What is Bail?
The court sets an amount of money that a defendant must pay for a conditional release from jail during the pendency of the criminal case. The amount set is based upon several different factors and can include the following:
- The defendant's prior record.
- The type of offense charged.
- Whether or not the defendant has a stable address, family life and occupation.
What is an Appearance Bond?
This sort of bail requires that you deposit 10% of the amount stated by the court with the Clerk of Courts. At the conclusion of the case, most of that deposit is returned to whomever posted it. It is not necessary that you have a bail bondsman post an Appearance Bond.
What is a Cash/Surety Bond?
This requires that you retain the services of a bail bondsman to assist in posting this bond. Usually, the bondsman will require that you pay a percentage of the stated amount as their fee (often 10%). You will still have to follow any pretrial supervision requirements and any agreements between you and your bail bondsman.
Can a Defendant be Released Without Having to Pay Anything?
Sometimes a person may be released on their own recognizance. This is sometimes known as a signature bond. Instead of posting a monetary amount, the Defendant merely signs their name promising that they will comply with any pretrial supervision and attend all court dates. Warning – failing to appear while out on a recognizance bond may result in having new criminal charges filed against you!
Once a Bond is Set Can it Be Lowered?
Absolutely. An attorney can file a Motion for a Bond Hearing in a case where there is a high stated bond. Upon the filing of the motion, the Court may set the matter for a hearing where factors can be considered for lowering the bond amount. Those factors considered are the same as those considered at the initial appearance. Often, though, it is possible to provide the assigned judge more details in consideration of a lower bond at a bond hearing.
If you have questions about the bond amount on a criminal case, contact Blosser Law Office for a free, no-obligation consultation.