Do I Need a Bail Bondsman?

One of the first things people want to know when they are arrested is when can they get out of jail. In some cases, suspects are held in jail pending their court hearing. However, some people are allowed to return to their home and go about their lives until they appear in court. Sometimes judges will allow people to leave jail with a “promise” (PR Bond) that they will return to court while other people must post bail (money or property) before they are allowed to leave jail.  The circumstances and factors used to determine the type of bail required in a case include state law, type and seriousness of the crime, past criminal history, outstanding warrants, person’s ties to the community, the risk of public safety, and the potential flight risk. If the judge does determine bond should be set, there are several types of bond the judge can impose.

What is Bond?

A bond is a condition for release from jail pending the conclusion of your criminal case.  The court can impose a variety of conditions for the bond in addition to requiring a monetary bond. Conditions of the bond may include travel restrictions, distance from a victim, report to pretrial services, or restrictions on possession of firearms, drug testing, and curfews.  While you are not legally required to use a bail bondsman to get out of jail, the circumstances and the facts of your case may necessitate the need for a bondsman.

Types of Bond in Michigan

There are several types of bond that judges use in Michigan criminal cases.

  • Personal Recognizance Bond (PR Bond)

A PR Bond does not require that the person or a family member place money or other assets as collateral for the release. The person is released with the understanding that if he or she fails to attend a court hearing, the full monetary amount of the bond will then be assessed against the person. For example, if you are released on a $10,000 PR Bond, you only owe $10,000 if you fail to show up for court.

  • Cash Bonds

Cash bonds require a cash deposit with the court to secure the defendant’s appearance at court hearings. Cash bonds are handled in one of several ways. The court may allow a defendant to place a 10% Cash Bond instead of paying the full amount. In this case, you must place a cash deposit with the court that equals 10 percent of the total bond amount.

  • Surety Bonds

You may also work with a bail bondsman to satisfy your bail requirements. You or a friend pays 10 percent of the amount of the bond to the bondsman and, in return, the bondman’s issues a surety bond (guarantee) to the court that you will show up for your court hearings. If you fail to show up, the bondsman must pay the entire bond amount to the court. The fee you pay to the bondsman is non-refundable, even if you show up at court. Furthermore, many bondsmen require collateral from the person or family members to secure the bond in case the person “runs.”

  • Bonds Secured by Property

In some cases, you may able to pledge property to secure your bond.  For example, you may have the option of using your home or other real estate to post bond if you have sufficient equity in the property to cover the bond amount. However, if you fail to show up at court, the state can seize your real estate to satisfy the bond.

It can be helpful to have one of our Michigan criminal defense lawyers to help you sort through the various options for posting bail.  Furthermore, the decision to set bail is up to the judge who uses various factors to decide the type and amount of bail. Our attorneys can argue for the most favorable bail terms given the facts in our case.

Get Help with Bail from Experienced Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers

The attorneys of The Clark Law Office want to help you get out of jail as quickly as possible. We can review the options for posting bail to help you determine what option is best for you.  To request your free legal consultation with a Lansing criminal defense attorney, contact our office by telephone at 517-347-6900. For your convenience, we have offices in Okemos and Lansing.