The Five Different Types Of Bail Bonds

Written by on May 24, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page


man in prisonIf you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you will be facing a long series of court appearances and hearings.

However, much of our judicial system is backlogged, and it can take months, even years for your case to make it onto the docket and in front of a judge.

Unfortunately, you may have to spend those tedious months of waiting held up in a cell unless you are able to locate the necessary funds to post bail.

Most people do not have the thousands of dollars they are asked to put up and must seek out the services of a bail bond agent.

A bond agent works with you, the court and a guarantor in order to secure your release with the understanding that you will remain in the court’s jurisdiction and will appear when summoned.

Many bonds work as follows: A guarantor, oftentimes a friend or family member, will enter into an agreement with a bond agent, promising that you will abide by any parameters set by the court.

The guarantor will then pay the agent a premium fee, usually about 10 percent of the total bail, and offer up collateral as requested.

Collateral is some non-monetary item of value, such as jewelry or an automobile, used as leverage to ensure the defendant for whom the guarantor is signing will appear in court. If the defendant fails to appear when summoned, the guarantor could lose their premium and any collateral.

But you should know that while the basics behind bail are fairly similar, there are different types of bonds depending on the charges against you. Here are five different kinds you may encounter:

  • A surety bond is a common form of bail bond and requires that the court, agent and defendant enter into a binding contract promising the accused’s future appearance in court. A surety bond requires the payment of a premium.
  • A federal bond is for criminal cases within U.S. District courts. The cost of the bond is set by a judge, and premiums range anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the total cost of the bond. Federal bonds are also used for crimes across state lines.
  • An immigration bond is specific for those being detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, otherwise known as ICE. ICE can only post these bonds through a cash bond or with a surety bond posted by a legitimate agent.
  • A cash bond is a total bond payment made by the defendant, or a family or friend, to be held by the court until the resolution of the case. A failure to appear in court could result in the forfeiture of the cash bond in full.
  • An appeal bond is a surety bond that is enacted during the period of appeal after a sentencing. This specific bond is meant to delay the onset of a judgment until the appeal process is over.

If you need more information, you have many options for seeking it out, including online resources and local businesses.

Marvin has worked for bail bond businesses, and knows how confusing the different types of bonds can be. He hopes to help those accused of crimes navigate the criminal justice system and live with dignity, which is why he has referred people to sites like and others.

Image courtesy of sakhorn38 /


About the Author

Guest Blogger

This article was written by a guest contributor. You will find their details at the bottom of the post. To submit your own Guest Post to our website, please visit our SUBMIT page for details about adding your article.