In Illinois, a defendant charged with a felony criminal offense is entitled to a bond hearing to determine the amount of bail. A person charged with an offense is allowed counsel at the hearing at which bail is determined under Article 110 of this Code. If the defendant desires counsel for his or her initial appearance but is unable to obtain counsel, the court shall appoint a public defender or licensed attorney at law of this State to represent him or her for purposes of that hearing.
What is the purpose of a bail bond?
The purpose of bail bond is twofold: 1-to ensure defendant appears in court when they are scheduled; and 2-to keep the community safe.
If a defendant does not appear in court, then they may have to forfeit their money to the state. So the bond is a deposit that ensures the court that the defendant will actively participate in their case.
Additionally, if a defendant is arrested for a violent crime, a judge may set a high bail to ensure that the a defendant remains in jail to protect the community.
How is bond set?
The type and amount of a bond is based on the facts of the case and the type of crime for which the defendant was arrested. Judges should set the amount high enough as to ensure compliance but not to an oppressive degree considering the defendant’s financial ability.
To whom is a bond paid?
Unlike other states, Illinois does not have bail bondsmen to act as middlemen between defendants and the court. Defendants in Cook County must pay the bond directly to the court or get a third-party, known as the surety on the bond, to pay it on his or her behalf. Attorneys in the state cannot pay the bond on behalf of their clients.
Types of bonds in Illinois
I-Bonds – These account for roughly 50% of the bonds issued by Cook County. With I-Bonds defendants are released on their own recognizance, meaning they promise to appear for scheduled court dates. They do not require defendants to deposit a monetary amount.
D-Bonds – These account for roughly 25% of Cook County bonds. D-Bonds, or deposit bonds, require defendants to put down 10% of the amount their bail is set at by the judge. So if a judge sets someone’s bail at $100,000, that person must deposit $10,000 to be released.
C-Bonds – These are used rarely. Illinois has steered away from using C-bonds in recent years. This shift away from C-bonds came after criminal justice experts criticized them by saying they “kept poor, low-risk defendants in jail while allowing wealthier, more dangerous individuals to go free.”
Electronic monitoring – This condition accompanies roughly 16% of those released from jail. Judges can order defendants to abide by electronic home monitoring, curfews, drug counseling, stay-away orders, and in-person reporting, among other conditions.
Roughly 8% of defendants in Cook County are denied bail altogether.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with a bail bond hearing, speak to an attorney who can help you through this process. Contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.