Navigating a bail bond can be tricky, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the complex US court system. When bail is set, the defendant must make a choice. They may stay in jail until their trail (meaning a waiting period of up to 23 weeks), work with a bail bond agent, or pay the bail amount upfront. There are several types of bail bonds and it is important to understand which one is the best choice for you. Each bail bond has a different set of qualifications including offense type, amount of bail, and your current financial state.
The most common type of bond used to post bail is the surety bond. Surety bonds are also the easiest type of bail bond to obtain. A surety bond can be issued by any licensed bond agency. The defendant (signer) pays an initial fee of 10% of the bail amount to enter the agreement and promises to appear at their court hearing. This is important because now the bond agent is responsible for the remaining bond amount, and therefore responsible for the defendant’s appearance at court. After the court date, the cash bail is returned to the bond agency. The defendant’s 10% is non-refundable, even if the case is dismissed.
For those who can afford to pay their own bail or have loved ones that can pay it on their behalf, cash bail is the best option. The bail amount is paid directly to the holding facility to secure the release of the defendant. Cash bail can be paid with cash, obviously, or by check or travelers check. Some facilities also accept credit cards, but it is best to check first before relying on this method. The defendant will receive the money back when they have met the court’s obligations, minus any incurred fees. The Cash Bond is ideal if the defendant or the defendant’s loved ones would prefer to avoid using a bond company.
In certain cases, a judge may not allow any payment method besides cash to pay bail. Usually, this is done for defendants who are considered a “flight risk,” so the bail is set very high and restricted to cash only. This significantly decreases the likelihood of the defendant paying bail.
In certain jurisdictions, the defendant may use a property bond in place of a more common method to post bail. The defendant or the defendant’s loved ones may utilize what is known as a property bond, a collateral bond issued through the jail or holding facility. For this bond, “property” includes homes, cars, or something with similar value to the bail amount. The defendant/loved ones must surrender all relevant documents (car titles, deeds, etc.) to the holding facility to keep as collateral. If the defendant fails to appear at their court hearing, the defendant will forfeit this property. Property Bonds take longer to process than Cash Bonds.
Immigration Bail Bond:
This is a specialized bond in which the defendant is an undocumented noncitizen/nonresident. In this case, the bail is referred to Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security and the bond takes the form of either a cash or surety bond.
While setting up a bail bond may seem daunting, we at Quick Release Bail Bonds are here to help. We understand that every case and situation is different. Our experts are familiar with the bond process and will help choose a path that is right for you, individually.