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Alternatives to Bail Bonds

Bail Bonds

Bail bonds are generally used when a defendant has received a set bail during the bail hearing but cannot afford the total amount of the bail. When bail is set high, bonds can be quite useful – but it is also possible to avoid using bonds with a full bail cash payment or through a personal recognizance release.

Pay Cash to Avoid Bail Bonds

When defendants can afford it, it pays in the long run to avoid the use of bail bonds. To obtain any type of bail bond, a fee for the bond must be paid in advance; the fee is non-refundable and is typically 10% of the total bail amount. Depending on the size of the bail, a defendant can lose hundreds to thousands of dollars through the purchase of a bail bond.

Paying the total bail in cash is not always possible – but if defendants are able to pay the total bail in cash, the total amount of the bail payment is returned when they appear for their court hearing. Regardless of the outcome of the hearing – whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent – the bail payment will be returned in full.

Avoid Bail Bonds with Personal Recognizance

If a defendant, or a defendant’s lawyer, can prove during a bail hearing that the flight risk is low, a judge may order a release from jail on a personal recognizance bond. With a PR bond, the defendant is released without paying a fee; although in some cases the court requires a small deposit, usually less than $1,000 dollars, which is held in escrow.

  • For example, a defendant arrested for non-payment of child support may be released through a personal recognizance bond and a $500.00 dollar court deposit. When the defendant appears for the court date to hear the case, the $500.00 dollar deposit is returned.

As with all other types of bail releases, a defendant released on PR must attend the scheduled upcoming court hearing or an arrest bench warrant will immediately be issued; any deposit placed with the court for a PR release will be forfeit if the defendant fails to appear.

*The information in this article does not constitute legal advice. Please contact a legal professional in your local area for the best up-to-date and accurate legal advice.

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