The 7 Types of Bail Bonds Explained


There are seven different types of bail bonds available to defendants in Pennsylvania. The seven different types of bonds are:

  • Cash bail bonds
  • Surety bail bonds
  • Property bail bonds
  • Citation release bonds
  • Recognizance release bonds
  • Immigration bail bonds
  • Federal bail bonds

Each type of bond has different rules, regulations, and uses. Let’s discuss the difference between each class in a little more detail.

Cash Bail Bonds

Cash bail bonds are first on the list because they are, by far, the most common and easiest to understand. The name tells you what you need to know about these bonds: the defendant pays their bond in cash.

While defendants may pay any bail in cash, there are certain situations where cash is the only accepted payment method. For example, cash-only bail bonds are most common when the defendant has a higher-than-average flight risk, such as violent crimes. In these situations, the judge sets bail so high that your average defendant cannot afford it.

Surety Bail Bonds

Surety bail bonds are what bail bonds companies provide to defendants. Whenever the defendant doesn’t have the money required to pay bail on their own accord, they can rely on a bond company to put up the cash for their bail. But how do surety bonds work?

Well, in a surety bond, a bail bonds agency pays the total cost of bail to the court upfront. The bond company makes this payment under the agreement that the defendant will appear at all appointed court dates. Continued attendance will allow the company to receive the bail money back at the end of a trial. The defendant is legally bound to pay the bonds agency back for their loss of the bail money if they fail to maintain their end of the agreement.

Like us here at ABC Bail Bonds, most bail companies charge a 10% rate for their services. That means that the defendant will have to pay the bond company 10% of the total cost of their bail. As part of their investment, the bond company will ensure that the defendant attends all appointed court dates and doesn’t skip bail.

The process of acquiring a surety bond is (usually) like this:

  • You’re arrested and put behind bars.
  • A judge sets your bail amount.
  • You can contact us here at ABC Bail Bonds.
  • We inform you of all your financial obligations if you use our services.
  • We then pay the entire amount of your bail to the court after you provide us with your 10% fee.
  • You’re now free from pretrial jail and to prepare for your trial.
  • Once your court trial is complete, ABC Bail Bonds will receive the entirety of your bail amount back from the court.
  • We keep the 10% fee, and you can go home and pretend that none of this ever happened!

Property Bail Bonds

Property bail bonds work much like cash bail bonds. However, the significant difference between the two is that, in a property bond, the defendant’s property takes the place of cash as collateral. Every state in the country accepts property bonds.

You must use the entire property to set up a property bond (you can’t use partial properties in a property bail bond). Generally, real estate is the most common type of property used in this type of bail bond.

Unless you have no other options, surety bonds are usually better than property bonds. Be wary of property bail bonds, as they take much longer than a traditional surety bond through a bail bond agency. While you can complete a surety bond in several hours, property bonds generally take weeks to settle. That can take valuable pretrial preparation time away from defendants.

Citation Release Bonds

Citation-release bonds are the most desired type of bonds on this list. Why? Because if you received a citation release, law enforcement never took you into custody!

Citation release bonds exist when an arresting officer issues a citation instead of arresting the accused. Traffic offenses are, by far, the most common type of citation release carried out in the United States.

The unfortunate thing about citation release bonds is that you can’t formally request one. With the other types of bonds (like property and surety), you can officially request one of the other. Since citation releases come at the arresting officer’s discretion, you can’t formally request one. Citation bonds will not help you get out of custody.

Recognizance Release Bonds

Recognizance release bonds are one of the most accessible kinds of bonds. In a recognizance release, you won’t have to pay anything. All you have to do is promise to show up for all your appointed court dates. But how do you go about getting a recognition bond?

Like citation release bonds, the arresting officer provides a recognizance release at their discretion. You can’t request one or use one unless the arresting officer deems it appropriate.

Immigration Bail Bonds

Immigration bail bonds are exceedingly complicated. They are only available to non-residents of the United States. There are stringent rules, regulations, and requirements behind immigration bail bonds.

Because immigration bail bonds are so exceptionally complex, we recommend you not try to navigate them independently. Instead, enlist the services of our professional bondsmen. We know all the ins and outs of immigration bail and always stand by to help.

Federal Bail Bonds

As the name suggests, federal bail bonds are for federal offenses.

If accused of a felony, the only type of bail bond available to you will be federal bail bonds. For help with federal bail bonds, you can always rely on the ABC Bail Bonds bondsmen.

Need Help? Contact ABC Bail Bonds

Bail is complicated, so why try to handle it on your own?

Here at ABC Bail Bonds, we know our way around every type of bail bond. Our experienced bondsmen are knowledgeable professionals who are always standing by to help. So, if you’ve been looking for a reliable, affordable, professional bail bonds company, you’ve come to the right place! We happily provide our clients with the best service in Philidelphia bail bonds. Still, we’re also happy to help point clients outside the state to reliable companies near them; companies like Anytime Bail Bonding, Inc. have served the citizens of Georgia well for years! So, if you’re looking for Albany bail bonds or bail bonds in any other part of Georgia, you can rely on Anytime Bail Bonding, Inc. Contact us here at ABC Bail Bonds for help, and we’ll find you the assistance you need!

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