Bail is an integral part of the criminal justice system. It serves as an agreement between the court and a person accused of a crime, allowing the individual to be released from jail while awaiting their court proceedings. If you’ve been arrested for an alleged crime, the court may impose bail, and navigating this process can be challenging without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. Comunale Law Office is here to help you understand how bail works in Ohio and the importance of having experienced legal representation during these proceedings. 

What is Bail?

When individuals are arrested and charged with a crime, they are often taken into custody and held in jail. At this stage, most defendants are offered bail under the presumption of innocence. The terms of the bail are usually set by a judge at the beginning of the case and can be changed by a judge later.

Sometimes, individuals can secure their release simply by agreeing to return to court and follow rules set by the court. In other cases, a cash payment must be made for release from jail. If court hearings are attended, this money is returned. If not, the money is forfeited, and the court retains it. This assurance given to the court—whether it’s a promise, cash, or property—is known as a bond. Bonds can be paid by the defendant or someone else on their behalf.

Types of Bonds in Ohio

Judges decide which type of bond is set for each defendant, often based on an interview or assessment done by a court employee. The types of bonds include:

Personal Bond

This is a signed promise where a defendant agrees to return to court for future hearings and follow any rules the court sets. Violation of these rules can result in arrest or additional conditions.

Cash Bond

A cash bond involves a payment deposited with the court’s clerk in exchange for release from jail while criminal charges are pending. If rules set by the judge are violated, the bond paid previously can be kept by the court.

10% Bond

A 10% bond, also known as an appearance bond, requires payment of 10% of the total amount of the bail. For example, if the bail is $10,000, then $1,000 would be deposited with the court’s clerk. While the 10% must be paid immediately, the court will refund 90% of the bond once the case has been closed.

Surety Bond

A surety bond involves a payment made to a bondsperson or insurer, who deposits a portion of the bail with the court’s clerk in exchange for the person’s release. The bondsperson charges additional fees for posting the bond. The money is not refunded once the case has ended.

Property Bond

In a property bond, real estate, usually a house, is used as collateral for release from jail. The court places a lien on the property and can take the collateral if a person fails to appear in court or violates bond conditions.

Denial of Bail

Judges almost always set bail in Ohio, but there are instances where bail can be denied. If there is evidence that the accused committed the crime and is a danger to a victim, witness, or the public, a judge can decide not to let someone out of jail before their trial. This situation is known as being “remanded without bail.”

Bail and Legal Rights

The U.S. Constitution forbids the use of excessive bail. Judges are required to consider each case individually, weighing a person’s previous criminal history, the seriousness of the charge they face, and any risks to a victim or community safety. The type and amount of bail set should be related to the risk of the defendant failing to show up for court.

Talk to An Attorney

Understanding the process and intricacies of bail in Ohio is crucial for anyone facing legal issues in the state. The different types of bonds, payment options, and legal rights in place for the accused are all important aspects to comprehend. However, navigating these complexities can be daunting without professional guidance. That’s where the experienced legal services of the Comunale Law Office come into play. With over 20 years of quality experience, our hands-on approach ensures focused and personal attention to your case. Contact us today to speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your case.