Dayton Criminal Defense: Making Bail
First things first, making bail or posting bail is often the first thing to be concerned about when facing criminal charges. When you are arrested in Ohio, the police have the discretion to release you or to hold you in a local jail. If you are released, you are given a court date and it is your responsibility to show up at the designated time and place so that your case can proceed. Failure to do so will result in an arrest warrant being issued. The time and place of your appearance appears at the bottom of your ticket. There you will find the date and the address of the court where your case will be heard.
If you are held in jail, you will be given the opportunity to post a bond. The posting of a bond is often referred to as ”making bail” or “bailing out” of jail. Why do you have to make bail? The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears for all scheduled court hearings. Many jurisdictions in Ohio have a set amount of bail for most offenses and you will be required to pay this bail amount prior to your release. This pre-determined amount is referred to as the Bond Schedule. Many courts will post the Bond Schedule on their web sties, making it easier for family members to access the information. Other jurisdictions will hold you in jail until you appear before a judge. The judge will hold a preliminary hearing called an arraignment and a bond amount will be set. Most often the defendant will be able to post bail immediately. Usually, bail bonds may be posted 24 hours a day. Check with the court about what types of payments can be accepted and whether or not a credit card holder must be present for the payment to be accepted.
There are several types of bonds that can be set by the judge:
- Recognizance Bond – Also referred to as an O.R bond, this bond requires the person who is charged with the offense to sign bond papers that are completed by the court. No other collateral is posted. Failure to appear for all future court dates under a recognizance bond is punishable by six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, regardless of the outcome of the original charge.
- 10% Cash Bond – This type of bond requires only 10% of the full amount of the bond to be posted. For example, if a $5,000 appearance bond is set, you will need to post $500 with the court to secure your release. If you make all the necessary court appearances, the money will be returned at the end of the case. Failure to appear could make you liable for the full amount of the bond and the court could render judgment against you. In this example you may owe an additional $4,500.
- Cash Bond – If the court does not give you a 10% bond, you must post the entire amount of the bond that has been set before being released. Make all of the scheduled court appearances and the court will return all of the money posted.
- Property Bond – This type of bond has many requirements and is governed by O.R.C. 2937.24 and Criminal Rule 46(A)(3) & (I). Please consult a professional if considering this type of bond.
Sometimes a judge will say that the bond is a cash or surety bond. Often a judge will say a short-hand version such as, “Bail will be $1,000 cash or surety.” A surety bond requires the posting of a surety power 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 bond companies are also knows as bail bondsmen. Choose a bail bond company that services the jail where you are being held. You should also consider how quickly they can act on your case, whether or not they accept payment plans and whether or not collateral will be required. Once you have chosen a bail bond company, the bail agent will then post the bond at the necessary jail to secure release. NOTE: co-signing on a bond can have serious and devastating effects. Please read and understand the obligations you are undertaking before entering into this contractual relationship.
Once the bond is posted the release process begins. The bond is processed through the court and a release notice is issued to the jail. Depending on the size of the jail, this process can take 10 minutes or several hours. Usually, the defendant will receive a court date upon his or her release. Again, failing to appear at the court date will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and may result in a forfeiture of your bond. Now is the time to begin searching for an attorney to help you through your Ohio criminal case. You can contact criminal attorney Mark Babb at 937-318-1387 for more information about bail or criminal charges.