Bond – What you need to know

Bond is an amount of money that you have to give to the court to allow you to be released from custody (jail).  More specifically, the money is posted and it is held by the court clerk’s office (bail bond agencies are not allowed in Illinois).  Generally, the money is returned to you once your case is over.  However, for a “D” bond, the court clerk’s office retains 10% of the bond money as a processing fee. A “D” bond is a bond where you only have to post 10% of the actual bond to be released.  For example, if the bond is $1,000.00 and it’s a “D” bond then all you have to post is $100.00 (10%).  Once the case is complete, you will get 90% of the money you posted back.  So, if you posted $100.00, you will get back $90.00.

The court requires that you post bond to ensure you will return to address the criminal charges against you.  If you fail to return after you post bond, your bond will be forfeited / surrendered and will become the property of the court and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Conditions of Bond:

Once you are on bond there are limitations on you until the case is over.  The limitations on you include not being allowed to leave the State of Illinois and not being charged with another offense, as well as other limitations that vary by county to county and even case by case.

Restrictions on leaving the State of Illinois:

The bond restricts your from leaving the State of Illinois.  To leave the State of Illinois you need the court’s permission.  The court will usually give you permission to travel to another state where you live, for work purposes, and even for a previously planned vacation.  The court will limit the travel for the specific trip and between specific days.  The important thing is that you ask the court for permission before the travel.

Three types of bonds in Illinois:

Personal Recognizance/ I Bond:

You simply sign your way out of court and promise that if you do not show up to court that you will pay the bond.  For example, if you get a traffic ticket, the officer will have you sign the ticket promising to come to court.  This is a bond you are signing.  Personal recognizance bonds (otherwise known as an “I bond”) are also available on some misdemeanor cases.  Once the case is over, the bond is over and you do not have to give any money for having a personal recognizance bond.  Likewise, you do not get any money back as you never had to post any money.

D Bond:

A “D Bond” is where a person has to post 10% of the actual bond amount.  For example, if the bond amount is $1,000, you would have to post $100.  Likewise, if the bond amount is $10,000, then you would have to post $1,000.  Once the case is over, the court clerk keeps 10% of the money you posted.  So, if you posted $100, you would receive $90. back ($100 – 10% = $90).

Cash Bond:

A cash bond is where the court requires you to post cash in the actual amount of the bond.  This is typical in civil cases where a person owes money on a civil judgment.  A cash bond is not used in criminal cases.

Getting your Bond Money Back:

Once your case is over, you will get your bond money back (minus 10% if your bond is a “D Bond.”)  If you have fines, court costs or other fees, the court will apply your bond refund to what you owe the court before returning the bond money to you.  Your bond can (in some cases) be used to pay your attorney.  Some courts are more  agreeable than others in transferring the bond refund to your attorney.

In Will County the court will see to it that your fines prevent you from getting any of your bond back.  Assigning your bond to your attorney can prevent the court from taking all of your bond and can help protect your bond money.

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