When someone is arrested, a bond hearing is always done after the booking process. In the bond hearing, a judge will either decide to deny bond for more extreme circumstances or they will offer bond with a set price. From this point the defendant usually has a few options on how to go about paying. Here are the most common types of bonds that someone will encounter.
One other option besides a bond that could be offered by the judge on occasion is personal recognizance. Personal recognizance is typically only considered an option if the defendant is a first time offender or they are being charged for a minor misdemeanor offense. If the judge elects to offer personal recognizance, it means that they are essentially letting you get released without having to pay bond. You will sign a contract promising to return to any and all court dates but in exchange for this, you are able to get released with no money down.
Cash bonds are the most straightforward and traditional bonds. This is where you pay the entire cost of the bond upfront and directly to the courts. The main benefit of this is that there is no middle man and as long as you show up to all scheduled court dates and complete any and all bond conditions, the money will eventually be refunded. However, this can take several months and any fines and fees will first be deducted before the money is returned.
The surety bond tends to be the most common type of bond for most because it is the most accessible financially. A surety bond is obtained through a bail bondsman and the reason it is considered more accessible is that you only have to pay a small fraction of the actual bond cost (around 10 to 15%). The reason for this is because bail bondsmen essentially act as insurance to the courts that the defendant will show up to the courts and so they back the rest of the bond cost. The tradeoff for this is that the money put down is not refundable as it is considered the cost of doing business with a bail bondsman and the defendant will have not only the courts but the bail bond agency to report to.
Immigration bonds are bonds that not surprisingly deal with immigration. When someone is arrested on an immigration issue such as illegal entry into the country, they not only will held in a special detention center run by ICE but they need to get an immigration bond that has more stipulations and contingencies than the average bail bond. Some of these main contingencies include that the bond can only be paid for by a legal U.S citizen and sometimes that the defendant will need to volunteer to go back to their home countries at their own expense.
Collateral is one of the most well-known forms of a bond but it is important to know that not all states accept collateral as a form of payment for a bond. Collateral is when the defendant or their indemnitor offers to submit a high-value item such as a car or deed to a home up in trade from the cost of the bond. If the defendant does in fact show up to their hearings, then the lien on the item will be lifted but it can be a dangerous risk because if they do not show, it could put someone’s home or something of extremely high value in danger of being seized.
Overall, there are a variety of ways that bond can be paid for, but surety bonds tend to be the easiest and most accessible way. If you or a loved one are in need of a trustworthy and reliable bail bond agency, please contact us and we would be happy to assist!