Do i have a Right to Bond (Bail)?
In short, yes!
Paying a bail bond is the way you get out of jail once you’ve been arrested. It helps the Court to ensure that you’ll appear in future hearings and not get arrested again by having a financial investment in the case.
The only time you’ll be denied bail after your arrest is if you’re charged with Murder.
The amount you’ll pay varies by County. For most misdemeanors and low-level felonies, you’ll likely be asked to pay under $1,000.00. There is no guarantee because a lot of factors play into what the judge thinks is an appropriate amount.
WHAT GOES INTO THE AMOUNT OF A BOND?
Indiana law says that the court must consider:
1. Whether you’ll return to court.
2. Whether you’ll reoffend.
3. Nature of the allegations.
In determining whether you’ll return, or if you’re a flight risk, they will look at ties to the community and your record of appearing in the past. This includes whether you have family locally, a job, length of time in area, etc.
In determining whether you’ll reoffend, they look at your criminal history. The longer the history, the higher the likelihood you are a risk to reoffend. The time since your last incident, sentence received, whether you completed the terms, are all relevant information.
The nature of the allegations is relevant in that it directly links you with a certain risk of harm to the community. Charged with public intoxication? Not a great community risk. Child molest? Much higher potential community risk and, therefore, an increased bond.
WHAT’S AN O.R.?
It stands for being released on your “Own Recognizance.” This means you pay no bond and you’re let out on your promise to return for future dates.
IS BOND ARBITRARY?
Sometimes. At the end of the day, having a financial obligation to guarantee community safety and appearance at court is one of the only ways we have to achieve those ends. The amount varies on crime and locality. And those amounts are sometimes set by the legislature. Other times the amounts are completely arbitrary. Just know that it’s part of the system.
What’s a bail bondsman?
If a surety bond is imposed, the bondsman is the surety. They ensure that the person will appear in court. Because if not, the surety has to pay the full bond. Normally for a surety bond you pay 10% to the bondsman. If a court orders the bond be posted by the surety because of a failure to appear, that means the bondsman pays the remaining 90%. They obviously don’t want to do that so they go out of their way to bring you back to court.
Do I pay the full bond or a portion?
That just depends. Many times cash and surety bonds are satisfied by paying 10%. Other times they are not. You’ll have to learn which yours is in particular.
What’s a cash bond?
Much like it sounds, it’s a cash amount that anyone can post on your behalf directly to the county clerk.