When a judge grants a defendant a bail bonds, he or she is given the opportunity to be released from jail until his or her court date. However, if this is your first time being arrested, or if this is your first time helping a loved one get released from jail, you will need to know how bail bonds work in Maryland. Continue reading so you will know what to do if this unfortunate legal situation happens to you.
How does bail work in Maryland? When arrested and at your first court appearance, a judge sets your bail amount. To get out of any Maryland jail, you may need to hire a bail bondsman. The cost of bail is 10% of the premium plus any state charges, meaning you’ll only pay 10% of the total. While on bail in Maryland, you must make all court appearances or a bench warrant will be issued and the bond will be forfeited.
In Maryland, when granted a bail bonds from the judge, there are 5 types of bonds that you could receive:
- Cash Bond: The individual must pay the entire amount of the bail with the money that he or she has at the time of the arrest. If the defendant appears in court, he or she will receive the money back. If not, the money will be forfeited to the court.
- Surety Bond: If you cannot pay a cash bond, you can use a surety bond. This involves the use of a bail bonds agent who will pay the full bail amount if the defendant or a co-signer can pay a premium of 1% of the bail amount to the bondsman and will agree to pay the entire bail amount in money or property if the defendant skips out on court. If the defendant shows in court, the bond money will be returned to the bondsman. The defendant will not receive any money back.
- Own Recognizance (O.R. bond): Typically on first offenses or on misdemeanor charges, the judge will grant the defendant an O.R. bond. This type of bond releases the defendant on the promise that he or she will partake in a pre-trial intervention program. Recommendations are made by the courts, and the individual will have to pay all necessary fees to complete the program. He or she also must still appear in court and complete all steps of the program. No money is needed to be released from custody.
- Citation Release: The arresting officer gives the defendant a written citation. The citation informs the defendant of his or her assigned court date. A citation release is typically given soon after the individual has been arrested. An individual who is given a citation may not ever have to be placed in jail. However, the defendant must still appear in court on the court date.
- Property Bond: This is the rarest case of being given a bond. The individual can be released from jail after securing the bail amount with his or her property. If the defendant skips out on court, the property will be foreclosed and forfeited to fulfill the full bail amount.
Your Maryland bail bond amount
Your bond amount will depend on the severity of the charge, the defendant’s criminal history, the risk of the defendant fleeing and not appearing in court, and the money accessible to the defendant. Maryland law states that a bond cannot be excessive, so the judge will rule accordingly. There are some cases where a Maryland bail bond will not be granted. In that case, the defendant must remain in custody before his or her court date.
Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Maryland
Maryland Bail Bonds Information
How does bail bonds work in Maryland? A judge sets the defendant’s bail. A Maryland bailbond agent will post the bond once the 10 percent premium is paid. State charges are also collected at this time. The defendant must appear in court at all hearings or forfeit the bond.
Concerned your bondsman isn’t licensed or you want to know more about how bail bonds work in Maryland please visit Maryland Insurance Administration