One of the readers who took in this story about Rhiannon White today asked how Mrs. White could bring pot to jail and still get out on bond.
Here’s the short answer: People charged with pot possession in small amounts can usually bond out. The same is true of most misdemeanor charges (not domestic violence, though).
For felonies, a person has to see a judge, who sets bond based on flight risk and danger to the community.
But Hult, you say, didn’t you once write a blog post about how bringing pot to jail gets you a felony “unauthorized articles in jail” charge? Why wasn’t White charged with that?
I was wrong, that’s why. It’s more complex than that, Sheriff Mike Milstead told me today.
It’s not wildly unordinary for a person to show up for booking with some dope in their wallet, pocket, socks, etc, Milstead said. Officers on the scene are often searching for dangerous stuff, so they don’t necessarily find every pipe, paper or half-smoked joint.
At the jail, you lose all your stuff, and change into stripes. Naturally, MIlstead said, jailers will find more contraband.
Jailers don’t automatically go for the “unauthorized articles” charge when they find dope, he says. If someone tries to hide the drugs and smuggle them inside, they’re more likely to get that charge.
White just had the weed in her pocket, allegedly, so she got the misdemeanor charge and bonded out. The Sheriff says White’s bondsman brought her to jail. Then she got a new bail bond from a new bail bondsman. Out again.
Here’s the local bond sheet, listing what it costs to get out for various charges.