If you are facing Michigan felony charges, chances are you will be ordered to post bail as a condition of your release. In most cases, you may be able to obtain a bail bond by paying a fraction of the total amount of the bond to a bondsman. The bondsman will then provide a “surety bond” or promise to the court that you will show up for court, and meet the other conditions of your pre-trial release. The bond will be held by the court until your matter is concluded. If you fail to show up for court or meet the other terms of your release, the full bail amount will be forfeited to the court.
Many people are confused about bail bonds and have questions about the bail bonds process. As dedicated criminal defense trial attorneys in Michigan, the lawyers at Grabel & Associates have helped numerous clients through the bond process and can help provide you with the advice you need concerning bonds.
The amount of bail a person charged with a crime is required to pay varies although bail amounts not supposed to be “excessive,” they can be significant, with judges ordering bail in the amounts of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Further, some Michigan courts set bail for particular offenses so you know ahead of time what to expect. In other courts however, judges weigh several factors to determined bail amounts. These factors include a defendant’s financial situation, the seriousness of the offense, a defendant’s likelihood of compliance with the terms of release and his or her past criminal history.
Where bail is required, a defendant will not be released from custody until the bail bond has been delivered to the court.
Bond may be posted in one of several ways:
Using A Bail Bondsman To Obtain A Surety Bond
A common way to post bond is to obtain a “surety bond” through a bail bondsman. In this type of arrangement, the defendant or a family member or friend pays a fee to the bail bondsman. The bail bondsman then issues a guarantee to the court that if the defendant fails to show up, they have the funds to pay the full bail amount.
The fee for this “surety bond” is set by the State of Michigan and is far less than the full bail amount, typically around 10%. However, it is non-refundable. In exchange for posting the surety bond and paying a fee, bail bondsmen often require that the defendant or his or her family or friend put up some collateral as insurance in the event the defendant skips out on court. If a defendant fails to show up, a bounty hunter may be sent out by the bail bondsman to locate the defendant.
Posting A 10% Cash Bond
As an alternative to using a bondsman, you may have the option to pay the court a 10%cash bond. You can do this either by making a 10% cash payment directly to the court or by paying a bondsman to pay 25% of the full amount of the bond to the court. Paying the court directly works well for people who have a lot of cash on hand because they can avoid paying non-refundable fees to the bondsman.
Posting A Full Cash Bond
Some defendants may be required by the court to post a full cash bond, such as where a defendant is considered a flight risk. In these situations, a defendant must pay the entire amount of a bond before they can get out of jail while awaiting trial. As an alternative to paying the full amount to the court, a defendant may be able to get a surety bond for the full amount from a bondsman for a fee.
Securing Bond With Real Property
Another option for posting bail involves using the defendant’s real property such as their home to secure a bond. The value of the property needs to be close to the value of the bond. If the defendant fails to show up for court, then the state of Michigan could recover the defendant’s property.
The criminal defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates have helped numerous clients through the bond process. As the top Michigan criminal defense law firm, we have worked with bail bondsman throughout the state and can help you through the bail process.
The attorneys at Scott Grabel & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your criminal case and the process of posting a bond. For a free initial consultation, call us, toll free at 1-800-342-7896, or use the contact us form on this website.