The types of bonds a defendant may be released on at a bond hearing include, a personal, cash, surety or a 10% bond. They may be held without bond or remand, or be granted a personal recognizance bond. A cash bond is straightforward. A person pays the bond up front promising to appear when instructed to by the court, after keeping to their end of the deal, the bond money is returned to the defendant. If cash is not available, a bond can be secured with real property such as a deed to their house or another financial instrument. With surety bonds, a third party may post the defendant’s bond for a fee. If the defendant flees, that third party has the responsibility to produce their client or forfeit the whole amount of the bond. Surety bonds are generally more expensive and no matter how fast the legal matters are resolved the fee (usually 10% of the bond amount) is never returned. If the defendant fails to appear, the police attempt to find them and then the court usually goes after his or her assets. If they do return when instructed to do so, 90% of the money is returned and the rest is used for fees.
With a personal recognizance bond, the accused promises to pay the amount later. The defendant also promises not to leave the state and not commit any crime while out on a recognizance bond. This is usually reserved for non-violent crimes committed by persons with a good standing in the community. People with families, limited financial means and having other reasons not to flee, these types of defendants receive leniency. Failure to appear leads to the police looking for the defendant and the court seizing any assets he or she may have.
There are several things the court considerers in their decision to set a bond. The length of stay in the community, if there are any close friends or relatives in the area, real property or business they may have in the area, employment, school, the impact that a potential incarceration may have on their employment, school or dependents. Some other factors are the defendant’s involvement in community and charitable organizations and the financial resources they have available for posting bond and/or fleeing. The more severe the crime, the higher the bond amount will be, for violent crimes the defendant will most likely receive remand.
Legalquest Network serves the cities of Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Sterling Heights.