The bail bond system plays a pivotal role in the legal process, yet it's often misunderstood due to its complexity. With several different types of bail bonds, you need to know what each entails.
This article explores bail bonds, providing a clear and concise explanation of each type.
Surety bonds come into play when the defendant cannot afford to pay the full bail amount set by the court. In such instances, a surety bond involves the defendant, the court, and a bail bond agent. The bail bond agent is the surety, guaranteeing that the defendant will show up in court as required.
To obtain a surety bond, the defendant or a representative (often a friend or family member) pays a percentage of the total bail amount to the bail bond agent. This fee is non-refundable, even if the defendant appears in court as required. The bail bond agent then provides a surety bond to the court, promising to pay the entire bail amount if the defendant doesn't fulfill their court obligations.
Surety bond allows defendants to secure their release from jail while awaiting trial without having to pay the full bail amount upfront. However, if the defendant doesn't appear in court, the bail bond agent can employ a bounty hunter to locate and return the defendant to custody.
The defendant or bail cosigner may also be held financially responsible for the full bail amount. Therefore, while surety bonds can provide temporary financial relief, they also carry significant responsibilities and risks.
Immigration Bail Bonds
Immigration bail bonds are a specific type of bail bond used in cases involving individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
These bonds come into play when a non-citizen is held for immigration reasons and seeks release from detention while their case is processed. The purpose of an immigration bail bond, like other types of bail bonds, is to assure the court that the individual will appear for all required immigration hearings.
There are two primary types of immigration bail bonds — delivery and voluntary departure bonds. An immigration judge sets a delivery bond and allows the detainee to spend time with family and consult with an immigration attorney before their court hearing.
A voluntary departure bond allows the detainee to leave the country voluntarily within a certain timeframe and at their own expense. Once they've left, the bond amount is refunded. If they do not leave, the bond is forfeited.
To secure an immigration bail bond, the detainee or a representative has to pay a bond amount set by ICE or an immigration judge. This amount varies based on several factors, including the individual's immigration status, criminal history, and family ties in the United States.