Some bonds only require a signature for release, some bonds need cash posted or, if you’re short on cash, a Bail Agent to post a surety bond with the court. Your responsibility depends on the type of bond that is set by the court. There are four types of bonds commonly used in Michigan and sometimes Ohio Courts.
Personal Recognizance Bond
Sometimes referred to as a “PR” bond, only requires the person who is charged with the offense to sign papers with the court. Failure to appear at all future court dates could result in an additional criminal charges.
10% Cash Deposit Bond
There are two options; one, requires 10% of the full amount of the bond to be posted by someone other than a Bail Agent. For example, for a $20,000 ten percent bond, you will pay $2,000 to the court or jail for release of the defendant.If the defendant attends all court appearances and doesn’t violate any other condition of the bond, 90% of the money posted will be returned minus court costs and fines. If the defendant misses a court appearance, or violates any other condition of the bond, you may be liable for the remainder of the bond. If the defendant is found not guilty, 100% of the money will be returned.
This Second Option for 10% Bonds is Currently Only Available in the State of Michigan. The second option is for you to have a Bail Agent post the bond. If so, the amount that will be posted would be 25% of the full amount. You would pay the customary 10% premium on the amount actually posted by our bail agent. In the example above, the bond posted would be $5000 and you would only pay $500 leaving you with $1,500 to help retain an attorney.
You must post the entire amount of the bond that has been set before the defendant may be released. If the person charged with an offense attends all court hearings, the court will return all the money you posted for bail, minus court costs and fines. (In Michigan and Ohio this bond MUST be given with the option to post a surety bond as long as the person has not yet been convicted of the charge. (Examples of when a “Cash Only” bond WOULD be constitutional is for failing to appear for pre-sentencing hearing, sentencing, and for an appeal.) Both The Michigan and Ohio Constitutions Require that the Surety Bond Option MUST Always be Given Every Time a Monetary Bond is Set.
This bond requires the posting of a surety power of attorney, usually from an insurance company, that guarantees the full amount of the bond will be paid in the event the defendant does not appear for a scheduled court hearing. Bail Agents, representing insurance companies, are not agents of the court nor are they employed by the court. Bail Agents can be found by asking the jail or the court for a list of bail agents doing business in the county. Many counties publish these list on their websites for the convenience of the public. In Michigan This list is required by MCL 750.167b(4) for your convenience. (Failure to provide the list to a criminal defendant may be a violation of their constitutional “RIGHT” to bail.)
It is also required by the Michigan Constitution, Statutes, and Michigan Court Rules that surety must be an option on all monetary appearance bonds in the state that are set prior to conviction.
Ohio has the same constitutional requirement and many of the same rules regarding pre-trial release.
The fee set by the Michigan Department of Insurance, the governing agency, is 10% per annum (year) of the bond amount posted for each full or part of a year the surety bond is “active”.
It is often illegal to reduce the fee, collect less than the full amount (payment plans are acceptable as long as the full amount is paid), or to offer a return of any portion of the fee upon completion of the case.
Immigration Bond - This is a Federal bond to guarantee the appearance, in court, of a person who is suspected of being in the United States illegally (Without Proper Documentation) until a final determination has been made by the court.