Houston Police Department FAQ – If you or a loved one have questions or need help with getting someone out from the Houston jail or Harris County jail, give us a call :


Harris County Jail Inmate Lookup

How Can I Find a Person in Jail?

Begin by clicking on the “New Search” option. Then, enter the individual’s name and/or birth date, then scroll through the list of names until you find who you are looking for. Click on the individual’s name in order to find the specific jail that they’re located in. It’s also recommended that you make note of the individual’s arrest number as well, as this is their ID number that they use in the jail system itself. Go through the information provided to you in order to find their bond, charge(s), etc. Once an individual has been booked for 24 hours and they have a Class B Misdemeanor offense or above, the individual will then be transferred to the Harris County Jail. Once that happens, they will no longer appear on this website.

How Can I Post a Bond for Someone?

First, a magistrate needs to set bond amount, if a bond has not already been set.  You can check if that has occurred by either going to the official jail website, visiting the jail in person, or by calling the Jail Information Line. Once set you can then post a cash bond at the jail or hire a bail bondsman to post it. If you use a bonding company, then you need to bring the bond papers to the jail and give them to the jailer working at the Bond Window. Some bail bondsmen will handle this part of the process, and there are many reputable companies in the area that provide this service.

How Can I Get Jail Property Released?

The City of Houston, Harris County and most any other jail will not release property without the prior consent of the individual who is in custody. Whoever receives the property must bring a valid form of ID, such as a Driver’s License, Passport, Student ID or Inmate/Offender ID. You can pick up property held by the Houston Police Department (HPD) at HPD Property Division. Furthermore, ALL property must be released – no partial releases are permitted.

The HPD Property Room is open 7 days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You should expect to wait—especially if the person in jail is at a court appearance at the time.  If there was a hold placed on the property because law enforcement thought it may be evidence, HPD requires a release form.  A lawyer may be able to retrieve property through a court order as well.

What Happens When Someone Arrested Cannot Afford a Bond?

If someone who has been arrested is not bonded out prior to going to court, they will remain in jail until their next court appearance.  This will continue after each reset of the court date unless a bond is posted. Depending on the outcome of the case, the court may impose a fine or additional jail time. However, when they are bonded out, they will simply be told when to appear in court to answer to the charges. If they fail to appear, then the bond will be forfeited and a warrant will be issued for their arrest.  A new bond will then have to be posted.  If a forfeiture occurs, the entire bond amount will be due plus court costs.  Any money already paid will not be returned.

How Can I Find an Individual Under 17 Years of Age?

No arrested individual under 17 years of age will be at any city or county jail. They will either be at the Houston Police Department Juvenile Division or the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center.

Can Prisoners Make Phone Calls from the Houston Jail?

Yes.  Calls are free for the first few hours in jail, but that eventually changes.  When someone in jail calls your home phone, it is treated as a collect call and you will be charged fees by your phone company. Calls made to cell phones will require that you set up an account prior to receiving it.

How May I Visit a Prisoner?

Houston Police Department FAQ – This is something that can be done at any time except for meal and court times. All you need to have is the prisoner’s arrest number, name, birthdate, and jail location. You will also be required to provide a valid form of ID, and a jail supervisor will also review all requests from any visitor who is under 17 years of age. Jail staff run ALL visitors for open warrants.  If you have any open warrants you will be arrested when you go to visit. 

Visits from the following individuals are permitted:

*Immediate family members, including common-law-spouses

*Attorneys representing the prisoner

*Business associates

*Friends attempting to post a bond



*Police/government officials

What Happens When a Prisoner is Charged with a DWI or PI?

DWI is a higher offense than Class C Misdemeanors. When these prisoners fail to bond out of a city jail, they will be transferred to the Harris County Jail. PI (public intoxication) is a Class C Misdemeanor and someone with this charge will remain in the city jail until they either bond out or until their case is adjudicated.

How Can I Locate a Towed Vehicle?

Call the Wrecker Tow Line or log on to the official Houston Police website and click on the “Find My Towed Car” option. This will allow you to search for your car via your VIN or license plate number.

What Are the Various Vehicle Release Procedures?

Houston Police Department FAQ – If a vehicle has been towed and the driver was arrested for an offense that was higher than a Class C Misdemeanor, their vehicle will likely be held for evidence purposes. If the charge is for a Class C Misdemeanor, the Wrecker Tow Line should be able to provide information about where the vehicle was taken, as well as how you can contact the storage lot for more details about how you can pick it up.  Only the registered owner of the vehicle can pick it up. They must show proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license.

Thank you for visiting the blog of Collin Evans, a Houston criminal defense attorney. We write to keep you informed about law changes, news and events.