Posting Bail

Jail Release sign on the north side of the building

Who Can Post Bail and When

Any adult (18 years or older), except another inmate, can post security at the Washington County Sheriff's Office, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for an inmate held not only in the Washington County Jail on local charges, but an inmate in any Oregon county jail on any Oregon county warrants.  Posting security is commonly called posting bail.


The Washington County Jail allows bail to be posted according to the status of the inmate. A new inmate can post security upon being booked using cash or credit cards in their possession at the time of arrest. An inmate who has been lodged in the jail can post security (also called "self bail") using money in his or her inmate account.


CAUTION:  Other people may deposit money (cash only) into an inmate's account as well. The money becomes the inmate's property once posted, and the inmate is not obligated to use the money for self-bail. If the inmate has a negative balance on the account due to debts owed to the county, up to 40 percent of the money deposited to the account will be used to pay those debts.

Citizens may post bail or deposit money into an inmate account at the Sheriff's Criminal Records Office in Hillsboro.


How Much to Post

To find out an inmate's security amount go to the Inmate Custody List on the jail web page or call (503) 846-6826. Normally, the amount shown is 10 percent of the security amount. However, for some traffic violation charges, it may be the full security amount. In any case, the amount shown on the Custody List is the amount that must be paid.


For an inmate with multiple criminal charges stemming from a single incident (case number), a person need only post security for the charge with the highest security amount. For multiple charges for traffic offenses, like DUII, the security must be paid for each charge.


The security needed may change at any time if the charges are updated or if a court order changes the security amount.


Where to Pay

To post security during regular business hours go to the Criminal Records office counter, which is located off the main lobby of the Sheriff's Office. This office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays.


To post security after the regular business hours or on weekends or holidays, go to the transaction service counter, which is in the vestibule of the main entry to the Sheriff's Office.


Forms of Payment

You can only post security using (or combining): cash; a cashier's check; a Visa or MasterCard credit card; or a bank debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo.


The Sheriff's Office does not accept American Express or Discover cards; money orders; personal, two-party, traveler's, payroll, or business checks; or other negotiable instruments or assets, such as property, for security.


The Sheriff's Office only accepts cashier checks during normal business hours and on a day the issuing bank is open.  To deposit a cashier's check, you must bring a business card, letter, or official document that gives the name and local telephone number of a contact at the issuing bank.  A cashier check may be issued out of state, but not outside the United States. Please make the cashier check payable to the Washington County Jail.


You must present official picture identification (such as a driver's license, state ID card, or passport) and not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when posting security.


Release of the Inmate after Posting

After posting security, take your receipt and go to the Release Office. The Release Office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This office is clearly marked and is located on the north side of the jail, along SW Washington St.


The jail will release the inmate as soon as possible; however, the operational needs of the jail at that time, and whether the inmate needs to check out of his or her housing unit and change back into civilian clothing, may cause delays in the release process. If you are the victim of the inmate you must leave the area before the inmate leaves the jail.


Return of Security (Bail)

The Sheriff's Office does not handle, control, or refund security once it is posted. It is forwarded to the courts for processing.


The court does not refund security until all of the conditions of the release agreement are performed, all court appearances are complete, the defendant is discharged from all obligations in the case, and the case is closed. The security is subject to forfeiture if the defendant fails to appear in court as scheduled or violates the release agreement. In addition, if you posted 10 percent security, the court will pursue you for the collection of the remaining 90 percent of the full security amount. If you deposit the security amount in the inmate's account for self-bail and the inmate does so, the inmate is liable for all forfeitures but would receive any refund.


For 10 percent security, the court keeps 15 percent (but no less than $5) of the security posted for expenses. The remaining 85 percent is refunded to the person named on the receipt, unless the court orders otherwise. The court may order that it be applied to any fines, fees, restitution, or court-ordered financial obligation in the case, or any other court-ordered financial obligations the defendant owes, such as attorney fees or child support. This means the money you post may end up paying the debts of the defendant. No money may be left for a refund to you.


No 15 percent expense fee is charged if the security posted was the full security amount; however, the court has the same discretion to apply security to court-ordered obligations as it does for 10 percent security.


Please direct your questions on the return of security to the Court Accounting Department during normal business hours. Their number is (503) 846-8249 or (503) 846-2376. They are located in the Justice Services Building at 150 North First Avenue in downtown Hillsboro. (The Justice Services Building is next to and directly west of the courthouse.)


Recognizance Releases

If you are to be the responsible person for the purpose of a recognizance release of an inmate, you must sign a release agreement in person at the Release Office of the Washington County Jail. The Release Office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


To be recognized as a responsible person you must be at least 18 years old and have an official Oregon-issued picture identification, such as a driver's license. In addition, a responsible person must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, be on probation or parole, have a substantial criminal history, have been an inmate in a correctional institution within the last 3 years, or be a current victim of the inmate.


Custody and Other Release Information

To find out if someone is in custody or was released within the last 24 hours, or to find out an inmate's charges, go to the Inmate Custody List or call (503) 846-6826.


To find out an inmate's release date, go to the Inmate Custody List or contact the inmate directly. Release dates are subject to change at any time because of the actions of the court or if work or good-time credits were granted or revoked.