Types of Bail Bonds
There are different types of bail bonds available that will help defendants out of jail and their eligibility depends on a number of factors.
A bail bond is a legal agreement between the defendant, the court and the bail bondsman which allows the accused to be released on bail on the condition that he or she will put in an appearance for all the scheduled court dates. If the defendant jumps bail, meaning he or she does not show up at court at the appointed date, the bail will be forfeited to the court.
In cases when the accused has the funds to cover the bail amount set by the court, he or she can post bail. However, if the defendant is not able to come up with the money needed to pay the bail amount, they or their family can choose to solicit the assistance of a bail agent.
Each bond type has a specific purpose and the level of the bond and its availability for defendants will depend on their individual circumstances.
Federal bail bonds apply to criminals charged with any type of federal offense, such as interstate crimes or felonies committed on federal property. This type of bond is usually more expensive since they are considered a higher risk due to the type of federal crime, usually requiring a surety bondsman. A professional bail bondsman guarantees bail from their own assets. In contrast, a surety bondsman is backed by an insurance company. A judge sets federal bail in a courtroom and must be requested by the defendant or a lawyer in the case.
Cash bail can be posted directly with the jail or detention facility by anyone, including defendants, so that they can secure release from imprisonment. This requires the full payment of the bail amount (depending on the court this can be in the form of a check, money order or credit card payment) which will be returned at the conclusion of the case, unless the defendant fails to show up at the court for his or her scheduled trial.
In the case of surety bonds, it is the bail agent or bail bondsman that posts bail on the defendant’s behalf. The bail agent charges the defendant or their family 10 percent of the total bail and requires collateral from them or a co-signor in order to reduce the risk of loss. If the defendant fails to appear in court at the appointed time, the bail agent is liable to the court and can assign a fugitive recovery agent or bounty hunter to locate and apprehend the defendant.
An immigration bond is considered a high risk bond which makes it very expensive and difficult to obtain. This type of bond applies to non-citizens who are arrested and charged with a crime and may also face immigration proceedings and detention.
This type of bond is sometimes referred to as a secured bond and is only allowed in some jurisdictions. Often, courts require the real property, such as a house, to have twice the value of the imposed bail. Once the property bond is posted, the court will be given a lien on the property and the court will have the right to foreclose on it if the defendant skips bail.