Different Types of Bonds Available in California

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According to the California criminal lawyers at Weber Law, even the most minor charges and misdemeanors can result in a permanent criminal record. A criminal attorney not only helps get the accused out of jail but can also reduce the impact of charges on the criminal record.

A bond in a criminal case is a type of assurance the defendant provides that they will appear in court when instructed. Although defendants are entitled to a bond, the bonds can be set so high that it is not feasible for the defendant. This is more common if the defendant has been charged with a serious crime.

There are different types of bail bonds available in California depending on factors such as the type of offense, the financial standing of the accused, and other specifics of the case. Here are the most common types of bonds in California.

Cash Bond

The cash bond is the most common type of bond in California. The person posting the bond pays cash for the defendant’s release from jail. This type of bond is typically used for a defendant who is a moderate flight risk. The cash is refunded when the defendant appears at all of their court dates, and the case is resolved. There are some proposed changes to the cash bail system in California, but these changes are yet to be finalized.  

Personal Recognizance Bond

In a personal recognizance (PR) bond, the defendant does not have to pay anything. The judge will set a bail amount so that if the defendant does not appear in court when instructed, they will have to pay the full bail amount. The defendant might still be responsible for undisclosed additional costs such as court-ordered classes.

Property Bond

In this type of bond, the property is used as collateral to secure the release of the defendant from jail. Property bonds are most commonly used by people who do not have enough cash. However, property bonds are also used by people who have significant equity in the form of property and would rather use that instead of any other types of collateral. Most judges require the property’s equity to be at least double the amount of the bail bond.

Surety Bond

Surety bonds are a type of contract bond in which a bail agent or another third party agrees to pay the bail amount for the accused. The defendant might have to pay a fee to the bail agent or third party to secure a surety bond.

Unsecured Bond

In an unsecured bond, the defendant signs an agreement that they will pay the bail bond if they do not appear on their court date. There is no additional lien on property or cash required in an unsecured bond.

Federal Bond

If the accused is charged with a federal crime, they are eligible for federal bonds, which are backed by insurance companies. Federal bonds are similar to surety bonds, but they are typically more expensive.

Immigration Bond

Immigration bonds are a type of federal bond used to secure the release of illegal immigrants by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS). In most cases, these types of bonds typically come with a high bond fee percentage as the defendants are considered a high flight risk.

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