Bail ordinarily refers to any form of property that is pledged or
deposited to court in the act of persuading the release of a suspect
from jail. This is on the understanding that the person in question
will return for trial or will forfeit the bail. If the suspect does not
return for trial, thus the bail being forfeited, he or she will
possibly be brought up on new criminal charges of failure to appear. In
many cases the money or bail may be returned following the trial if the
suspect appears in court. This happens whether or not the suspect is
found innocent or guilty of the accused crime.
In many cases a bondsman is issued in the need of a surety bond.
Bondsmen can be "purchased" for a fee that is non-refundable. In this
case the fee for the bond is the same fee as the insurance policy
obtained. In these cases bonds are contracts between different parties
where the obligee asks the principal to perform duties according to a
contract, and a bond is issued by the surety.
Granting bail is common in the United States. However bail may not be
offer by certain courts under particular circumstances, such as if the
suspect is consider unlikely to appear for court. Those without bail
are imprisoned until the named court date. Some legislatures even set
apart certain crimes to be un-bailable, like capital crimes.
Forms of Bail
The United States uses six different forms of bail, which vary
according to jurisdiction.
Recognizance Bail is when a
suspect is released on recognizance with the promise to appear in court
and to not participate in further illegal activity or prohibited
conducts as explained by the court. The amount of bail is monetary and
is not paid by the defendant unless forfeited by the court.
Citation Release Bail is when
an arresting officer gives issuance to a suspect to inform him or her
that he or she must appear at the appointed court date. These are also
called Cite Outs and occur automatically after a suspect is arrested.
A Surety Bond is issued
through a third party who agrees to be responsible for the obligation
of the suspect. This is usually done by a bail bondsman with ten
percent of the bail received up front, even if the suspect refuses to
appear in court. Bondsmen post bonds for the amount of the bails with
the guarantee that the suspect will appear in court. For a contracted
fee, the bondsmen agree to pay whether or not a suspect appears in
Real property is pledged on the behalf of an accused suspect in a Property Bond. The real property
has a value that is equal or more than the amount of the bail. The
state can levy against the property to recover the bail if the suspect
does not appear in court. This levy is rarely used and is only in
Sometimes a cash only policy is given where the court will only accept cash bonds, which requires the
suspect to post the entire bail in cash form. The money is held through
the court until the closing of the case.
Courts sometimes allow the Combination
Bail of cash bond or bail to be posted at once. Conditions are
set to ensure court attendance.