If you or someone you love has been arrested and taken to jail, you will likely need to understand how the "bond" system works. Generally, someone who has been arrested for any type of crime will have to post "bail" or "bond out" before they will be released from custody.
Posting bail is basically a defendant's agreement to the court that they will appear for all future court hearings. If they do not, then the court keeps the posted money and a warrant is issued for the defendant's arrest.
For many misdemeanor charges, a defendant's bond is set by a predetermined bond schedule and may be paid without the need to spend the night in jail. However, for some offenses, bond will be set by a judge at arraignment (for misdemeanor cases) or an initial appearance or bond hearing (for felony cases).
Types of Bond
There are generally four different types of bond:
- Recognizance or OR Bond : This type of bond only requires that the defendant sign a form promising to return for any future court dates. No money must be paid to the court if someone is released on a recognizance bond.
- Appearance or 10% Bond : This type of bond requires the defendant to post 10% of the total bond amount with the court. If the defendant appears for all court hearings, 90% of this amount is returned at the conclusion of the case.
- Cash Bond : For this type of bond, the entire bond must be posted. If the defendant appears for all court hearings, the entire bond is returned.
- Surety Bond : This type of bond is generally handled through bail bonds companies, who require at least 10% of the bond amount as a fee for issuing the surety power.
Please be advised that it can often take several hours for bond paperwork to be processed even after bond is posted. Once all the paper work is completed and processed, the defendant will be released from jail.