When a person is arrested and placed in jail, their immediate release becomes a top priority. This is where bail bonds come into the picture. Bail bonds are a legal agreement that allows the person placed in jail to be released while waiting on their court date. There are many different types of bail bond options available. They each have their own set of terms and conditions. In this blog, we will break down various bail bonds for defendants to choose the right one for their circumstances.
Cash bail is the most straightforward option. The defendant, or someone on their behalf, will pay the full amount in cash to the court. The bail amount is returned once the court date or trial is finished, and the defendant appears at all the court hearings. While this is the simplest way to go, this is also not financially possible for all individuals.
A surety bond involves hiring a bail bondsman. The bail bondsman acts as a guarantor and posts the bail amount to the court on their behalf. The defendant or person paying the bail must pay a percentage of the total bail amount, normally around 10% as a fee to the bail bondsman. This is suitable when the defendant cannot afford the entire bail upfront.
A property bond allows a defendant to use their property as collateral for their release. The values of the property must be equal to or greater than the bail amount. If the defendant does not show up in court, the court can seize the property. This is a complex option and requires a property appraisal. This is a high risk and is often a less common choice.
Release on Recognizance (ROR)
Release on Recognizance is the most tolerant option. Often this is for non-violent, first-time offenders with community involvement. In this situation, the defendant is released without paying bail, but they sign a document stating their agreement to appear in court. Failure to appear can result in re-arrest without this as an option in the future.
Choosing the Right Option
- Financial Situation: The primary factor in choosing a bail bond option is based on the financial situation of the defendant. If they can afford to pay the full amount in cash without straining their finances, that might be the best route to go. Although, if paying the full amount is difficult, pursuing the help of a bail bondsman is a more realistic choice.
- Nature of the Offense: The seriousness of the offense plays a huge role when deciding what bail option to choose. For minor offenses, a defendant might be eligible for Release on Recognizance. For more serious offenses, a surety bond is more practical.
- Legal Guidance: Speaking with an attorney is one of the most important things to do when dealing with an arrest. Legal professionals can offer their expertise on the case and recommend the best bail bond option for their client.
Navigating the bail bond system can be overwhelming, but knowing the different bail bond options makes the process a lot less stressful. A defendant must consider their finances, the nature of the offense, and legal guidance when choosing the right bail bond. Regardless of the decision, the goal is to ensure the release of the defendant while having them appear at their court hearing.