Bails & Bonds After Arrest
Once arrested and booked into the local jail, one of the first things that happen is you appear in front of the magistrate. This is where the judge decides, based on your offense, the amount that you may post to get out of jail and go home, if at all. This process is more commonly referred to as setting “bail” or “bond.” Although most counties have magistrates on standby, waiting in jail to see a judge could take a few days.
The purpose of a bond is for an alleged offender to “have some skin in the game.” It is a refundable deposit that the defendant pays to the court to use as collateral to ensure their appearance at their court date. If you fail to show up to court after posting bond, you essentially forfeit the amount posted. In this case, you may have to pay an additional amount to stay out of jail.
Once bail/bond is set, you have a few options to post that money and get out of jail:
- Cash bond:A cash bond is self-explanatory — you pay the full amount of the bond that is set. As long as you follow all the bond conditions and requirements, you are returned the bond amount at the end of the case. For example, if the court sets bond at $5,000, you must pay the full $5,000.
- Personal bond (PR bond):If you don’t remember anything else from this blog, remember that this is the bond you request when you first meet with the magistrate after being arrested. It is the cheapest and best option to be released from jail. The court will look at a few things about you, such as criminal history, flight risk, good standing in the community, non-violent/violent, etc. If the court issues you a personal bond, you essentially are giving the court your word that you will appear at any future court appearances and do not have to pay anything to be released.
- Bail bond: A bail bond is a way for a defendant who can’t afford the posted bond to get out of jail. In this situation, the defendant hires a bail bondsman to post the bond on their behalf — this guarantees future appearances. However, bail bondsmen charge a percentage of the bond that is nonrefundable. The bail bondsman posts a “cash bond” on your behalf of $5,000, for example. The bail bondsman charges you, the defendant, 20% of the bond ($1,000) to do that. After the case ends, the bail bondsman gets their $5,000 back from the court, and the $1,000 is the cost of them posting the bond for you.
- Writ bond: A writ bond is a request or filing by an attorney on behalf of a defendant in a misdemeanor case who has not yet seen a magistrate. Eligible cases are typically non-violent cases such as DWI, possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substances, and theft. Writ bonds do not apply to a felony, Class C misdemeanor (traffic tickets/public intoxication), and assault arrests. After an attorney requests or files a writ bond, the entire process to release the defendant from jail will usually take two to four hours.
To learn more or to discuss the details of your own case, call (972) 460-9300 or contact us online today.