A cash bond is posted in cash, in person and in full at the jail or facility where the defendant is being held. Any size bond can be paid in cash, but most people do not have access to large sums of money that can be tied up for long periods of time. For the most part, cash bonds are paid when the bond is small enough that a bail bondsman is not needed to help generate the funds. When a bail bond is paid in cash, the funds are released back to the individual who posted it when the case is completed, minus any court fees, extra costs and possible restitution. Cash bonds are the easiest to post and the most cost effective, if the defendant can afford it.
A surety bond is one that is posted by a bail bondsman. A co-signer applies for a bail bond with a bail bond service and must pay a 15% premium. The premium is 15% of the total bail bond amount and can be paid in a variety of ways. Cash, credit card, money order, cashier's check or secured with property or other valuables. The premium is non-refundable and non-negotiable. The court will keep the bail bond until such time as the case has been completed or dismissed. If the case is dismissed or is completed, the court will release or exonerate the bail, returning it to either the bail bondsman or the person who paid it originally. If the defendant does not comply with the court's orders and does not appear in court, the bail bond may be forfeited. If the defendant does not appear in court, the judge will allow the bail bonds agent a certain amount of time to find and return the defendant to jail. If this does not happen, the court will forfeit the bail, making the total amount due and owing. The bail bond service will pay the total amount of the bail to the court and then go to the co-signer to collect the amount lost including any fees and damages.
A warrant bond is a bail bond that is actually paid on an active warrant before the defendant has had a chance to be arrested. If you find out a friend or loved one has an active warrant, you can hire a bail bondsman to go with them to the jail. They will turn themselves into the police and the bail bonds agent can post their bond while they are being processed. This eliminates spending any time in jail. Once the booking, intake and release processes are completed the defendant is allowed to leave. The bail bond will remain in place just like any other type of bond and will be released once the defendant's case has been completed and everything finalized with the courts.
A property bond is a bail bond that has been secured with a piece of property that has substantial value. This can be a home, real estate, certificate of deposit, boat, vehicle or jewelry. In most cases, the value of the property being used as collateral must be at least one and a half times the value of the total bail bond. The extra amount is needed in case, for some reason, the property must be sold. Converting the property to cash will require extra expense and will be deducted out of the overage. If the property is sold to cover the bail bond, any money left over will be returned to the co-signer. It is important to know that before any piece of real property can be used as collateral to secure a bail bond, it must be owned free and clear. There can be no liens or other financial obligations attached to it in any way.
Because of their additional value, property bonds are used for specific types of cases, especially those that are extremely high risk. Immigration bonds are a good example. In most cases, immigration bonds carry an extremely high bail bond amount. This is because with an immigrant, whether they have a visa or green card, poses an increased risk of flight. The substantial risk must be sufficiently covered and a property bond can cover the total bond amount and then some.