Talking About Family Court Proceedings

5 Types Of Bail Bonds Explained

Bail bonds are financial arrangements for release from jail on the condition that the defendant appears on their court dates. If you ever need to post bail, you will need to understand all of the options that are available to you. Here is an overview of five common types of bail bonds.

1. Cash Bail Bonds

Cash bail bonds are the simplest type to understand, although they are less commonly used than other types. Cash bonds simply entail paying your entire bail amount in cash. After your case ends, court costs and other small fees are paid with your bail, and then the remainder is returned to you. Even so, many defendants do not choose cash bonds because they cannot afford to pay their full bail amount at once.

2. Property Bonds

If you own real estate, vehicles, or other high-value property, a property bond may be the right solution for you. Property bonds allow the court to place a lien on your possessions to cover the cost of your bail. When a defendant with property bonds fails to appear in court, the court will possess the collateral and the defendant forfeits all ownership.

In addition to the risk of losing valuable belongings, property bonds can take weeks to settle as inspections and valuations are performed on the collateral involved. For these reasons, many defendants choose to reserve property bonds as a last resort. 

3. Recognizance Bonds

When a defendant is released on their own recognizance, this is a type of bond that is decided upon by the presiding judge at arraignment. Instead of collecting bail, the defendant is released after providing a written statement that they will appear for future court dates. The defendant may still be subject to regular check-ins with a probation officer.

Judges use a number of factors to determine when a recognizance release is appropriate. Common examples include your criminal history, standing in the community, and occupational and family obligations. Some jurisdictions even have software programs that will analyze data about the defendant to determine the likelihood that they will appear for court on recognizance release.

4. Citation Release

Just as recognizance bonds are at the discretion of your judge, citation release is an option that is available at the discretion of the arresting officer. Citation release bonds are written warnings from the officer that assign you a court date while allowing you to remain free. 

Citation release bonds usually come into play for low-level offenses. Traffic tickets are the most common example, though officers may choose citation release for other misdemeanors like petty theft or criminal mischief. Again, your community standing and criminal history will have an impact on the likelihood that your arresting officer will issue a citation release.

5. Commercial Bonds

Commercial bonds are also sometimes called surety bonds. With this type of bond, a bail bond agency will pay your bail after you have paid a certain percentage up-front. You will then owe the bail bond agency the amount of your bail, as well as any other fees that the agency may charge. While commercial bonds are not legal in every state, they provide a good alternative for defendants who cannot afford their bail.

As you can see, bail bonds provide a variety of paths to release for defendants who need to post bail. Now that you understand the options that are available, you can stay calm and make a plan if posting bail is ever a situation you are faced with. Contact a local bail bond agency for more tips and recommendations tailored to the unique needs of your case.

About Me

Talking About Family Court Proceedings

Hello, my name is Bridget Waller. Welcome to my site about family court proceedings. My involvement in family court was not a welcome one. Despite the difficulties experienced during that time, I focused on building my knowledge about family court proceedings rather than let the process bring me down. I created this site to share my knowledge with you all, in hopes that I can help others navigate family court proceedings with ease. I will explore every phase of the court process in great detail to help others better understand the proceedings. Please come by my site regularly to learn more. Thanks.