Understanding the Difference Between Bail and Bond

joliet criminal lawyer

If your loved one has been arrested, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. Perhaps you have heard that you need to come up with a certain amount of money for “bail” and that in order to do this you need a bail bond. The words “bail” and “bond” often appear to be used interchangeably, but there are important differences between these two terms. The best way to protect your rights after a criminal arrest is to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney

Bail is a Form of Security to Ensure the Defendant Appears at Trial

After a defendant has been arrested, the judge may require a form of collateral to ensure that the defendant appears for his or her trial. The trial date for a criminal offense is usually several weeks or months after the original arrest. Defendants arrested on criminal charges may stay in jail while they wait for their trial, but for an innocent or wrongly-accused defendant, staying in jail can be agonizing. Posting bail gives the defendant the option to leave the jail while waiting for his or her trial.

When a judge sets bail, he or she will choose the required amount based on the seriousness of the alleged crime. The flight risk, or risk that the defendant will flee, is also taken into consideration by the judge when setting the dollar amount of bail. Bail payment amounts can vary significantly. Some defendants only need to pay a few hundred dollars while other defendants may have a bail requirement of up to millions of dollars. When he defendant appears at his or her trial, he or she is entitled to a refund of bail payments made on his or her behalf.

Posting Bond in Illinois Differs from other States

If your loved one was arrested and is being offered to leave jail on bail, you may be concerned about how to come up with the money. Many individuals who have been arrested do not have the financial resources to pay an expensive bail. Fortunately, there is an option for defendants to avoid remaining in jail for the weeks and months leading up to a criminal trial. A defendant facing bail may be able to come to an agreement with the court that they will appear for trial. This agreement, called a bond, requires the defendant to pay ten percent of the total bail amount.

In other states, a bail bond is often issued by a third party called a bail bondsman. However, Illinois law disallows private bail bonds. Instead, all bail bonds in Illinois are created through the state. In some cases, the judge may hold a criminal defendant without bail, but this option is usually reserved for the most grievous crimes.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, speak with an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. Contact us at 815-740-4025 today for a free consultation.