The Different Types of Bonds in Criminal Cases

One of the first issues to deal with after an arrest is getting them out of jail.  This is done by posting an amount of money or property for what is called an appearance bond. Under Alabama law, Capital Murder is the only case not to have a bond.  Many jurisdictions also order no bonds for warrants for probation or parole bonding.   Judges are required to set a hearing within 72 hours on felony cases to set the amount of the bond for each charge. The first thing is that you will be brought before a judge to determine what your bail or bond amount is.  Sometimes the amount of the bond has already been set, and the person does not have to wait to go before a judge.  Holds can prevent the person from being released from jail.  HOLDS are warrants that are outstanding for other jurisdictions.
Types of Bonds

Release on Your Own Recognizance or referred to as a Signature Bond – the person in jail can sign their bond and agrees that if they do not show at their court date, that they will be arrested and pay the amount of the bond.

Cash Bond – A person can go to the jail and deposit with the designated amount of cash for the bond plus a $35.00 bail bond fee.  This money is held until the case is resolved, and then the money will be either used to pay fines and costs with the difference returned to the person, or will be returned to the person who paid the bond.

Surety Bond or referred to as Bail Bond – This is a process where someone calls a Bail Bond company that is licensed to post the bond to bail people out of jail.  The fee to the Bail Bonding company for this service is usually 10 to 15% plus a $35.00 bail bond fee.  Both of those fees are not refundable but are just the service fee to the bonding company.  Once the payment is paid, the bonding company will go to the jail and sign the bond for your release. Aaron Law Firm recommends Fresh Out Bail Bonding (205) 261-1118, but each county or city has a list of qualified bail-bonds companies.

Property Bond – If another person has property in the county where the defendant is being held, that property may be able to be used to pay the bond.  The person or persons will need the deed for each piece of property, and all owners listed on the deed have to be present to sign the Bond.  The value of the property must be more than the amount of the bond.  The Sheriff is the person who determines if the property can be used to make the bond.  The person posting the property bond should call the Sheriffs’ office to verify what information is required to post a Property Bond.

Know the Terms of the Bond

When a person leaves the jail, they are provided a copy of your bond.  Each bond has specific requirements and rules to stay out of jail while they are awaiting trial.  These are listed on the paper that is provided when released from jail.  Those rules mustn’t be broken.  If the rules are broken, then the District Attorney or prosecutor can ask the court to revoke the bond and have the person remain in jail until trial or the court reconsiders and gives you another bond.

Finding Out Your First Court Date, Time, and Location

Written on the paperwork that is given when released from jail are the date, time, and location of the first court date.  If you cannot find the paperwork or it is not legible on your copy, call the clerk of the court and ask, the phone number is usually printed on the paperwork, or you can find it by Googling the court where the case is in.

You must go to that court date, if you miss that court date, a warrant will be issued for your arrest, and you can be held without a bond or have to pay another bond to get out of jail.

If you need an attorney or have other questions, feel free to call the Aaron Law Firm at (205) 685-8383 or email me at

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