Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a bail bond?A bail bond is a written guarantee that a defendant will attend all further Court proceedings. Bail is set by a court to make sure that a defendant will appear and also to offer the community protection if the defendant is considered dangerous. The more likely it is that a person is dangerous or will not appear in Court when required, the higher the bail will be.
- What type of bonds are there?There are four primary types of bonds: Cash Only, Secured, Unsecured, and Signature or Own Recognizance sometimes called "OR").
How can bonds be posted?
Cash Only: The defendant and/or a co-signer must pay a designated amount of money to the Court. The defendant and a co-signer, if any, must also sign a bond order guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant at further Court hearings.
Secured: The defendant must pay a designated amount of money or provide the Court with security such as a title to property worth at least as much as the ordered bond amount. The co-signer and defendant must then sign a bond order guaranteeing the defendant's appearance for further Court proceedings.
Unsecured: The defendant signs a bond guaranteeing appearance for further hearings with the understanding that if the defendant does not appear, he/she will be responsible for paying the Court a designated amount of money. In these instances a hearing officer may require that a responsible third party, such as a relative, sign the bond.
Signature/Own Recognizance "OR": The defendant signs a bond order guaranteeing appearance for further proceedings.
- When I sign a bond, what am I promising?You are promising that the defendant will appear and that the defendant will follow all conditions placed on him/her.
- Where can I go to post bond and when?Bonds for Family Court defendants must be posted at Family Court during the regular business hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Who can post bond for a juvenile?Any adult can post bond for a juvenile; however, the juvenile can only be released to his/her parents or a guardian.
- What can I do if I want the bond changed?If you have posted bond and wish to change either the conditions or the amount, you must file a Motion to Modify Bond. This motion will be held for 10 calendar days and then taken to the appropriate hearing officer for review. In some cases a hearing will be scheduled and you will be notified in writing when to attend. In other cases the hearing officer (a judge or commissioner) will make a decision based on the motion without a hearing, and you will receive an order in the mail.
- When do I get my money back on a bond?Bond money or property is released only after a case ends and a final order is entered. You will receive a check from the cashier in the mail or you may go to pick it up.
- What happens if the defendant does not show for court as promised?You could lose any money or property that was posted for bail.