When an individual is arrested for a crime, the person is typically taken to a local detention facility for booking prior to incarceration in county jail. Once arrested and booked, the defendant has several options for release pending the conclusion of his/her case.
The Bail system is designed to guarantee the timely appearance of a defendant in court. Bail is also an insurance policy for the state that the defendant will appear to face charges. Further, the legal intent of release on Bail is not to relieve the defendant of obligations except for appearing, it is the retention of control over the defendant to the end that justice might be administered.
Who Sets Bail Amounts?
A judge or magistrate normally sets the Bail amount for a particular case according to a Bail Schedule and the particulars of a case.
In setting or denying bail, the judge or magistrate's first concern is the protection of the public, followed by the seriousness of the offense and previous criminal record. Further, the Judge must be convinced that no part of the Bail was feloniously obtained.
Types of Bonds:
1) Cash Bond:
Requires an individual to post the total amount of the bond in cash. The court holds this money until the case is concluded. When the case is completed, the entire amount will be refunded. However, if the defendant does not appear as instructed, the cash bond is forfeited and a bench warrant is issued.
A series of contracts which guarantee the defendant's appearance in court. When a professional Bail Bond Agency guarantees that appearance, it is called a Surety Bond and the Bond Agency, through an insurance company, called Surety, is fully liable if the defendant does not appear.
3) 10% Bond:
The amount required to pay is 10% of the amount of the bond. (Example: If the bond amount is set at $10,000, the amount you are required to pay is $1,000.) When the case is completed, the Court keeps 10% of the amount posted and refunds the rest. However, if the defendant does not appear as instructed, the cash bond is forfeited and a bench warrant is issued.
Things You Need To Know:
1) If you post a bond for someone and you want to make sure you ( and only you) can get the money back, make sure you are named on the receipt as the person who posted bond. If you are not named as the person who posted the bond for the arrested person and the receipt is written in the name of the arrested person, that person will be able to use the money toward his/her fine and costs and the balance will be refunded to the arrested person.
2) Bond money is not refunded until the case is completely finished. In some cases, it may take several months for a case to be completed.