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Understanding the Different Types of Bail

Understanding the Different Types of Bail

Understanding the Different Types of Bail


When someone is arrested and facing criminal charges, they often have the option to post bail in order to get released from jail and await trial outside of custody. However, not all bails are the same and it's important to understand the different types of bail before making a decision. Whether you're dealing with your own or a loved one's arrest, knowing your options can help you make more informed choices. In this article, we will guide you through the different types of bail, their requirements, and their potential implications.


Cash Bail

Cash bail is the most straightforward type of bail, as the defendant is required to pay the full amount of bail in cash or with a certified check. Once the bail is paid, the defendant is released from jail, but they must show up to all their scheduled court appearances, or risk forfeiting the bail amount. If the defendant attends all of their court dates, the full bail is refunded to them or the person who paid on their behalf (usually a bail bondsman). Cash bail is typically used in minor criminal offenses with lower bail amounts.

Surety Bond

A surety bond is when a bail bondsman offers to pay the full bail amount on behalf of the defendant. The defendant is then required to pay a non-refundable percentage of the total bail amount (usually 10-15%) to the bondsman as a fee for the service. The bondsman then financially guarantees the defendant's appearance in court, should the defendant fail to appear, the bondsman is liable for paying the full bail amount to the court. Surety bonds typically require collateral such as a car or a property.

Release on Recognizance

Release on recognizance (ROR) is a type of bail where the defendant is released from jail without having to pay bail. Instead, they agree in writing to appear in court for all scheduled hearings. The decision to grant ROR is made by the judge and depend on the defendant's criminal history, flight risk, and ties to the community. This type of bail is often granted in cases of minor offenses, low flight risks, and first-time offenders.

Property Bond

A property bond is a type of bail where the defendant uses their real estate property or land as collateral to secure bail. A lien is placed against the property, and if the defendant fails to appear in court, the property can be seized and sold to pay off the bail. Property bonds are often required in cases where the bail amount is high and the defendant doesn't have the means to pay cash bail or a surety bond.

Federal Bail

Federal bail is used in cases where a defendant is facing charges at the federal level. Federal bail is often more restrictive and expensive than state bail, and can require higher amounts of bail, stringent pre-trial release conditions, and longer waiting times for release. Federal bail requires the defendant to follow stricter guidelines and may require additional charges for pre-trial monitoring.



Understanding the different types of bail can help you decide which option is the best fit for your situation. A bail bondsman can assist you with navigating the bail process and answering any questions you may have. At the end of the day, posting bail is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly, and it's important to be informed about your available options. If you are seeking a bail bond service in Orlando, contact Mike Snapp Bail Bonds today for more information and assistance.