What does a cash-only bond mean?

gavel and cash bond

Do you need cash to bail someone out of jail?

While the exact process may vary from state to state, the general routine is when somebody is arrested and taken to jail, they go before an arraignment judge. At that arraignment hearing, the judge sets bail, an amount of money that must be paid for release until their trial hear, sometimes it is set as a cash only bail

Sometimes the defendant can post their own bail, they may call an attorney who will post bail (and that is the first recommendation is calling a criminal attorney), or a family member or friend may get a bail bondsman to post bail. When a cash only bail is set, there are cash bail facts that should be understood and requirements to be fulfilled. 

When you find out that a loved one or a friend has been arrested, the hardest part is waiting for bail to be set by the arraignment judge. Until that has taken place, the defendant is stuck in jail, sitting behind bars. Of course, all the images we see from movies and televisions are running through our mind of horrid conditions. So, we worry. 

Then, we get the phone call that bail has been set and the process is read for that first step: paying bail for that person to be released from jail. There are three options that can be taken in bailing a person out of jail: 

  • Pay the court the full bail amount in cash
  • Use collateral for bail 
  • Hire a bail bondsman

These three options each have a cost and a level of risk. By posting a cash only bail yourself, it will save you money that a bail bondsman will charge. However, if the defendant jumps bail, you lose the full amount paid in cash. Each person for each situation has to determine which of these options is best and doable. Because most people do not have the fund to pay a cash only bail, the bail bondsman or hiring an attorney are the more common route taken.  

What is the difference between a cash bond and a bail bond?

The biggest difference between cash bail or bond is the cost. A cash bail vs surety bail is the cash bail is exactly what it says and must be paid in cash. There is no need to hire a bail bondsman or an attorney to get the defendant released from jail once that cash only bail has been paid in full. A surety bond is acquired through a bail bondsman, generally at a lower cost upfront, but at the end of the process, it has a higher cost attached. 

Confused? For a cash only bail, the defendant, family, or friend will be required to pay the court in cash the amount of bail set by the judge in the arraignment hearing. If there the judge did not set the bail as a cash only bail, family members or friend can get a bond through a bail bondsman and pay only a percentage of the bond’s value to the bail bondsman.

Can a lawyer get bail reduced?        

In most cases, an attorney can negotiate with the arraignment judge to lower the bail, or if a cash only bail has been set by the judge, the attorney can give argument to the judge change that to a 10% cash bond. 

A criminal defense attorney can also recommend a bail bondsman. There are some attorneys that work with certain bail bondsman and will get a reduced premium rate to have a client bonded out of jail. The relationship between an attorney and bondsmen is built on mutual trust that the defendant being bailed out is not a flight risk. 

Why is bail so expensive?

There are reason a judge sets bail at a high amount and the bondsman charges a high rate is and incentive and motivation. The incentive and motivation is to assure the defendant follows the conditions established by the judge in order to be released and that they will be in attendance for all court dates going forward. The money paid for bail may be refunded once the defendant has met all conditions established by the judge. 

arrest and bond

How can I get out of paying bail bonds?

There is a bail amount set by the arraignment judge, and there is bail bonds, the money paid to meet the bail amount established. In Kansas, there are some cash bail alternatives to be released from jail: 

  • Released on Own Recognizance – A judge can release a defendant on his/her own recognizance if they reside close to the court without any money being paid.
  • A Cash Bond – An arraignment judge by establish a cash only bond or a defendant may pay the full amount of the bail set by the judge in cash. After the defendant has appeared in person for all court dates, the cash bond is refunded less any administrative fees and court costs.
  • A Surety Bond – When a defendant, family member, or friend do not have cash to post bail with the courts, they can get a surety bond from a bail bondsman. This usually requires a payment of ten percent of the bail paid to the bondsman who will bail the defendant out of jail by guaranteeing to the court the defendant will be present at all court dates. A bail bondsman will sometimes require collateral from the defendant or the person placing the bond. 
  • A Property Bond – A property bond is placing property of value up for the bond by the defendant or a co-signor for collateral. The court will place a lien on the property offered, which must be valued at the amount of the bail or more. 

The wisest thing to do is to stay out of legal trouble and not be arrested. There are circumstances that happen though, and with the legal system in this country, we have the arraignment courts and bail amounts set for release.  This allows the defendant to have their day in court and prove their innocence. Need cash bail in Wichita, KS? Call 316-755-5142 today!