Different Types of Bonds


Having a bond or bail set in a criminal case can sometimes be a confusing subject. Here, we would like to help with your questions regarding the types of bonds that you, or someone you know, may encounter during their criminal case proceedings.

Recognizance Bond – this may be referred to as a “signature” or “personal” bond. You may also hear it referred to as an “OR” bond, meaning the defendant is released on their own recognizance. This bond does not require any up-front money to be paid for release. Who is eligible for this bond? Generally, defendants with no criminal history, those facing non-violent misdemeanor or low-level felony charges, those with ties to the community, and those that are not a flight risk. For instance, at an arraignment or initial appearance, the judge may set a $5,000.00 personal bond that is not required to be satisfied up front, and you are released. However, should you fail to appear for a hearing or violate a condition of your bond, you will be required to pay the full amount.

Standard Bail Bond – an “appearance” or “10% bond,” in which the defendant pays 10% of the full bond directly to the court. At the end of your case, and if all goes well, you will receive a refund of 90% of the 10% bond that was previously deposited. Should you be found not guilty, or the charges are dismissed, you receive 100% of your deposit back. Failing to appear for any hearing forfeits your deposit immediately. Therefore, this bond can result in several outcomes. For example, if the judge sets a $5,000.00 standard bail bond, you will remit to the court $500.00. If you plea to any of the charges, you will receive 90% of that deposit back, or $450.00. If you are found not guilty or all charges are dismissed, you will receive your entire $500.00 back. However, failing to appear to any court hearing will result in a warrant for your arrest and the loss of your deposit.

Cash/Surety Bond – here is where you may need a bail bondsman. However, you have the option of paying the full bond yourself (cash) or hiring a bail bondsman (surety). Bail bondsmen typically charge a premium, which usually works out to be about 10% of the total bond amount. However, at the end of the case you will not receive any of this money back. Should you be in a position to pay the entire bond in cash, you will receive a full refund at the end of the case.

If you are currently facing criminal charges, make sure that you appear at all hearings, periodically check in with your attorney to verify court dates and be cautious of your bond conditions to avoid any violations of bond. At Hartwig Law, we are here to answer any additional questions about bond, can refer you to a bondsman, or facilitate turning a defendant in on a warrant to ensure the process goes smoothly. For more information, please contact us at (330) 718-9499 – we are here to help every step of the way!

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