What Is a Cash Bond? a Quick Guide
Everything You Need to Know About Court Bonds
You’re stuck in a Connecticut jail, and a bail bondsman can’t help you. What does that mean? In most cases, your judge decided that the only way you can bail out of jail is with a cash bond.
While cash bonds are a simple concept, they’re a difficult way to get out of jail before your trial. A bail bond agent can cover some bonds in exchange for a fee from you or someone who can cover the bond fee. However, in most cases, bail bondsmen don’t deal with this type of bond.
Keep reading to learn about cash bonds, why judges issue them, and how to handle them.
What is a Cash Bond?
When a judge releases someone on bond, they name an amount of money required for the charged person to get out of jail before the trial. Bail doesn’t release you of guilt or support your innocence. It’s merely an exchange program: money to the court sets you free temporarily and with conditions.
In many cases, you can call a bail bond agent to bond you out of jail. They pay a percentage of your total bail amount with the assurance that they’ll cover the full bail amount if you fail to show up for court. You pay a fee to the bondsman for this service. If you don’t have the money to cover the bond fee, a bond agent might accept valuable property as collateral.
When a judge requires a cash bond (or a cash-only bond), most bail bond agents won’t deal with it. A cash bond requires the full amount of the bail upfront. A bail agent doesn’t want to write a check for a bond in full and risk a significant loss if you fail to meet the requirements of your bond.
To leave jail with a cash bond, you or someone trustworthy will need to pay the full amount of your bond directly to the court. Most courts prefer cash, but some courts will accept a credit or debit card.
When Do Judges Require Cash Bonds?
A cash bond is very serious. The type and amount of a bond depend on the judge, the charges, and the defendant.
If a judge doesn’t trust that someone will fulfill the conditions of the bond, they’ll issue a cash bond. You might see this happen with:
- Serious felony charges
- Perceived flight risks
- A defendant’s ongoing failure to pay significant or frequent fines
- Criminal history
Requiring a cash bond is a more substantial responsibility for a defendant. If you’re able to come up with the full amount on your own, you’re less likely to jump bail, knowing you won’t get your bond funds back after your trial.
If someone else posts your full bond amount—like a friend or family member—they’re more likely to ensure you show up for the trial and follow the terms of your temporary release from jail.
Most courts have a bail schedule that gives guidelines for bail types and amounts according to different charges. Less-serious crimes can result in a lower bond amount. Significant crimes or repeat offenses can increase your bond amount and lead to a cash bond situation.
If you’re a frequent flier with the court, you can expect a cash bond as part of the terms for bail release.
Who Can Pay My Cash-Only Bond?
Remember, a bail bond agent won’t finance your cash-only bond in Connecticut. But you have options!
You can pay a cash bond on your behalf. If you have the cash or can gather the funds, this is often the best option. You won’t owe money to a friend or relative, and no one else is responsible if you violate the terms of your bail release.
If you can’t find the cash or can’t pay with a debit or credit card, find a trustworthy third party to cover your bond. Start with your family. A family member is more reliable than a friend, in most cases. When they post your cash bond amount, they are now responsible for you outside of jail.
- If you violate the conditions of your bail release, your bond “sponsor” can lose the cash they paid for your release.
- If you jump bail by not appearing for your court date, your family member also forfeits the bond money they provided for you.
A family member can help you with a place to stay or help you remember to fulfill the conditions of your bond.
If you can’t find a family member to post your bond, find a trustworthy friend. They’ll also need to trust you to follow the rules upon your release. If you violate the court requirements, they lose their money.
Do I Get My Cash Back?
In most cases, the court returns most of your bond money. When you appear for court and your trial runs its course, the court returns most of the bond money to you or the person who paid your bond, minus fees.
The verdict in your case can affect how much of your bond money comes back to you. If you’re innocent, you’ll get more of your money back. However, if you’re guilty and sentenced to jail or fines, the court might keep more of your bond funds.
A Cash Bond is a Significant Financial Risk
No matter who pays your cash bond, it’s a more significant financial risk when compared to a surety bond covered by a bond agent. You can’t control the type of bond set by a judge. However, to lower your risk and avoid a cash bond in Connecticut, don’t commit a crime.
In Connecticut, Liza Davis Bail Bonds can help you out of most bail situations. If you’re unsure about how to handle a cash bond or you need other bond services, contact us! Don’t stay in jail if you don’t have to be there! We here to help you navigate the judicial system and guide you to the best bond solution for your situation.
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