If you’re arrested because the police suspect you’ve committed a crime, a judge will set your bond. But what is bond in Illinois, and how does it work? This guide explains.
What is Bond in Illinois?
Bond is a monetary amount that a judge sets to let you out of jail (except in the case of non-cash bonds, which you can learn about in the later section, “Non-Cash Bonds”) The judge who’s assigned to your case will look over the charges – that is, they’ll figure out what crime you’re accused of committing – and then decide how much money you should have to pay to get out of jail until your trial.
If you can pay the bond amount, you’ll be set free from jail until your next court date. If you can’t pay the bond amount, you must remain in jail until you can get together enough money to pay your bond; otherwise, you have to stay in jail until your next court date. The police will transport you from your jail cell to the court for your next appearance before the judge.
Note: After January 1, 2023, you will no longer have to post a financial bond (come up with money). However, you’ll still have to meet all the conditions the judge sets for you.
What if the Judge Lets You Out on Bond?
If the judge in your case lets you out of jail on bond, you must:
- Show up for all your court dates
- Obey all court orders
- Stay in the state of Illinois (unless the court gives you permission to leave for a specific reason)
- Avoid committing any other crimes
- Give up guns, in some cases
- Undergo a psychological evaluation, in some cases
- Avoid contact with victims or complaining witnesses
Related: What is an MDDP?
How Much is Bond?
There’s no pre-set bond amount that judges must charge. Instead, they consider several factors when setting bond – including the type of crime you’re accused of, whether you’re likely to run off and never come back, and whether you’ve missed court dates in the past.
Non-cash bonds are called personal recognizance bonds. That means you’ll have to sign a statement that says you’ll come back to court. You don’t have to pay any money to get out of jail with this type of bond.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?
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