After you are arrested and taken into custody, you may be allowed to go free if you post what is known as a bond. This is an amount of money you pay to the court in exchange for leaving jail with the promise that you will return for your next hearing. Bond is not available for everyone, because if a judge thinks you are a danger to the community, he or she may not give you bond. Let’s take a look at the bail bond process and the types of bonds a court may offer you.
A cash bond is cash that you or someone you know pay for the entire amount of your bail. If you show up to court as promised, you are entitled to receive this cash back, but the court will retain a portion of what you paid to cover processing fees.
The court will keep the entire cash bond if you fail to appear in court as promised, so it is vital that you keep your word and show up for your next scheduled hearing.
You can also pay a personal bond, which is also known as ‘release on own recognizance.’
This is a bond that frees you from jail without you having to pay the bond amount, and in exchange, you promise to appear for all future court dates. If you don’t appear, you have to pay back the full amount of your bond.
Judges only grant this bond to people who pose no threat to the community, and are not a flight risk.
A property bond allows you to put up a piece of property as collateral for the entire bond amount. The value of the property you have to put up varies in each state, but in general, the property should be valued twice as much as the bond amount.
The court will put a lien on your property, which means that if you fail to appear at your next hearing, the court can seize that property.
The disadvantage of this type of bond is that it can take much longer to complete, because the court has to appraise the value of the property and gather a number of documents.
When you can’t afford to pay the bond amount, a surety bond is the easiest way for you to get out of jail. This is a type of bond in which a bail bond company promises to pay the full amount of the bond if you don’t appear at your next court date.
In exchange for this promise, you must pay a percentage of the entire bond, or give the bond company a piece of property or personal valuable as collateral.
If you fail to show up at your next hearing, the bail bond company must pay your entire bond, and will usually send a bounty hunter to locate you.
Protecting Your Rights
If you’ve been arrested and are having trouble obtaining bond, an experienced criminal lawyer can help protect your rights. Please call the Premier Federal Criminal Defenders at (800) 455-6200 for a free consultation.