When you’ve been arrested for a crime you may or may not have committed, you’re usually held in jail until your court date or until you’re released on bail. Bail is the amount of money that you have to pay in exchange for your release.
Bail is set by the judge during a bail hearing. During that hearing, the judge considers the following factors when deciding whether to grant bail and what amount is appropriate:
- Your mental and physical condition
- Your financial resources
- Any familial ties
- If you have a history of drug and alcohol abuse
- If you have any criminal history
- Any previous record of appearing at court proceedings
- Your residence in the community
Types of Bail
There are five main types of bail available. The folks at amistadbailbonds.com have helpfully listed them down.
Cash bail is when the accused pays the full amount of bail in cash or checks. As long as the payer has enough money to cover the full amount of the bail, the accused will be released from police custody. If you show up to all of your court proceedings, you may even get back a majority of your bail money at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome.
This can be used for any amount of bail. Also known as a bail bond, this type of bail is provided on the accused’s behalf by a bail bond agent. This type of bail is very useful if the accused cannot afford to pay their own bail.
With a surety bond, the bail bond agent posts the accused’s bond in order to release them from jail. The bond agent usually charges a non-refundable fee of 12% and 15% of the bond amount to cover the risk of the accused not appearing in court.
Release on Own Personal Recognizance
Personal recognizance bail is when a judge decides to release the accused on their own recognizance, making them responsible for showing up at their court dates. They don’t have to pay any bail. This type of setup is usually only allowed if the accused’s charge involves a minor, nonviolent crime and if the accused isn’t considered a flight risk or a danger to anyone else.
A property bond or secured bond is a type of bail in which the accused gives the court a security interest in property that is equal to the worth of the total bail amount. If the accused fails to appear in court, the court can seize the property that they used as bail.
Also known as an unsecured bond, a signature bond is issued after the court has held a bail hearing but does not require the accused to pay the bail amount to be released. Instead of paying cash, the accused must sign an agreement that states that they must appear at all court proceedings, or else surrender the whole bail amount.
No matter what type of bail is granted to you, you must show up to all of your scheduled court proceedings as part of your release. If you show up to all of them and are found innocent, then the bail amount will be returned. If you don’t, you may be arrested and you will have to forfeit the bail amount. To avoid any jail time, make sure that you show up to all court-appointed proceedings.