Understanding Different Types of Bail Bonds – Which is Right for You?

Lancaster County bail bonds

When you hear about bail being set for high-profile criminals in the news, you likely imagine large sums of money being paid. However, bail can be set for any person accused of a crime.

There are six different types of bonds, each with rules and requirements. Understanding the different options will help you or your loved ones escape jail quickly.

Property Bonds

Property bonds are a type of bail that uses real estate or tangible property as collateral to guarantee the defendant will appear at their pretrial hearings and criminal trial. This is a good option for those who lack the cash to pay a standard cash bond but have substantial assets they can use as collateral.

A property bond requires the court to record a lien on the property for the bail amount. The courts can seize the property if the accused fails to appear at trial dates.

To qualify for a property bond, the property must be valued at least twice as much as the bail amount set by the judge. A property appraisal, deed, title history, and tax document declarations are typically required to verify its value.

Surety Bonds

Surety bonds are three-party contracts that guarantee an individual or business will fulfill a contractual obligation. If they don’t, the obligee can file a claim against the bond for up to its coverage amount.

Many industries must be bonded, including those that sell autos, liquor, firearms, and more. Additionally, government entities often require contractors to be bonded.

Unlike insurance, which involves two parties, surety bonds involve a three-party agreement between the principal, the bond company, and the obligee. This is why the premiums for these types of Lancaster County bail bonds are typically higher than those of insurance. However, they also offer a clear benefit to the principal in that they don’t have to put up assets that can be directly accessed. This makes them a more attractive option than other forms of security.

Cash Bonds

With a cash bond, the court holds an individual’s money as a payment guarantee. This is the easiest way to bail someone out of jail, but it does put the individuals at risk.

The accused could lose their entire cash if they do not attend their court appearances. If you are interested in this type of release, a lawyer can help you get the best possible deal.

Bail bonds are uncommon in all states, but they can help you avoid paying the entire bail amount. A bonding company can post your bond for a percentage of the total bond value, and this fee is refundable if you follow your pretrial obligations. They can also offer a premium financing option that allows you to pay in installments.

Release on Citation

Cite and release are procedures that allow police to write a citation for the alleged offense without taking the person into custody. This is usually done for misdemeanors and other minor charges. This effort reduces crowding in jail facilities and saves the court resources needed for arraignment.

This method of releasing people from jail also benefits those who can complete associated programs and avoid having an arrest on their records. It can also save taxpayers money by avoiding the expenses associated with an on-site arrest and booking.

However, a person can still be arrested if it appears they will be a danger to themselves or others or if there is a reasonable likelihood that criminal conduct will continue.

Release on Own Personal Recognizance

The own recognizance (OR) release allows the judge to let defendants out of jail without posting bail based on their promise to appear in court for all future proceedings. It’s generally up to the judge’s discretion whether to allow OR release, and they consider various factors like the severity of the charges, the defendant’s criminal record, their employment status, and ties to the community, among others.

Your criminal defense lawyer can request OR release during your arraignment hearing. Judges are more likely to grant this type of bond if the suspect has a good track record, is not considered a flight risk, and demonstrates that they will attend all future hearings. The judge will often require a written promise from the defendant.