The Three Basic Types of Bail

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You’ve likely heard the term “out on bail”, but do you know what it really means? Bail is set by a judge in order to ensure that a person accused of a crime appears in court to answer the charges against them. Upon meeting the bail conditions, a suspect is released from pre-trial custody with the understanding that they will present themselves at an upcoming court hearing. While there are several variations, bail generally falls into three main categories.

The Three Basic Types of Bail

Surety Bonds

Probably the most common type of bail, a surety bond is one in which another person agrees to be responsible for the court-determined bail amount if the accused does not appear at the designated time. If a person doesn’t have a friend or family member able to serve as the guarantor, they’ll need to turn to a surety bail bondman Yadkin NC. It is common for the bondsman to charge a percentage of the total bail as an upfront fee.

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Cash Bonds

If the bail is set low enough, or the accused has access to sufficient money, a cash bond may be appropriate. As the name implies, the entire amount of the bond must be paid to the court in order to gain the defendant’s release. Once the defendant’s case has been decided, the money is returned, sometimes minus a small administrative fee.

Personal Recognizance Bonds

Most often granted to first-time offenders and those accused of nonviolent crimes, including white-collar crimes, this is definitely the most advantageous option for the defendant. Requiring no money upfront, the recognizance bond releases the individual from custody based on their personal promise to return to court as ordered and to not commit any crimes prior to the trial.

While the information above outlines the three basic categories, keep in mind that the specific types and permissible terms of bail vary by jurisdiction across the country.

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