How Bail Works in Illinois

bailAfter you have been arrested for a crime, you often have to post bail before you can be released from police custody. The bail process can be confusing. If you do not post bail, you will held in jail until your trial. This can affect the way you fight your case and can influence you to take a plea deal that you might not otherwise take.

What Is Bail?

Bail is property you turn over with the promise that you will show up for your court dates. In Illinois, the property posted for bail is almost always cash. When you post bail you are given a bail bond. There are three kinds of bail bonds in Illinois:

  1. A personal recognizance bond, sometimes called an I-bond;
  2. A deposit bond, sometimes called a D-bond; or
  3. A cash bond, sometimes called a C-bond.

A personal recognizance bail bond does not require the posting of any money or property. A deposit bond is the most common type of bond. You only have to post 10 percent of the bail amount to be released on a deposit bond. A cash bond requires the full amount of bail be posted before you can be released.

Who Can Post Bail?

Private bail bondsmen are illegal in Illinois. Lawyers are also not allowed to post bail for their clients. You, a friend, or member of your family will usually have to post bail. If someone besides the defendant posts bail, it is called a “surety” on the bond.

What Is a Bail Hearing?

A bail hearing is one of the earliest kinds of hearings in a criminal case. At a bail hearing, the judge sets the amount of bail. The prosecutor and the defense attorney sometimes present evidence as to why bail should be set higher or lower.

What Happens If You Miss Your Court Date?

If you fail to show up for court, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. You can also be charged with an additional crime. If you posted any bail you will likely forfeit the amount you posted for bail.

If you have any questions about bail bonds or you have been charged with a crime, you need to talk to a skilled and tough Naperville criminal defense attorney right away. Do not speak to anyone about your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.