Bail Bond Information from a Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney
THE INFORMATION YOU NEED ON HOW BAIL BONDS WORK BEFORE YOU ACT
Bail bonds come in many varieties which you need to understand as there are “pros” and “cons” to different kinds. Bail bonds can sometimes be posted without use of a bail bondsman who keeps their fee. Some bonds are refundable and some are not.
Recognizance bonds – http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2725.18
Also called “Recog Bonds," “own recognizance bonds," “ROR," “OR” or “signature bonds." These phrases all mean the same thing and are simply different lingo used from courthouse to courthouse.
This bond is free release from jail. A Defendant given a $5,000 Recognizance bond still pays nothing. This dollar amount is what the bond converts to if a Defendant fails to appear.
A Defendant may get conditions attached to a recognizance bond such as a “stay away” from an alleged victim. If that Judge later believes the condition to stay away was broken the bond can be revoked and the Defendant will be put back in jail.
Failure to appear on a Recognizance bond on a felony is a new criminal charge that is punishable by up to 18 months in prison so it is often “stacked” on top of “non-free” bonds.
Also called “10% bonds."
This type of bond is preferable to a surety bond (which a bail bondsman would post) because posted bond money is refunded at the close of the case.
The downside to an appearance bond is that the 10% must be paid in full immediately to the Clerk of Courts.
Another downside is that the person posting the bond is “on the hook” for the other 90% if a court date is missed. The 10% will remain tied up in the court until the case ends which can easily be many months.
Surety bail bonds
This is an insurance policy essentially “sold” by bail bondsmen to get a Defendant released from jail. The price is set by a Judge and bail bondsmen then charge 10% of the total--but unlike appearance bonds they do not refund the money when the case ends.
Many bail bondsmen will take less than 10% of the total and allow payments toward the total 10% (which makes them more affordable in the short term)
This is payment of the full bond amount set by the Judge. This is undesirable.
Like appearance bonds the bond is refunded at the end of the case.
Like appearance bonds it puts the person posting the bond “on the hook” for the full amount if a court date is missed.
Combinations of bonds
It is extremely common to have a combination of the bonds above. This means “you choose” which type of bond you want to post.
If you have both types of bond you must post both bonds
If you have a “cash/surety/appearance” the “/” means you only need to pay one of the bonds
For example, a $10,000 C/S/A is a $10,000 bond that can be paid in any of the following ways:
“C” is a cash bond--All $10,000 paid to the clerk of courts
Refundable. Risk is assumed by the person posting bond that the money will be kept by the court as a penalty for non-appearance of a Defendant. It does not involve a bail bondsman.
“S” is a surety bail bond—10% of the $10,000 bond is paid eventually to a bail bondsman ($1,000). Payments of less than the $1,000 may be accepted. Non-refundable because risk is assumed by the bail bondsman.
“A” is an appearance bond—10% of the $10,000 is paid immediately to the Clerk of Courts ($1,000). Full payment is required. Refundable. Risk that the person posting the bond will owe $9,000 more for non-appearance of the Defendant.