Understanding Bail Bonds in Cook County

Posted on in Criminal Law

Cook County criminal defense attorneyWhen facing criminal charges, you may be eligible for bail. This may give you the opportunity to spend time with family, work, and handle personal matters outside of police custody while you are awaiting trial for your charges. However, it is important to understand that bail is different for each case and situation. Furthermore, not everyone is eligible. Understand what bail is, how it works, how the amount is determined, and whether or not you may be eligible for bail in Cook County.

What is a Bail Bond?

Bail is an amount of money, set by a judge and paid to the courts, and the bond acts as a sort of collateral. By paying it, you are giving up something to be released from custody and are more likely to follow the rules to ensure the bond is not forfeited. These rules include not leaving the state of Illinois, appearing at all court hearings, not possessing a firearm or dangerous weapon, and not committing any further crimes while on release. In some cases, you may also be restricted from contacting the defendant (i.e. domestic battery cases).

How Bail Bonds Work

Bail must be paid to the Cook County bonding facility at Division Five, 2700 South California Avenue in cash, or by debit card or certified check. They do not accept money orders or personal checks. Once paid in full (including the non-refundable 2.13 percent service fee), the process for release is started. Keep in mind, however, that it can two hours or more to complete the release. Further, those who are appearing in court that day, or have a hold from another agency, may experience additional delays.

How Bail Bond Amounts Are Determined

While, for certain misdemeanor offenses, a predetermined amount may be set and require no involvement from the court, most bail bonds will go through a judge for approval and amount. Several factors may be used to determine if you are eligible, and what the amount of your bond will be. These factors may include:

  • Prior criminal history,
  • Nature of the charge,
  • Risk of flight,
  • Risk of re-offense,
  • Connections within the community,
  • And more.

What Happens to the Bail Money?

The fate of bail money depends on the outcome of your case. If the charges are dropped, bail money (minus any fees) will be returned to the person who paid it. In contrast, bail money will go toward any court fees or fines if there is a conviction. This is important to understand, especially if a family member or friend is using their own money to help bail you out.

Experienced Criminal Defense for Your Case

Undeterred by even the most complex criminal cases, the Law Offices of Scott F. Anderson can provide you with the experience, knowledge, and aggressive representation you need. We will protect your rights, including your right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Dedicated to your best interest, our Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorneys offer free initial consultations to clients throughout Cook County. Call us at 847-253-3400 to schedule yours today.