7 Types of Bail Bonds You Need To Know

by Frank

If you’re ever arrested and taken into custody, your first thought will likely be “how can I get out?” That is, get out legally. For all but the most serious offenses, a bail bond will allow you to gain freedom, and spend time with your friends and family while you await your court date. Since a bail bond is such a crucial part of the judicial process, then, it follows that you need to be aware of the different types of bail bonds available to you in the event that you do have a run-in with the law. Waiting until you’re in custody to try and educate yourself could greatly slow the process down, and add a lot of extra stress to you and your loved ones.

In any event, a citation release is typically only granted for very minor offenses, such as traffic violations. So, if you are arrested, don’t count on this being your way of avoiding the need for another type of bail bond. No matter what situation you find yourself in, remember there are people in the judicial system who can help you. Whether it be a bail bondsman, a lawyer, or a generous police officer, if you find the right help at the right time, you will be well on your way to securing a quick release from custody, allowing you privacy and dignity as you prepare for your court date.

1. Surety Bonds

One of the most common form of bail bonds is surety bonds. surety bonds are essentially a bond loan when you can’t afford the full amount of the bail with your own cash. A bail bondsman grants surety bonds upon receiving ten percent of the amount of the bail, along with a promise to appear for your court dates. After receiving these necessities, the bail bondsman then covers the remaining 90% of your bail, allowing you to be released from custody. An important consideration when securing a surety bond is payment plans and terms for re-paying your surety bond. Remember, it is essentially a loan, so you want to select someone who will treat you fairly and not cause you more trouble than you’re already facing. If you need legal assistance you can also find additional legal aid here and you can search for a lawyer here.

2. Property Bonds

If, for some reason or another, you can’t or don’t want to obtain a surety bond, a property bond is also an option in some areas. Property bonds could be considered somewhat equivalent to a home equity loan, in that the bail is granted by obtaining rights to the property you offer. Typically, the property used is some form of real estate, as that is the only property that would have enough equity to satisfy the bail. In some cases, however, other personal property can be used.

While surety bonds can be quite quick to obtain, property bonds have to go through the court system, to allow a judge to examine the case and determine if the property being offered satisfies the conditions of the bail. If you don’t have any other options, though, and are in an area that allows this type of bond, then it could be a good option.

3. Cash Bonds

If you find yourself in a situation where the bail isn’t too terribly high, or you just happen to be independently wealthy, cash bonds are likely your wise option. Without the risks or extra costs of a property or surety bond, a cash bond will ensure your quick release and much less stress. Cash is the preferred format for a cash bond, though some locales will accept a cashier’s check or even a credit card. Whatever the case, if you can secure the funds independent of an outside organization, you will set yourself up for greater success in the long run.

4. Citation Release

A citation release is akin to the proverbial “slap on the wrist.” If you are in a situation where you’re arrested, but the officer, at his or her discretion, chooses to release you instead of taking you into custody, you’ve just been granted a citation release. You’ll still have to appear in court on a specific date, and not doing so will certainly result in you ending up with a need for another type of bail bond. However, as long as you do show up, a citation release is one of the wise types of bail bonds, because the bail is, effectively, your release.

5. Recognizance Release

If you are taken into custody, you still have one last chance at being released apart from a bail bond requiring assets. With the recognizance release, your arresting officer, again, completely at his or her discretion, chooses to allow your release upon your completion of some paperwork promising to appear in court on certain dates. While inconvenient, receiving a recognizance release is still certainly preferably to an asset-backed bail bond.
Something to be aware of with a recognizance release is that you do have the right to try and secure this type of bail bond, even if your arresting officer doesn’t grant it. However, this requires an appearance before a judge, preferably with a good lawyer. You can see then, why this option is rarely exercised, as having a lawyer do anything for you will quickly become more expensive than securing another type of bail bond, should your arresting officer not grant your immediate release.

6. Federal Bail Bonds

Turning from bail bonds secured due to minor offenses to a bail bond secured for more serious offenses, we encounter Federal Bail Bonds. These types of bonds are only required if you are in custody for violating a federal law. Obviously, your arresting officer will not be able to be so judicious in securing your release in a situation like this, so you will need to turn to other resources. This type of bond is secured and backed entirely through your own assets, and can be a mix of cash and property. As with straight property bonds, they are handled by the court overseeing your case, so they can take longer. However, due to the typically higher bails associated with federal offenses, being able to access all your assets may be worth the extra time.

7. Immigration Bail Bonds

If you’re an undocumented immigrant and find yourself in police custody, Immigration Bail Bonds could be your wise, and, in many cases, your only option. These are somewhat similar to a surety bond, however due to your specific legal status, they can be much more difficult to secure. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you will need to secure the assistance of a bail bondsman, a lawyer, or both to ensure you have the wise chance of securing one of these hard-to-obtain bail bonds. With the right assistance, an immigration bail bond is not entirely out of reach. If you need legal assistance you can also find additional legal aid here and you can search for a lawyer here.