Typically, whenever a person is arrested, they are booked and their charges are read to them. Usually, at some later date, the defendant will be led to a hearing where a judge sets a bail.
Bail is the temporary release of an accused individual awaiting trial. According to federal law, defendants have a right to bail. However, if the judge deems the defendant to be a flight risk or a threat to the community, the judge may withhold bail, forcing the individual to remain incarcerated.
Many factors, including the defendant’s criminal record and the severity of the charges, are taken into consideration when determining which type of bail is to be set. The defendant’s lifestyle, as well as his or her responsibilities in society, are also considered. Depending on the details of the case, there are seven types of bail that a judge can grant.
1) Citation Release: A “cite out,” or citation release occurs whenever an officer issues a citation ordering the suspect to appear before a judge on a specific date. Typically, the citation is issued immediately after the defendant is arrested, resulting in little to no incarceration time.
This type of bail bond relies solely on the honesty of the defendant; however, failure to appear in court on the specified date results in a bench warrant being issued for the defendant’s arrest.
Citation releases are typically only granted for minor infractions, such as traffic violations and speeding tickets.
2) Recognizance Release: When a suspect is granted release on their own recognizance, no bail money is paid and no bond is posted. Instead, the accused promises, in writing, that he or she will appear in court for all upcoming proceedings.
Other conditions are often imposed when this type of bail is granted:
- The suspect may be prohibited from leaving the area while charges remain;
- The suspect may be required to occasionally contact the court until their case is resolved;
- The suspect must refrain from further criminal activity.
While no payment is collected upon the defendant’s release, the court does set a fee to be collected if the defendant does not show up on their appointed court date.
3) Cash Bail: Often referred to as a “cash only bail bond,” the court sets a dollar amount and requires the full amount of the bail to be paid in cash before the defendant can be released.
In cases where the defendant is deemed a flight risk, cash bails are typically ordered. Additionally, if the defendant has unpaid fines or fees from a previous case, the judge may opt to impose this type of bond. It may also be issued if the defendant has out-of-jurisdictional warrants.
If the defendant fails to appear in court on their scheduled date, they forfeit their cash bond. However, if the defendant does appear in court, their money is returned, although it is sometimes retained by the court and used to pay fines and court costs.
4) Surety Bond: If a defendant does not have the full bail amount, they may enter into an agreement with a third party who pays the bail and assumes the risk and obligation of the defendant.
In exchange for this service, the third party typically charges a nonrefundable fee of about 10% of the required bail amount.
Three parties are involved in this process:
- The obligee: One to whom another is obligated (typically the court)
- The principal: The primary party who will perform the contractual obligation (typically the defendant)
- The surety: One who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task (typically the bail bondsman)
To protect his investment, the bondsman will take out a security against the defendant’s assets to cover the cost of bail. If the defendant does not have sufficient assets, the bondsman can take out securities against the assets of those willing to “cosign.”
5) Property Bond: In a property bond, property is used as collateral against the bail.
As long as the person putting up the bond owns the property, has full rights to the property, or is authorized to use the property for the bond, this type of bond may be granted.
The only requirement is that the property must appraise for at least twice the amount of the bail. If the defendant fails to appear, the court may institute foreclosure proceedings against the property in order to obtain the bail amount.
Federal Bail Bond
6) Federal Bail Bond: A federal bail bond is similar to a surety bond. However, a standard premium is typically charged for 15% of the total bail, and it must be paid up front.
This type of bond may only be applied to federal crimes that lie outside the jurisdiction of a state or local court.
When granted, the person bailing out the defendant is required to prove their assets to ensure that they will be able to repay the bail if the person fails to appear in court. This occurs during the nebbia hearing.
Immigration Bail Bond
7) Immigration Bail Bond: This type of bail bond is reserved for undocumented individuals or Green Card holders who have been detained by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
4 Types of Immigration Bonds
There are four kinds of immigration bonds:
- Delivery bonds are used to ensure that an individual will comply with a deportation order.
- Public safety bonds ascertain that the government will be reimbursed should the bonded undocumented individual accept any form of public assistance.
- Voluntary departure bonds occur whenever an illegal alien is granted voluntary departure to his or her country of origin. The bond ensures that the person returns in keeping with the conditions set forth in their court order.
- Order of supervision bonds help make certain that the defendant carries out all of the conditions of the order of supervision and that they surrender for removal.
The bond must travel through several federal offices to be processed, and therefore, the process for immigration bail bonds tends to be rather lengthy. It is also the most expensive of all seven bail bonds.