A bond is a guarantee given to a court to ensure that a person will make all required court appearances. The type of bond required varies depending on the type of offense, as well as other factors.
Generally a defendant who has not made bond will be taken before a judge within 72 hours, at which time the judge will address bond.
The judge considers several issues in determining the bond amount, including the possibility of fleeing, the danger to the community, the risk of committing another crime and the threat to possible witnesses. Other factors may include prior criminal history, place of residence, employment and ties to the community. It is the policy of most judges in domestic violence cases to restrain the defendant from having contact with any alleged victims.
Judges will sometimes set a full cash bond, and other times will set a ten per cent bond, which allows for the release of the defendant upon posting only ten per cent of the specified bond amount. A personal recognizance or signature bond is a written promise to appear which does not require the person to put up any money.
Bail bondsmen can also be hired to post a cash bond. However, the amount paid to a bail bondsman is not refundable.
Regardless of the type of bond, the amount of the bond is forfeited should the defendant fail to appear for any scheduled court appearance. Additionally, a warrant will issue and the defendant may be charged with the additional crime of failure to appear.
Bonds are held by the court until the conclusion of the case.
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