types of bail

Know Your Bail: Learn About the Different Types of Bail Forms

America holds the world’s highest incarceration rate. Between prisons and jails, there were 2.2 million people behind bars in 2016. 

So once the handcuffs come off and the iron doors shut, what’s next? Unless you want to sit in jail until your court date, you’ll need to post bail.

There are a number of different types of bail that exist depending on the crime. Keep reading to find out what each one is so you’re prepared.

Cash Bail

Cash bail is a form of bail that the defendant can pay themselves. So if you’re booked with a cash bail of $500, you can pay the $500 and get released from jail. There is usually a processing fee, so you’ll likely pay a little bit more than the actual cash bail amount. 

If you’ve heard the term cash bond, you may be wondering, “what is a cash bond?” Technically, bail and bond are two different things, even though many people use them as synonyms. 

Bails are something you pay by yourself while a bond involves a third party. So a cash bail means that a bondsman company is providing some of the cash needed. 

Surety Bond

Surety bonds are one of the common types of bail bonds that involve a bail third party. 

If you receive a surety bond, a friend or family member needs to contact a bail bondsman company. They’re charged a certain percentage of the bond, usually 15 percent. The rest of the bond is secured through collateral, such as a car loan or property. 

If you or the defendant fails to show up for a court date, the bondsman company is liable for the full amount of the bond. In that case, they have the ability to seize any collateral secured to the bond. 

Own Recognizance Release

While not technically a bond, many times people get released on their own recognizance. 

Own recognizance bonds are for smaller crimes, such as misdemeanors. This involves the defendant signing paperwork agreeing to show up at their court date. No money is involved in this process, it’s just based on good faith. 

A similar option is a citation release. With a citation release, the defendant isn’t booked into jail at all. They sign similar paperwork to an own recognizance agreement and promise to show up for their court date. 

Both of these options are for non-violent crimes for defendants with little to no criminal history.

Beyond the Types of Bail

Now that you know the different types of bail, you won’t be stranded if you end up behind bars. 

The arresting jurisdiction and your criminal charges determine which kind of bond you receive. Once you know your bond, you can address the situation and move on with your life. Remember that paying your bond doesn’t mean your criminal charges are gone — it’s just the start of the criminal process. 

If you find yourself in need of a bail bond in the North Carolina area, contact us at Case Closed Bail Bonds