How Does Bail And Bond Work?
When someone is first arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, they have to appear before a judge or magistrate who sets bond, which means doing two things, to make sure the bond that is set is enough to ensure the defendant shows up in court and they must also be sure the person does not pose a threat to the public.
The judge will consider whether or not they were likely to show up, so someone with their entire family and lots of friends in the area will probably get a smaller bond, because they are less likely to flee. However, the amount of bail is at the judge’s discretion; some of them set outrageous bails all of the time, although they usually set a signature bond, which has to be cash. If someone is indicted, the judge will set a bond immediately upon receiving the indictment from the grand jury.
Bond is usually set based on the seriousness of the crime, prior history and whether the person had skipped earlier. Obviously, someone who had committed a sex crime against young children will get a high bail, because the judge wants to protect the publican, whereas someone charged with DUI might pay a lower bail, although they may set conditions, such as no drugs or alcohol, or a curfew from 6 to 6, depending on the type of case.
In Illinois, most bail is on a 10 percent down basis, so if the judge set the bond at $50,000, that means the person has to post $5,000 to get out, although if they skipped on bail, they would owe the court the full amount.
Does The Bail Ever Get Changed After Being Set?
The judge can review the person’s bond and change it if they conditions were violated, and change it if they are not following orders. In one case, a person faced a curfew, but a probation officer visited his home and he wasn’t there. A few minutes later, that person called the probation officer 15 minutes later, claiming that he was downstairs doing laundry and didn’t hear the door, but the probation officer presented it to the court and the judge raised his bond to half a million dollars.
Some judges are very strict, so if someone has bond conditions, they should stick to them; if not, they could see their bond revoked or they could get thrown back in jail.
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