A debt intended to insure the defendant’s future appearances in court.

The amount of the bond is set by a judge or magistrate. Factors influencing the amount set include the seriousness of the charge, the defendant’s criminal history, and the defendant’s ties to the community. There are four types of bonds:

  • Personal recognizance bonds (a.k.a. “PR” bonds, or “signature bonds”) do not require the defendant or a third party to pay money to the court, unless the defendant later fails to appear.
  • Percent bonds require the defendant to post a percentage of the full bond (generally as low as 10%) to get out of jail, and the remaining percentage is due only if the defendant later fails to appear.
  • Cash bonds require the full amount of the bond to be paid in cash before the defendant can be released. If the defendant appears at all future court dates, most of the monies are returned to the person posting the bond.
  • Surety bonds are posted by a professional bondsman after being paid a non-refundable percentage of the full amount by the defendant.

See also…

Criminal Law Matters

Attorneys, Courts, Litigation