After Arrest: Understanding Types Of Bail

Posted on: 16 September 2014


Any time a person is arrested in the United States, he or she is taken to jail, where the formal charges against the suspect can be filed. Once the charges are filed, a judge reviews the charges and the person's previous criminal record (if applicable) before setting an amount for bail; this is the amount of money the arrested person will need to come up with in order to be released until his or her official court date. If bail cannot be made, the accused must be booked into jail until the court date, which could be days, weeks, or months in the future.

Types of Bail: Cash and Bonds

Because bail amounts can vary greatly depending on the nature of the crime and the accused person's criminal record, it can sometimes be difficult to come up with the money to bail out right away. The purpose of bail is to ensure that a person released from jail will have an incentive to attend his or her court date; if he or she misses the date, a felony warrant goes out for the person's arrest and the bail is forfeited completely. 

The most common way people who commit smaller crimes (such as misdemeanors) make bail is through a cash bond; this occurs when the person arrested has the full bail amount in his or her checking account and can thus pay on-the-spot as soon as charges are filed. Cash bonds can be paid via check, debit, or credit card.

For larger bail amounts, such as those set for felony charges, it may be necessary for the person to take out a bail bond (also known as a security bond). This involves working with a third-party that essentially loans out the money to make bail. The money may be lent directly to the person arrested or to a friend or family member, who then uses it to post bail. In these cases, the bail bondsman guarantees payment of the bond, even if the event that the person arrested doesn't show up in jail.

With a security bond, however, the person arrested has to pay back not only the bail bond, but interest as well. If he or she flees and doesn't show up to the court date, a bounty hunter (likely one employed by the bond company) will be on the hunt for that person until he or she is found and brought back to jail.

For more information, contact Quick Bail Bonds by Mario Vallejos or a similar company.