7 Types of Bail Bonds: Detailed Guide!

When a person is accused of a crime and therefore arrested, getting out of custody can be overwhelming and emotionally daunting. However, the bail system can quickly get you or your loved one out of jail. Moreover, bail bonds are an essential component of the judicial system. It ensures that individuals who have been charged with a crime are released from detention until their trial.

A Peek Of Bail Bonds

A bail bond is a legal agreement between the court, the defendant, and the bail bondsman. The bondsman receives a portion of the total bail payment from the defendant. He assures the court that the defendant will show up for all court appearances. In exchange for this guarantee, he keeps the fee paid by the defendant, regardless of how the case ends.

Additionally, he strives to determine that the defendant continues to appear in court. Why? Because if they don’t, he will be liable for paying the whole bail sum to the judge. Bail bonds play a tremendous role in law by enabling people to stay free while they await trial. Besides, they allow people to:

  • Continue their everyday lives while preparing for their case.
  • Contribute to preserving the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” by offering an alternative to pre-trial imprisonment. 

Without bail bonds, a lot of people would be imprisoned regardless of guilt or innocence. However, most people are unaware that there are numerous types of bonds to help you get released from confinement. Thus, it is vital to be acquainted with the multiple options available to make an informed decision following your circumstances.


When someone is arrested, they may be allowed to post bail. This is a sum of money or property that acts as a promise that they will appear in court when summoned. But bail costs are frequently too high for people to afford, so they turn to a bail bondsman for assistance.

Major Types of Bail Bonds

Surety Bond

When a bail bondsman cosigns the entire bail money with the court, it is known as a surety bond. In this case, the defendant’s attendance in court becomes the bail bondsman’s financial responsibility. Simply put, a surety bond is a three-party, legally enforceable agreement between the principal, the obligee, and the surety.

  • The party who needs the bond is known as the principal.
  • The party who demands the bond is known as the obligee.
  • The party providing the bond is known as the surety, which is frequently a bail bonds agency or a financial institution.

So, the bail bonds company provides the court with the full bail amount as a surety bond. It pays this sum as a consideration for the defendant’s agreement to show up for all scheduled court dates. Besides, it can get its bail money returned after the trial. Yes, as determined by the attendance.

Hence, the primary function of a surety bond is to protect the obligee financially in the event that the principal breaks their contractual commitments. It implies that the obligee will compensate for any monetary losses or other damages. Therefore, the bond serves as a guarantee that:

  • The principal will carry out their obligations
  • He will adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the bond agreement.

Property Bond

A property bond is a particular kind of bond that is utilised in the context of real estate transactions. It occurs when real estate, like a house or some land, is used as collateral to ensure a defendant’s release. Further, it provides monetary security for those involved in the case.

The accused risks losing their property if they fail to appear in court as scheduled. He may elect to use a property bond if he is unable to make the entire payment of the court-set bail sum. His representative must submit the relevant paperwork and finish the application process timely. It will help you get out of custody as soon as possible. Moreover, the court will evaluate the property’s value and determine if it meets the requirements for a property bond.

If the court approves the property bond, a lien is placed on the property, and the defendant is released from jail. However, using a property bond comes with certain risks. For example, the court may begin foreclosure procedures on the asset to recoup the bail sum. It is true if the accused fails to show up for court as required. Besides, this indicates that the property provided as security can be:

  • Confiscated
  • Sold to pay off the bond

Cash Bail Bond

Cash bail is the complete bail fee paid in cash through a verified payment method. An accused may be required to post a specified sum of money as bail. Why? To be released from detention while awaiting trial after being arrested and charged with a crime. Moreover, cash bail promises that:

  • A defendant shows up for their court appearances
  • He doesn’t run away or endanger the public’s safety.

By demanding a monetary deposit, the court encourages the defendant to uphold their legal commitments and attend all hearings. They usually receive their monetary bail back at the end of the case if everything goes smoothly.


It is significant to highlight that people who cannot afford the amount needed may have difficulties with cash bail. As a result, people may be held in pretrial custody exclusively based on their financial situation. This may lead to unfairness in the criminal justice system.

Therefore, experts suggest hiring bondsmen with extensive knowledge and expertise in tackling the most challenging cases.

Recognizance Bond

A recognisance bond is a bail bond that permits an accused person to be freed from prison without paying bail. It is also commonly referred to as a personal recognisance or PR bond. This is free of charge, but you have to guarantee the court that you will show up on all scheduled dates and times. Further, you only need to sign the documentation indicating your agreement to the set of conditions and regulations.

In some scenarios, the judge may determine that a recognisance bond is suitable instead of charging a monetary amount. However, this relies on several variables, including:

  • Defendant’s links to the community
  • Criminal history
  • Kind of accusations being brought against him

Thus, the accused may get rid of imprisonment via their recognition without making any upfront payments. Moreover, the defendant must agree to a number of requirements set forth by the court. For example:

  • Periodic check-ins with a probation officer
  • Travel limitations
  • Adherence to legal laws and court regulations

Failure to comply with these conditions can cause the revocation of the bond. This can further lead to the defendant being taken back into custody.


