When a person is first arrested or charged with a crime, they normally are incarcerated or held in custody until bond is posted. Bond refers to the money that a person charged with a crime must pay in order to be released, while the bond conditions are the rules that the defendant must follow during the time the case is pending and the defendant is awaiting trial. In the most serious cases, no bond will be permitted—regardless of how much money could be posted—and the defendant must remain in custody until the case is complete.
Bond is typically payable to the Office of the County Sheriff who is responsible for processing individuals in and out of the county jail. There is typically a minimum wait time of 30-60 minutes when you bond someone out, but the wait time can often be significantly longer. You should plan on the Defendant being released between 1-4 hours after remitting payment, but knowing the amount of wait time in advance is impossible.
Types of Bond in Illinois
I Bond – Personal Recognizance Bond
- Based on your promise to comply and appear, not secured by money
- Common in petty crimes and for first time offenders
- No money remitted
- Also referred to as a “signature bond”
D Bond – 10% of the Amount Set
- Often utilized and traditionally determined by the presiding criminal judge in the trial court.
- Can cause confusion over the amount needed for release, where the amount needed for release is misunderstood to be significantly higher than the amount actually required “to walk.”
- The most common type of bond for criminal charges in Rockford, Illinois, and the remainder of Winnebago County
C Bond – 100% of the Amount Set
- Not common, saved for exceptionally serious criminal charges
- Certain Class X Felonies
- Terrorism related charges
For a defendant to post bond, money has to be paid by the defendant or by a third-party on the defendant’s behalf. In rare circumstances when a “property bond” can be obtained, possession can be transferred to the state instead of money. Be aware that the bond amount set does not include surcharges or “convenience fees,” and you may encounter problems with the card-type or payment methods accepted at the county jail. Your payment of bond for a family member or loved one will not be private, as the person posting bond will become part of the public record as the person who remitted payment on the case. One solution is use a bail bondsman to make the payment to the jail to help facilitate the defendant’s release, but some states have made the use of bail bondsman illegal. Using a bail bondsman in Illinois is illegal and prohibited by statute. Attorneys are also prohibited from bailing out their own clients, based on the same premise.
The likelihood that the defendant will flee, if released is one of the primary considerations in determining bond. The second category of consideration is the threat or danger to society that the defendant will pose, if released from jail. This includes the seriousness of the new crime the defendant is alleged to have committed. The roots that the defendant has in the community as well as the defendant’s criminal history and propensity to violence are the Court’s major considerations.
Factors in Determining Bond
- Nature of charges
- Weight of evidence
- Use of violence
- Motivated by racial, religious, ethnic, orientation factors
- Flight risk
- Motivation or ability to flee
- Non probational/mandatory time
- Corruption of public officials
- Violence against public officials, children, disabled, senior citizens
- Defendant’s financial resources, employment, character, mental condition
Bail Is Too High
The initial bond that is set is oftentimes modified subsequently by the judge. This is especially true when the bond amount that was initially decided was set automatically or was otherwise thoughtlessly determined. In criminal cases, bond is not an issue that completely comes off the table. New developments, new evidence, or other new circumstances can lead to modifications in bond. Keep in mind that the State’s Attorney can request an increase in bond, which the judge can authorize if a basis exists. However, excessive bail is prohibited by the Eight Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which also applies in the Criminal Courts of every state.
How Can I Reduce Bail?
Criminal defense attorneys can motion for a reduction in bail, based on the ability of a defendant to pay and other factors. The premise is that the judge presiding in Criminal Court can consider the defendant’s individual circumstances to determine the amount, as the decisions that come from the criminal justice system should not be based on money. Bond reductions are also more appropriate with the increased use of technology, including vehicle interlock devices and personal GPS trackers.
Modifying Bail or Modifying Bond Conditions
The words “bail” and “bond” are often used interchangeably. Generally, the Court looks at the two categories of required conditions: monetary terms and non-monetary terms. Some of the common conditions that are non-monetary include the following prohibitions:
- Leaving the state
- Being present in certain places
- Contact with the alleged victim
- Committing any violation of the Illinois Criminal Code
- Consuming alcohol or illicit drugs
- Possessing firearms
You will also be required to appear in Court and report to Pretrial Services at any time you are directed, as part of your conditions of bond.
For a free criminal defense attorney consultation, call us today at (815) 200-8802.