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A cash bail bond is a method used by the court to ensure that a defendant appears in court on future dates. The defendant will be released from jail with some terms and conditions if they sign a cash bail bond contract. If there is no appearance on any of the court dates, an amount equal to or greater than what was posted for the cash bail bond will be collected from the defendant. There are several things you need to know about cash bail bonds.
A cash bail bond is a type of release on one's recognizance (ROR) and is only used in situations where a defendant is soon to be released on their recognizance. It can also be used as an alternative to other forms of pretrial release, such as mandatory supervision, an unsecured appearance bond, or a secured appearance bond.
A cash bail bond is similar to an insurance policy because it comes with an insurance premium which is the percentage of the face value of the cash bail bond. The rate charged will depend on many factors, including the defendant's usual occupation, home address and location, family ties, and community ties, the seriousness of the offense committed, the defendant's criminal history, etc. In some states, there is a statutory limit on the percentage that can be charged.
The cash bail amount itself will depend on several factors similar to those discussed above. Defendant's criminal record, if any, the severity of the offense committed, risk score assigned to the defendant by a court or agency that makes such assessment based on prior convictions or failures to appear at trial or pretrial hearings.
Cash bail bonds are typically offered through licensed bail bond companies or individuals with a license to provide such services. In most cases, private businesses provide cash bail bonds that have been given the authority to post cash to guarantee defendants who will forfeit this amount if they fail to appear in court.
A cash bail bond is an alternative to other forms of pretrial release like an unsecured appearance bond, a secured appearance bond, and pretrial supervision. Cash bail bond should not be confused with the statutory limit on the amount required as a cash deposit, or security/guarantee imposed explicitly.
Some people may believe that less money will be forfeited when cash bail bonds are involved because it is considered lower risk than other means of release. Studies have shown that while this may be true in some instances, the opposite is also factual. Cash bail bonds are mainly used when there is a high risk involved, making it likely for defendants to fail to appear in court on their assigned dates.
A cash bail bond can be forfeited if the defendant fails to make any future court appearance after being released under the terms and conditions set by the court. In addition, it should be noted that even though cash deposit/security put up as a guarantee against loss will only be forfeited in case of failure to attend court, such forfeiture can generate additional legal issues and expenses for surety.
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