Recognisance bonds are not usually given to all defendants. The court specifically reserves them for those who are accused of minor accusations.

Citation Release Bond

Additionally, citation release bail enables law enforcement officers to cite a suspect rather than making a prompt arrest. It is a type of pretrial release that is frequently utilised for violations that are small or nonviolent, such as:

  • Traffic infraction
  • Low-level misdemeanour

Its fundamental objective is to lessen the judiciary’s criminal division load by preventing unnecessary arrests and detentions. The citation is a notice to appear in court for the alleged offence. Besides, it contains critical information about the relevant details:

  • Charges
  • Date and time of the compulsory court appearance

It may also specify that the offender must pay a fee or satisfy particular requirements. For instance:

  • Attending a defensive driving course
  • Community service

Further, this bond has a number of advantages for the defendant as well as the criminal justice system. It helps defendants escape the immediate repercussions of being detained. This can be a jail sentence or a criminal record. Instead of detention, they are given the chance to resolve their dispute through the legal system. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may have personal or professional obligations that an arrest would disrupt.

On the other hand,

  • It helps reduce the pressure on law enforcement organisations, courts, and prisoners.
  • Resources can be better used for more severe offences by allowing cops to issue citations rather than make arrests.
  • Additionally, it facilitates a more effective use of facilities and resources in the court system.
  • It plays a substantial role in alleviating jail overcrowding. 


A citation bail bond cannot be requested or applied for. The arresting officer is the only one with the authority to choose. Moreover, you would require a different kind of bail bond if you are taken into custody.

Immigration Bond

A special kind of bond used in immigration proceedings to guarantee the release of those who have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is known as an immigration bail bond. They intend to offer people a way to escape immigration detention while their case is still being processed.

When ICE incarcerates an individual for breaking immigration laws, he may end up in an immigration detention centre. However, in some cases, individuals may be eligible for release on an immigration bail bond. Similar to a surety bond, it requires the payment of the bond value by:

  • A bail bond agent
  • Other qualified people on behalf of the detainee

The bond amount is determined by an immigration judge and can vary according to numerous factors:

  • Flight risk
  • History and background
  • Specifications of the immigration offence

These bonds have two primary categories: delivery bonds and voluntary departure bonds.

  • Delivery bonds: When someone gets arrested by ICE, a delivery bond is granted. It allows them to be released from custody because they will attend all planned immigration hearings. Further, the bond is typically used for individuals not considered a flight risk or a danger to the community. 
  • Departure bonds: A voluntary departure bond is given when a person pledges to leave the country by a specific date. It allows their release from custody and allows them to depart from the place on their own.


Immigration bail bonds may be highly pricey, and the procedure may be complicated. Hence, individuals must obtain support in navigating the system and securing the required bond. How? By contacting a bail bondsman who specialises in immigration situations!

Federal Bail Bond

The type of bond used in situations involving federal offences is a federal bail bond. They have the purpose of obtaining the release of defendants who have been held by federal law enforcement organisations.

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The process of obtaining a federal bail bond is similar to other types of bail bonds. A licensed person, such as a bail bond agent, pays the bond sum on behalf of the defendant. He offers assurance that the defendant will ensure compliance with all legal laws while attending court sessions. In addition, federal bail bonds tend to have higher amounts than state bail bonds, reflecting the intensity of federal crimes.

Compared to state bail bonds, they pose different restrictions and considerations. Commercial bail bonds are not permitted under federal law for some federal violations, including capital offences. To ensure their release in such circumstances, the defendant may be required to put up money or property as collateral. The rules may include more stringent requirements to guarantee that the prisoner follows the court’s laws, such as electronic monitoring.


The bond may be forfeited, and an arrest warrant may be issued if the accused refuses to attend their scheduled court appearances.

Bottom Line

Anyone who comprehends the criminal justice system must be aware of numerous bail bond types. Besides, each serves a specific purpose in guaranteeing that the accused people follow the court’s rules and regulations. Therefore, they are of the utmost significance because they support efforts to:

  • Rehabilitate offenders and respect the ideals of justice
  • Strike a balance between imprisonment and liberty
  • Lessen jail overcrowding
  • Offer access to legal defence

As long as defendants meet the court’s prerequisites, bail bonds provide them with an excellent opportunity to be released while their case is being addressed. Additionally, they enable them to have better access to legal representation. Being released from jail permits them to:

  • Speak with their lawyers
  • Gather evidence
  • Construct a stronger defence

All this ultimately results in a more equitable legal system. So, people can secure their release from custody by making educated decisions if they are familiar with the options available.

At Ron Owens Bail Bonds, we have a professional team of specialists who offer comprehensive guidance on all types of bonds. Contact us if you’re looking for a solution to get one of your loved ones out of imprisonment!