieving prisoners’ property, visiting hours and rules, and travel directions, by calling the Department of Correction, at 718. 546.0700. The addresses of City jails are listed below. (NOTE: At present, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens Houses of Detention are closed.)

  • Bronx House of Detention
    653 River Avenue
    Bronx, N.Y. 10451
  • Brooklyn House of Detention
    275 Atlantic Avenue
    Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
  • Manhattan House of Detention (the "Tombs")
    125 White Street
    New York, N.Y. 10013
  • Queens House of Detention
    126-02 82nd Avenue
    Queens, N.Y. 11415
  • Riker's Island
    11-11 Hazen Street
    East Elmhurst, N.Y. 11370

Bail Bond

If you are posting a bond, you will need to find a bail bondsman. They can be located through the yellow pages, and often have offices near the courthouse. Bail bondsmen must licensed by New York State; make sure you deal with one who has a valid license.