Most people are aware they can post bond by paying cash directly to the court, contracting with a bail bondsman, or being released on their own recognizance. However, there are actually five different ways you can secure your freedom using the bail system. Here's more information regarding the two you may not have known about.
Surety on Bond
Most courts required defendants to post the full amount ordered by the court to be released from jail. For instance, if the court sets bail at $5,000, then the person must pay that full amount before they'll be set free. Sometimes, however, the defendant can do what's called a surety on bond and pay only 10 percent of what's due to be set free. So if bail is $5,000, the defendant would only have to pay $500.
Generally, surety bonds are only available in areas that outlaw bail bondsmen. For instance, Illinois eliminated its private bond system as a way of lowering court costs and saving time. In that state, a person can be released after paying at least 10 percent of the bail but not less than $25. Additionally, the bond can only be posted by private citizens in this state. Attorneys are also not allowed to pay the bond for their clients.
Typically the courts will charge a fee for surety on bond agreements that's deducted from the deposited amount. When the person shows up to court as required, the deposit is returned to the payer, minus the fee. However, if the person doesn't show up as required, the entire bond amount becomes due and a bench warrant is typically issued.
If a person (or his or her family) doesn't have the financial resources to pay cash for bail, some courts will accept a property bond as a substitute. This is when an individual uses property or other assets to guarantee the bond. For instance, a person may pledge his or her home as collateral. The court will then place a lien on the property that is only removed if and when the defendant shows up for all of his or her court appointments.
Courts that accept this type of bond generally require the property to have a minimum value before it can be pledged. For instance, it's common for courts to require the asset be valued at a minimum of 150 percent of the bail amount. So if bail is set at $10,000, then the asset must have a value of $15,000 or more. This is to ensure that if the court has to sell the property to recoup its losses, there will be enough left over after fees and other costs associated with the sale to pay what's owed.
If the property pledged is a piece of real estate, the court may also require the owner to be current on all property taxes. Additionally, the court may assess additional fees to do a property bond that are typically not refundable.
It's important for people who chose to go this route to understand that the court can and will seize the pledged property and sell it if the defendant fails to appear in court as required. Therefore, it's best not to post bond this way if there is any risk that the defendant may flee. It's also best to avoid pledging a primary residence, as you will likely be evicted from the home if the court takes possession of the property.
In total, there are five different ways to bail yourself or a loved one out of jail. Which one works best for you depends on your needs and available assets. For more information about these bail options or to get someone out of jail, contact a bail bonds company or click here for more info.