General Bail (Bond) Information
What is bail? Bail or bond (in this case, bail and bond mean the same thing) is an amount of money in cash, property, or surety bond for the purpose of making sure that a person attends all required court appearances. Bond allows an arrested person (defendant) to be released from jail until his or her case is completed.
Who can post bond? Any person can post his or her own bond. If the defendant can’t afford to bond himself or herself out of jail, any other person age 18 or older can post the bond.
If I bond someone out of jail, when will I get my money back? It could take months. If you post a cash bond, you might get some or all of your cash bond back, but it won’t be until the case is finished and the necessary paperwork has been processed. The law lets the Court use the cash bond to pay any fine or costs which might be assessed the defendant. If you post a surety bond, you will not get the surety bondsman’s fee or the Sheriff’s fee back.
What is a cash bond? A cash bond is the full amount of the bond required, paid in cash, to release a defendant from jail.
How much does a cash bond cost? CASH BOND/BAIL
To be released on cash bail, a person must post with the court the total amount of the bail, in cash, to secure his/her return to court on an appointed date, and thereafter until the case is finished. Full cash bonds are an incentive for defendants to appear at trial. If the defendant appears for his/her court appearances, the cash will be returned to you within 60-90 days. However, if he/she fails to appear, the cash bond is forfeited to the court! NOTE: Some courts will keep a small fee (usually 3%) and can also deduct any fines from the cash bond you put up.
How do I post a cash bond? For instructions on how to post a cash bond, call your local Sheriff’s Office. Note: You do not need to pay a bail bond agent to post a cash bond because you or another person can post a cash bond.
Can I change my mind after I post a cash bond for someone? You may have the defendant turn himself or herself in to jail any time before the defendant misses a court date. If the defendant is returned to the jail, you will need to file the required paperwork with the court. It will take about two weeks for the money to be mailed to you.
If I post a cash bond, will I get my money back? Maybe. If the defendant attends all court appearances and either pleads guilty or is found guilty, a cash bond can be used to pay fines and costs:
If you’re using your money to post a cash bond for the defendant, please tell the clerk or jailer your name and address. If you are using the defendant’s own money to post the cash bond, tell the clerk or jailer that the bond money should be receipted in the defendant’s name. The bond receipt should be made for the person whose money is being used for the cash bond. If there is any money left, it will be returned to the person whose name is on the bond receipt. If the defendant attends all court appearances and the charges are dismissed or dropped, the person whose name is on the cash bond receipt will receive the refund of the cash bond. It takes about two weeks for the refund to be mailed to the person who posted the cash bond.
What happens if the defendant misses court? The judge will issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest and the bond will be forfeited (defaulted).
This is a complicated process and it is probably in your best interest to hire an attorney. There are many cases on this issue as you can see here: A party seeking to set aside or remit a forfeiture bears the burden of proving that “it would be inequitable to insist upon forfeiture and that forfeiture is not required in the public interest.” State v. Childs, 208 N.J. Super 61, 64 (App. Div.),certif. Denied 104 N.J. 430 (1986); State v. Mercado, 329 N.J. Super 265, 269-270 (App. Div. 2000).
Call Attorney Alan Peyrouton for a free consultation: 201-766-4800