If you find yourself under arrest, you may hear references to bail and bonds.
Most people think those words mean the same thing, but they don’t.
In fact, they have distinct meanings in the Ohio criminal justice system, and understanding them could mean the difference between waiting behind bars or going home until you go to trial.
You need the help of knowledgeable and experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyers to understand the difference between bonds vs bail.
Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has award-winning criminal defense lawyers who thoroughly understand the Ohio legal system. They have tremendous success getting their clients free on bail.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What Are Bail and Bonds?
Bail is a court order that sets the monetary terms of release for a person accused of a crime.
The primary purpose of bail is to assure the accused appears in court to answer the charges.
Judges can add conditions of bail to ensure the safety of victims or to address a substance abuse problem. Bail orders only last until the case ends.
Ohio bail bonds are agreements other people enter into with the court to get you out of jail.
Therefore, a bond is like an insurance policy to make sure you go to court when you have to, as well as abide by the terms of your release.
When Does a Judge Set Bail Bonds in Ohio?
The charges you have will dictate when bail can be set.
Typically, the court will set your bail at your first court appearance.
The prosecutor can ask for bail at your arraignment, and your lawyer can oppose the prosecutor’s motion.
This is when having a highly-skilled lawyer can help you out of real trouble. You will be held in jail if you cannot afford your bail.
Therefore, you need someone who gives you the best shot at freedom.
Your lawyer can argue against setting bail altogether. Additionally, your lawyer can argue that setting non-financial conditions are sufficient in your case.
Under Rule 46 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, those conditions may include:
- Regulating or preventing contact with the victim;
- Submitting to random drug or alcohol screens;
- Remaining drug and alcohol-free;
- Attending drug treatment if necessary;
- Ordering home confinement, with or without work release, while wearing an electronic monitoring device;
- Permitting a person to take custody of the accused to ensure the accused returns to court;
- Preventing contact with the victim and witnesses; and
- Ordering the accused to stay away from specific locations.
The judge can also make any order that promotes the safety of the people involved in the case. Such an order could include surrendering all firearms.
Judges must set the least restrictive conditions possible. Otherwise, the court is punishing someone even though the law presumes them innocent.
How Do Bail Bonds Work in Ohio?
Issues surrounding bail and bail reform have been in the news lately. Some states have outlawed the setting of cash bail except in rare circumstances.
Ohio has not gone that far. Instead, Ohio has adopted a new rule that presumes the judge will set the least restrictive bail on a defendant.
In most circumstances, the least restrictive means of bail is a recognizance bond.
On occasion, the court might require a “signature bond,” meaning the defendant must sign a document promising to appear in court and keep the peace.
The court might place a dollar amount on the signature bond. For example, the court may release you on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.
That essentially means you will owe the court $1,000 if you miss court or violate a condition of your release.
An appearance bond is also known as a “ten percent bond.”
Under this bail arrangement, you pay 10% of the total bail to the court in exchange for your release. The court has to order this type of arrangement.
Under Ohio law, you get 90% of the appearance bond money back, and the court holds 10% to satisfy fees and fines at the end of the case.
However, if you violate a condition of your release, you could lose the money deposited with the court.
Moreover, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest, and the prosecutor could charge you with bail jumping if you violated the terms.
Cash or Surety Bond
You can secure your freedom by posting the amount of bail the court orders. For instance, if your bail is $10,000, you pay $10,000 cash to the court registry in exchange for your freedom until your court date.
Bonds, or “bail bonds,” are promises to the court made by another person on your behalf to secure your release.
Third parties called bail bondsmen often post bonds. The bail bondsman or bail agent agrees to accept responsibility for your appearance in court.
You promise to pay the bail agent a fee in exchange for your release. The fee is 10% of the bail amount.
Thus, if you have $10,000 bail and cannot afford to pay it, you could hire a bail agent who will post $10,000 for you. In turn, you pay the bond agent $1,000 plus fees and costs.
We can help you access professionals who will post bail bonds in Dayton, Ohio. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have numerous contacts in the community, so we can help secure your release quickly.
Get Help for Bail and Bonds Immediately
The abundance of resources is one of the things that helps Gounaris Abboud, LPA, stand out among other Ohio law firms.
We direct all of our resources into our clients’ cases to give them the best chance at a favorable outcome.
We are available 24/7 to take your call. Our responsiveness to our clients’ needs is just one of the reasons we consistently receive awards for outstanding advocacy and client service.