When you’re arrested in Illinois, you can either stay in jail until you go to trial or you can ask to be released on bail. However, there’s no guarantee that a judge will let you out on bail.
What is Bail?
Our bail system allows people who aren’t considered at-risk of failing to show up for court to go home (or elsewhere) until they have to appear before a judge. It’s a way to help keep room in the jails for other people.
If the judge in your case allows you to post bail, you or someone you know will give the court a certain amount of money (the court decides the amount). When you return for your court date, your money will be refunded – minus the fines or fees you have to pay.
To break it down simply, it would look like this:
- You’re arrested.
- The judge sets your bail at $5,000.
- You or someone you know pays the court $5,000.
- You get to leave jail.
- You show up at court on your next court date.
- The court returns the $5,000, minus any fines or fees you owe.
What if You Don’t Show Up in Court?
If you skip bail – meaning that you don’t show up when you’re supposed to – the entire amount of bail money you paid is gone. You forfeit it to the court.
Related: Chicago bond violation defense
What Does “Bail Amount Set” Mean?
The amount of money the judge orders you to pay for bail depends on your case. He or she will look at several factors, including:
- Your financial resources
- How likely you are to show up in court
- Your past criminal history
- The seriousness of the crime you’re accused of committing
Sometimes the judge won’t set bail. That means the judge won’t allow you to pay money to get out of jail – you have to sit there until your trial. This usually happens if the crime is very serious, if the judge thinks you’re likely to flee or if it’s a repeat offense.
Related: When do you need a bail bond violation lawyer?
Bail Bond Rules in Cook County
The judge can order one of three types of bail bonds: I Bonds, C Bonds and D Bonds.
I Bonds in Chicago
An I Bond allows you to be released on your own recognizance. That means you simply promise to come to court for all your scheduled dates. There’s no money involved in an I Bond.
C Bonds in Chicago
A C Bond is a full cash payment of bail. If the judge sets your bail at $5,000 and it’s a C Bond, you must come up with the full $5,000 to get out of jail. You’ll get your money back – minus fines and fees – when you show up in court, depending on the outcome of your case.
D Bonds in Chicago
A D Bond lets you pay just 10 percent of the bail amount to get out of jail. If the judge sets your bail at $5,000 and it’s a D Bond, you have to pay $500. The county keeps the fee, even if you’re found innocent or your charges are dropped.
Do You Need to Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer About Criminal Charges?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 right now for a free case review. We’ll answer your questions and help you start moving forward.