What is the Purpose of a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a form of bonding where the court releases an accused after a court hearing. The process of bonding requires a surety to promise to appear for the court date. If the accused does not appear for the court date, they will be rearrested on a bench warrant.
The purpose of Monroe County bail bonds is to get a person released from jail in exchange for a certain amount of money. The amount varies depending on the nature of the crime and the criminal history of the suspect. Bail bonds in Monroe County usually range from $500 to $1,000. For example, a man with a bail amount of $500 was held in jail until July 24, while someone with a bail amount of $250 was held for more than a week.
But it isn’t just the jail population that’s concerned. There’s a strong community involvement group in the county, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), that has been working to end money bail. The #FREEnewyork campaign was started by the organization. In addition to calling for the elimination of money bail, the group is also working to reform the appearance ticket laws.
A property bond is an option for those who owe money on real property in Monroe County. It is different from a regular bail bond in that it secures a lien on a person’s property. This means that if the defendant does not show up for court, the court will have the right to foreclose on their property. Because of this, property bonds often take a long time to process. Also, property bonds cannot be sold, divided, or refinanced. As a result, there is a great deal of risk involved.
Fortunately, Monroe County has several licensed bonding companies that can provide bail services. These companies charge a small fee, but that fee is nonrefundable. These companies also offer 24-hour service. A list of licensed bonding companies is maintained by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Monroe County employees are prohibited from recommending a particular bonding company, so the Sheriff’s Office recommends one from among its approved list.
Most Rochester-area cases are subject to presumptive bail amounts, which vary based on the defendant’s criminal record and the severity of the crime. Suspects can either post their bail amount in cash or get a surety bond from a bonding company. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
In Monroe County, more than 1,900 people did not make bail last year, nearly half of the similar number in eight other counties. Additionally, bail disproportionately affects the minority community. Black pretrial detainees were twice as likely as white pretrial detainees to spend at least one night in jail. Further, lower-income defendants can lose their jobs while awaiting trial, creating greater financial strain on their families.
A defendant may be denied admission to bail if there is not sufficient evidence of an offense. The court will consider whether there is a special danger to the community or others. In addition, a defendant’s criminal history and appearance record will play an important role in determining the amount of bail that is set.
Alternative forms of bail for low-income defendants
If a defendant cannot afford to post bail, they may consider an alternative form of bail. Known as a non-monetary bond, these arrangements do not require money upfront. Instead, the court requires that a defendant complies with certain conditions. These may include surrendering their passport or weapons, continuing mental health treatment, enrolling in a drug or alcohol program, and maintaining employment.
Public defender Tim Donaher of Monroe County has long observed the impact of cash bail on low-income defendants. He says that some defendants have had their lives thrown into turmoil due to their inability to pay pretrial bail. Many have been in jail for years or even decades. Some legislators are now trying to address the problem.
Cost of a bail bond
If you have been arrested for a crime in Monroe County, you can post bail to get out of jail. Then, you can stay at home and await your court date. This can help you maintain your regular life, including work, school, and family commitments. Before you decide to post bail, it’s helpful to know what it entails and what to expect.
The cost of bail can vary considerably based on the nature of the crime. You may be required to post cash, surety, or a deposit bond. For example, if the court requires a $10,000 cash bond, you must post that amount in cash with the court. This money is returned to you after the case is resolved. In some cases, you may be required to pay court fees as well.