The Types of Bail Explained

hands in handcuffsThere are five primary types of bail that are available to someone who has been accused of committing a crime. Some types of bail are used more often than other types of bail. Each option for bail offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and you may need to consult your licensed bail bondsman to determine which one is the right choice for you or a loved one after an arrest.

Cash Bail

When paying cash bail, the defendant will pay the full amount of bail required by the court. Depending on the court, checks, credit cards and money orders may be used to pay cash bail. Check with the detention facility and court staff to make sure your payment method is accepted.

Surety Bond

Many times, when bail is set by a court, it is more expensive than a defendant can readily afford. Surety bonds, more commonly referred to as bail bonds, are one way that the accused can make bail. Often, one of the accused loved one’s will contact a licensed bail agent who charges 10% of the total bail amount. The bondsman will have to pay the full amount of bail if the defendant does not show up to court to stand trial.

Release on Citation

Police officers have the option, for certain lower level offenses, to issue a citation that indicates that the defendant must appear in court rather than arresting and booking the accused. After the citation is issued, the detained party is released by the officer.

Own Recognizance

Being released on your own recognizance means that a defendant makes no payment to the court for bail. Instead, the accused signs an agreement indicating that they will return to court for his or her trial. Typically, this kind of bail is only for minor, nonviolent offenses where the defendant is not a flight risk.

Property Bond

Defendants can sometimes provide property to pay for a bond. The court will take out a lien (legal claim) against the property provided for the bond. If the accused doesn’t show up for court, the court will foreclose on the property.