The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears for all scheduled court hearings. A defendant’s bond can be set either by a predetermined bond schedule or by a judge at arraignment. After the bond is set, the defendant has the opportunity to post it with the court in order to be released from incarceration.
There are several types of bond, and the type determines how it is posted:
- Recognizance Bond: This type of bond only requires the defendant to promise, by signing their name, that they will be in court. Failure to appear in court after granted a recog bond is a crime itself.
- Appearance Bond: This type of bond requires the defendant to post 10% of the total bond amount with the court. If the defendant appears for all court hearings, 90% of this amount is returned at the conclusion of the case.
- Cash Bond: For this type of bond, the entire bond must be posted. If the defendant appears for all court hearings, the entire bond is returned.
- Surety Bond: This is the type of bond that requires a surety power from an insurance company guaranteeing the defendant’s presence at all hearings. If the defendant does not appear, the insurance company is responsible to the court for the entire amount of the bond. These types of bonds are generally handled through bail bonds companies, who typically require at least 10% of the bond amount as a fee for issuing the surety power.
Once bond is posted, the defendant is not immediately released. The bond must be processed through the court and then the release notice is issued to the jail. This process can take several hours. After release, the defendant is responsible for appearing at all future court proceedings.