A criminal bond is a financial guarantee that a defendant will appear for all court appearances. If the  bail amount is paid and the defendant then does not show up for court, the court keeps the bail and issues a warrant for the defendant’s arrest. The four most common types of bail bonds used to secure a defendant’s release from jail are: own recognizance, cash bond, property bond, and a professional bondsman or bonding company.

Own Recognizance:

Own recognizance release is a no-cost bail where a defendant signs a form stating they promise to appear in court as required, instead of making a payment. This type of bail is usually available for minor misdemeanor offenses. Factors such as a suspect’s past record, ties to the community, support of family members, and employment are taken into account by a judge when offering own recognizance release. A defendant who asks an employer, religious leader, and someone else who can speak positively for them can possibly convince a judge to offer an own recognizance release. Even though no money is paid with this type of bail, all other aspects of a defendant’s release remain the same, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, abstinence from drug or alcohol use, and appearance at all court dates.

Cash Bond:

Paying your entire bail amount in cash is always an option, but a cash bond means actual cash, not credit cards or checks drawn from personal or business accounts. A defendant simply puts up the cash and is released pending their trial. If they do not miss a court date, they get a majority of their money back at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome, less minor court costs and fees, and in some cases less any child support payments or back taxes.

Property Bond:

A property bond is a bond that posts the value of tangible property, such as real estate, in order to obtain a pre-trial release from jail. Most jurisdictions require a warranty deed, a current tax statement showing the property’s fair market value and that all taxes are current, a current mortgage statement showing that all payments are current, and if there is more than one owner, an agreement signed by each owner indicating that the property may be used to finance a bond. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the property can be put into foreclosure and after the foreclosure proceeding, the court will collect the bail amount that is owed. If the sale of the property does not cover the amount of the bail, the court can seek to recover the difference from the accused.

Professional Bondsman/Bonding Company:

A bail bondsman or bonding company can post a defendant’s bond in order to release them from jail. The bonding company usually charges a non-refundable fee of 12% and 15% of the bond amount to cover their risk of a person not appearing in court. If you are interested in this type of bail bond, contact us today and let us help you secure your release while you await your court date.