After an arrest, the person is held in jail until they are presented in court, where the judge might release them on their own recognizance or bail. We often hear about people being released on bail, but it’s not that easy. Bails are usually set at a high amount, and most defendants are not in a position to pay. And so, they rely on a bail agent to post a bail bond for them. Once the bail agent provides the bail bond, the defendant is released from jail. There are different types of bail bonds, and being aware of them helps the parties to a court case to make good decisions.
1. Cash Bonds
A cash bond is an amount paid to a court to secure the release of a defendant. The money may be paid by the defendant, their family, or friends. The money is paid to ensure that the defendant won’t abscond court-issued obligations, particularly returning for their hearing.
If the defendant cooperates with the court until their case is determined, they are eligible to receive back their cash. However, if, for some reason, the defendant’s actions are deemed as non-compliant with the court’s demands, the cash is forfeited. This typically happens when the defendant refuses to show up for their hearing and a warrant of arrest is issued.
2. Surety Bonds
Surety bonds are critical for helping secure the release of a defendant who lacks funds or is worried about losing their money. When a person gets arrested and held in jail, most of their items, including credit cards, are confiscated. And so, once the judge sets the bail, not many defendants are in a position to provide the money. Also, bails are usually set at a high amount, and most defendants simply don’t have enough savings to cater to that.
A surety bond is provided by a surety bond company through a bail agent. The defendant pays the bail agent a certain percentage of the bail, and then the bail agent secures the rest of the bail in the form of collateral. If your friend or relative is in jail because they are incapable of posting their bail, you can use Libertad Bail Bonds to get your family member out of jail.
3. Personal Bond
A personal bond, also known as own recognizance, is a contract where a defendant agrees to comply with all court demands until their case is concluded. This arrangement allows the defendant to exit jail without paying any bail. If they fail to appear at court when required, the personal bond may be withdrawn, and the defendant arrested and asked to pay the full bail.
Apart from appearing at court hearings, other conditions that the defendant may need to observe include obeying a restraining order, adhering to a curfew, and going into rehab. Before granting a personal bond, the judge examines various conditions like the severity of the offense, criminal history, and place of residence. Generally, a personal bond is granted to defendants who have less flight risk and are not a threat to the community.
4. Property Bond
For a property bond, the defendant hands over their property to the court. Some of the common items involved in property bonds include real estate and automobiles. In most instances, the court requires the value of the property to be more than twice the bail. When a property bond is granted, the court takes a lien against the property.
And so, if the defendant breaks any conditions of their release, the court may sell the property to recover the bail. Defendants rely on bail agents to ease the process; however, property bonds are not allowed in some states.
What Factors are Considered When Setting Bail?
- Bail schedules – Most times, bail is set depending on the bail schedule, where different crimes have a corresponding bail figure. Bail schedules vary from one state to another.
- The magnitude of the Crime – Generally, serious crimes attract huge bail amounts. And, minor offenses can attract a significantly lower bail.
- Criminal history – The judge may look at the criminal past of the defendant when setting bail. The worse their criminal record, the higher their bail might be. If a defendant is wanted in another jurisdiction, they might be denied bail.
- Their role in the community – If a defendant is a positive influence in their community and has a good network of friends and family, their bail might be substantially reduced, as they are considered to pose a low flight risk and are not a threat to the community.