Bail

When someone is arrested, the constitution requires that a reasonable bond be set. A bond does not have to be set for capital offences. Posting bond allows for the accused to be released from jail while their case is pending. Bonds are also used by the courts to secure that the accused will appear for court. If the accused does not appear for a scheduled court date, the bond may be forfeited and the court can keep what was posted. A bond may also be revoked if the accused violates conditions of his bond and/or had new arrests while on bond. When a bond is forfeited, the party who paid the bond will lose the money or property they posted for the bond. If the bond is revoked the court does not keep the bond, but the defendant may have to post a new bond or stay in jail until the case is resolved. It is very important to make all court appearances while out on bond to avoid having the bond revoked. Once a bond is revoked, the accused may be held until a new bond is set or may be held without bond. If the accused is being held without bond or if the accused is unable to post the bond, he will remain in jail until the case is resolved.

There are usually three different kinds of bonds: cash bonds, commercial surety bonds, and property bonds. In some instances a person may also be released on a personal surety bond or sign out bond. A cash bond is when the entire amount of the bond is paid. If a cash bond is posted, the party who paid the bond will be refunded the entire amount paid unless the bond has been forfeited. A commercial surety bond is when someone pays a bonding company a percentage of the bond, and the bonding company posts the remainder of the bond. The percentage is usually 12%. Commercial surety bonds are most common because they are usually the quickest way for someone to be released, and most people can’t afford cash bonds. However, if someone uses a bonding company, the bonding company will keep the percentage paid as their fee, and the party who paid them is not entitled to have any of the money returned after the case has concluded. Property bonds are when someone posts the equity in a piece of immovable property (land) as the bond. Personal surety or sign out bonds are when the court allows someone to sign an agreement that the defendant will appear in court, and if the defendant does not appear in court, the person who signed them out will have to pay the bond.

The type of bond that is best for an accused depends on many factors. An attorney can help determine which type of bond may be best for someone, but attorneys are not permitted to bond clients out of jail. If you are thinking about bonding someone out of jail, it may be best to contact an attorney so he can fully explain the process. Attorneys may also assist in getting bonds set quickly and/or having bonds reduced.

If you need help with a bond issue, contact Ben LaBranche at (225) 927-5495.