There is a one-time fee for service that is non-refundable.
There are several forms of bail that can be issued to the accused in the United States, though it varies from state to state. In Michigan, you generally receive one of the following bond types:
Personal Recognizance (Personal Bond) – when an accused is released on recognizance, he or she promises to the court to attend all required judicial proceedings and will not engage in illegal activity or other prohibited conduct as set by the court. Typically, a monetary amount is set by the court, but is not paid by the defendant unless the court orders it forfeited. This is called an unsecured appearance bond or release on one’s own recognizance.
Cash or Surety/No 10% Bond – When the accused is given a cash/surety bond, they are given two bond release options.
1. Cash Deposit – The total amount of bail can be paid in cash to the court and held by the court for the duration of the case. At the conclusion of the case, the cash will then be returned minus costs (fines, fees imposed by the court).
2. Surety Bonds – You also have the option of using a bail agency and will be charged 10% of the full bail amount (e.g., $100,000c/s x 0.10= $10,000 fee). In most instances, collateral can be collected to ensure that the accused makes all court appearances. The bail agency is responsible for the full amount of bail ($100,000) if the accused fails to appear in court. The fee charged is a non-refundable charge.
Ten Percent Bond – In the State of Michigan, the accused are given two bond release options when given a 10% Bond.
1. Cash Deposit – The court will require that 10% of the full bail amount be paid in cash and is held until there is a conclusion to the case (e.g., $100,000 x 0.10 = $10,000). The money is then returned minus costs (fines, fees imposed by the court) if the accused makes all appearances and doesn’t violate terms and conditions of bail. If the accused fails to appear in court, the person who posted bail could be responsible for the full bail amount.
2. Surety Bonds – The court will allow a bail agent to post on a 10% bond, but under different circumstances. In the State of Michigan, bond agencies are required to post 10% bonds at 25 percent of the full bail amount. Bail agencies will charge a 10 percent fee of the bond amount. (e.g., $100,000 x 0.25 = $25,000 x 0.10 = $2,500 fee). The bail agency is responsible for the bond amount ($25,000) until the case reaches a conclusion. Collateral can be collected to ensure that the accused makes all court appearances. The fee charged is a non-refundable charge.
Cash Bonds Only – “Cash Only” is the form of bail where the courts require that the total amount of bail be paid in cash. This is the only form of bail in which the accused can post the bond themselves, not needing family and friends to do so on their behalf. Cash bonds provide an incentive for the accused to make court appearances because they can potentially lose their money if they fail to make court appearances. If the accused makes all court appearances, the money is then returned minus costs (fines, fees imposed by the court).The court holds the cash until the case is concluded. “Cash Only” bonds are given for the following reasons: 1. Defendant is a flight risk, 2. Unpaid fines (e.g., restitution, traffic tickets), 3. Child support arrearages, and 4. Missed court appearance
A bail agent is a representative of the insurance or bail bond company who posts bail in the form of surety.
Bail grants the temporary release of a prisoner in exchange for security (cash and/or collateral) to guarantee appearance in court. Bail is given to almost every individual who is arrested and charged with a crime. An individual may be free on bail pending the outcome of their trial.
A felony is a crime that is punishable by incarceration or worse; usually for one or more years in prison. Probation is granted as an alternative to persons who commit felonies as opposed to serving time in jail.
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime punishable by incarceration of up to one year in a county jail. Probation is granted as an alternative to persons who commit misdemeanors as opposed to serving time in jail.
A surety bond is a three-way agreement between the bail agency (guarantee), the court (principal), and the indemnitor/co-signer (guarantor). The bail agency posts the surety bond and is financially responsible along with the indemnitor/co-signer, to ensure that the defendant makes all court appearances. Failure to appear in court can result in the forfeiture of bond and payment by the agency to the court for the full bail amount. The indemnitor/co-signer would then be subject to lose any and all collateral issued to the agency.
Collateral is property (e.g., title or deed to a home, vehicle title) that is submitted by the indemnitor/co-signer to protect the interests of the bail bond agency.