When law enforcement officers arrest you for allegedly committing a drug or other crime and take you to jail, you are entitled to bail in most situations. Furthermore, the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the imposition of excessive bail.
Nevertheless, no definition exists as to what constitutes excessive bail. Instead, judges determine this on a case-by-case basis, relying on a variety of factors, including the following:
- The seriousness of your alleged crime
- Your likelihood of fleeing the jurisdiction so as to avoid prosecution
- The likely danger to the community posed by your release on bail
Assuming the judge grants you bail, you should be aware that, as Anytime Bail Bonding, Inc., explains, many kinds of bail bonds exist.
Perhaps the most common bond type is the surety bond. Here a bail bond company posts your bail for you in exchange for a nominal fee on your part, usually 10% of the bail amount. For all practical purposes, the company guarantees your appearance at all scheduled court hearings.
Sometimes a judge demands payment of your bail’s full amount as a condition of your release. You can pay this amount yourself if you have the resources to do so, but again, most bail bond companies offer this kind of bond as well.
For this type of bond, you put up property you own, usually real estate, as collateral for your promise to appear at all future hearings.
If you face relatively minor charges, the judge may approve your release on your own recognizance, i.e., your personal promise that you will appear at all future hearings. Recognizance “bonds” require no collateral.