Of the various types of bail a judge can order, a cash-only bond is the most restrictive because you must pay the court cold, hard cash before you will be released. Judges order this type of bond when they want to make sure defendants show up for court to avoid losing hundreds or thousands of dollars to the state. If you don't have the cash to pay the bond, your first thought may be to contact a bail bond agency for assistance, but this is one area where a bail bond company may not be able to help.
Bail Companies Don't Deal in Cash
Bail bond companies generally only use surety bonds when bailing people out of jail. These are a type of insurance product the company obtains from a provider. The bail company buys a surety bond from the insurance company, who agrees to pay out on the policy if the bond is forfeited. In return, the bondsman repays the insurance company for the amount it paid to the court.
This is why bondsman will sometimes refuse to take on a defendant who is a clear flight risk or may require the person bailing out the defendant to put up collateral that can be used to help the company recoup its losses if the defendant doesn't show. The company stands to lose a lot of money if the defendant skips bail and causes the court to forfeit the bond.
Because the bail company uses surety bonds, it typically doesn't have a lot of cash reserves on hand to pay a cash-only bail. However, even a company that doesn't have a lot of money in the bank may be leery about taking on a client that has this type of bail requirement because the risk of loss is much higher.
With a surety bond, the court will typically give the bail bond company a certain amount of time to turn the defendant over to authorities before forfeiting bail. There is a 180-day grace period in Idaho before bail is forfeited, for example. Even then, the court may return some of the bail money to the company if the administration of justice has not been negatively impacted by the defendant's absence.
However, the same courtesy may not be available for cash-only bonds, particularly in cases where the defendant has failed to appear before. So, the bail bond company may feel like this is too much of a risk to take and decline to take on these types of cases.
Dealing With a Cash-Only Bond
Just because most bail bond companies won't put up money for a cash-only bond doesn't mean none of them will. There may be a company willing to do it. However, you may be required to put up collateral guaranteeing the loan. If the defendant has a $5,000 cash-only bail, you may be required to put up a vehicle, jewelry, or other item that is worth $5,000 to secure the bond, for instance.
If you can't find a bail bond company willing to take on this type of case, another option is to have the attorney request a bail reduction hearing to see if the judge will remove the cash-only requirement. The defendant would have to prove that he or she is not a danger to the community or a flight risk. This can be easy or challenging depending on the circumstances of the case. For instance, the judge may be willing to change the requirement for a defendant who has a steady job and deep ties in the community.
A third option for getting the money for a cash-only bail is to see if you can get a loan from a creditor. You can apply for a personal loan with a bank or secure a vehicle title loan for the amount required. As long as the defendant shows up for all court appointments, you will get the money back and can repay the loan in full.
For more information about this issue or help bailing someone out of jail, contact a bail bond company, like A M Bail Bonds.