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Types of Bail

Recognizance (ROR) – when an accused is released on recognizance, he or she promises to the court to attend all required judicial proceedings and will not engage in illegal activity or other prohibited conduct as set by the court. Typically a monetary amount is set by the court, but is not paid by the defendant unless the court orders it This is called an unsecured appearance bond or release on one’s own recognizance.

Unsecured bail. It is still a release without a deposit but it differs from ROR in that the defendant must pay a fee upon breaching the terms of the

Percentage bail. The defendant deposits only a percentage of the bail’s amount with the court clerk. (10% ~ California, 15% ~ Nevada)

Citation Release also known as Cite Out – This procedure involves the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer to the arrestee, informing the arrestee that he or she must appear at an appointed court date. Cite Outs usually occur immediately after an individual is arrested and no financial security is

Surety Bond – by a surety bond, a third party agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of the defendant. In many jurisdictions this service is provided commercially by a bail bondsman, where the agent will receive 10% of the bail amount up front and will keep that amount regardless of whether the defendant appears in The court in many jurisdictions, especially states that prohibit surety bail bondsmen – Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and Maine -may demand a certain amount of the total bail (typically 10%) be given to the court, which, unlike with bail bondsmen, is returned if the defendant does not violate the conditions of bail. This is also known as surety on the bond.

Cash – typically “cash-only,” where the only form of bail that the Court will accept is Court-ordered cash bonds require the total amount of bail to be posted in cash. The court holds this money until the case is concluded. Cash bonds are typically ordered by the Court for the following reasons: when the Court believes the defendant is a flight risk, when the Court issues a warrant for unpaid fines, and when a defendant has failed to appear for a prior hearing. Cash bonds provide a powerful incentive for defendants to appear for their hearings. If the defendant does not appear as instructed, the cash bond is forfeited and a bench warrant is issued. If the defendant shows up for their scheduled court appearances, the cash is returned to the person who posted the bond. Anyone including the defendant can post a cash bond. If the defendant posts his own bond, the Court will deduct fines and costs from the bond before returning any balance.

Pretrial Services – a defendant is released to the supervision of a pretrial services officer (similar to a probation officer). In most cases defendants have no financial obligation to be Supervision by pretrial services can include phone or in-person check-ins, drug testing, court date reminders, and any other condition the judges deems necessary.

Combinations – courts often allow defendants to post cash bail or surety bond, and then impose further conditions, as mentioned below, to protect the community or ensure attendance.

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