What does a personal bond mean?

A Gavel and Handcuffs

How does a personal bond work?

When a person is arrested, there is typically an arraignment where they go before a judge and plead guilty or not guilty to the charges that placed them in jail. The judge then sets their bail, and that person may have the option of posting a personal bond. So, what is the difference between a personal bond vs bail bond and how does a personal bond work? 

The arrested individual can either pay the bail directly with their money or they can contact a bond company to post the bail for them. Some arrested individuals are released on Personal Bond if the accused crime is minor. With a personal bond, the person is booked and processed as normal protocol set by the legal system, but a personal bond cost is zero, meaning, they do not pay anything to be released. 

However, with a personal bond, they are cited and given a court date to appear before the judge for sentencing of the accused crime. If the person fails to appear in court on the date given, they will be responsible for paying the full amount of the bail and possibly arrested again. This is a judge’s decision to make and is based on the crime committed and the person’s history.

How is bond determined?

Bail and bond are often used in conjunction as if they are one and the same. However, they are not, the difference being money, or the person who is guaranteeing the defendant will return for appointed court dates. 

  • Bail: A set amount of money the accused, a family member, or friend must pay the court for the person to be released from jail with the guarantee they will appear at their court date. 
  • Bond: This is money paid by a bail bonds agent on the defendant’s behalf that the defendant will return to court as set by the judge. 

So, the judge sets the bail amount. They have an approved amount set by the governing offices of the city, county, or state, depending on which court reigns over the criminal charges.  The bond amount is typically 10% of the bail amount and is paid by a bail bonds agent in the form of a bond with their agent’s signing for the accused. Or a family member or friend may pay if the bond is approved by the courts. A personal bond for bail may be approved by the judge and paid by the individual. 

Can you bond yourself out of jail?

It depends on the crime a person is accused of committing and the person’s criminal history. If the person has the required bail amount on their person in cash money to post a personal bond in court at the time of their arraignment before the judge and the judge feels they are not a threat to society of themselves, then a personal bond with surety may be offered without a co-signer.

How long do you stay in jail if you don’t post bail?

Being arrested and jailed is a scary thing to go through, and the process can be confusing. Hiring a defense attorney is always recommended as being the first step to take.  

After a person is arrested they are placed in a holding cell until they are processed. The processing procedure includes entering the arrest in the court system, a mug shot, and fingerprints as well as searching for any previous criminal records. Then that person is presented before the judge for arraignment.  

The arraignment is where the defendant is asked how they plead, and the judge sets their bail. As we have covered earlier, if they have enough money to cover the entire bail amount, the judge may allow them to post a personal bond. Other options include having a family member or friend post bail through a bail bonds agent or hiring an attorney who will sign their commitment to get the person back for their court date. 

What if a person doesn’t have any of these options available? They don’t have the money; they don’t have or don’t want to involve family or friends in the matter and can’t afford an attorney.  

This can vary from person to person and by crime accused. If you can’t get bailed out, then you sit in jail until your court date. Depending on the backlog of the court, this could be as long as a few days, or months, or even years. The bigger the area the court reigns over, the more cases are already in waiting. 

A Bail Bonds Office

In Closing 

Sadly, there are some people that carry cash on them for “bail money”, which would tell us they expect to get in trouble. Most of us won’t carry that much cash, and therefore, an attorney or bail bonds agent like Air Capital Bail Bonds is needed if family or friends aren’t available to rely on for bail. Hiring an attorney will not only get a person bailed out until their court date, but an attorney can guide them through the process that is forthcoming. For bail bonds help call us today at 316-755-5142.