In the state of Michigan judges issue different types of bonds depending on what crimes defendants are accused of, their previous behavior or arrest record, or their perceived flight risk. These bonds range from personal recognizance to cash only, and, of course, judges can also refuse bail to defendants. The system is designed to allow judges discretion to assess the risk the defendant poses to the court’s resources and the community at large and also to minimize jail overcrowding.
The type of bond most defendants wish for is the personal recognizance bond which requires that the defendant post no money, but appear at all necessary judicial proceedings and participate in no illegal activities while awaiting trial. While the court may set a bail amount, the defendant is not required to pay it unless he does not meet the conditions of bail: show up at all court dates and behave himself.
A cash only bond is a bond that must be paid in full. The defendant pays the full amount which will then be refunded (minus any fees and fines by the court) after his appearance at all judicial proceedings. This is the only kind of bond that the defendant can pay himself, in person, and it is, of course, forfeit if he does not show up at the court on his scheduled dates.
A ten-percent bond is one that requires payment of only ten percent of the full bail amount, money that is held until the defendant’s case is concluded. If the defendant does not appear at his court date, he will be held responsible for payment of the remaining 90 percent of the bond. When bail agents post the money for ten-percent bonds, the state of Michigan requires them to pay 25 percent of the full bail amount. For a $100,000 set bail, this would be $25,000. The bail agent then charges his client ten percent of the amount he posted, or, in this case, $2,500. This is a non-refundable fee and the bail agent’s remuneration for services rendered. If the defendant does not appear at all of his judicial proceedings, the bail agent forfeits the full $25,000 he posted on behalf of the defendant.
A surety bond is the promise made by a licensed bondsman the the defendant will show up in court on his appointed day. Defendants who use a bail bondsman to post bail for them pay him a percentage of the total fee – 10 percent. This is the bail bondsman’s fee for his services. The bondsman, on his part, posts the entire amount of the bond which is forfeit if the defendant skips his court date.
In nearly all cases defendants and their families will work to assemble the money to post bail. They need to get on with their lives and begin working on their defense. Michigan Bail Bonds offers this list as a guideline to help those who are confused by the legal proceedings of a Michigan arrest. If you or your loved on is currently in jail and needing help, please call us. We would be happy to explain the process further and do what needs to be done to make sure they are free.