Types of Oklahoma Bail Bonds
There are four different types of Oklahoma bail bonds: 1) Surety Bond; 2) Cash Bond; 3) Property Bond; and 4) Personal Recognizance Bond. Each type is discussed below, but a Tulsa Oklahoma bail bond reduction attorney can explain the different bail types in more detail and answer any questions you may have about Oklahoma bail bonds.
Most individuals post bail by paying a bail bondsman to post a surety bond on his or her behalf. People often believe that this is the best method to post bail because the entire bail amount does not have to be posted. However, it can be more expensive, depending upon the circumstances. A bondsman will charge a nonrefundable fee, called a premium, for posting the bond. The premium, usually 10% of the bail amount, is how a bond agent earns a profit. For example, if bail is set at $15,000, a bondsman would charge $1,500 in exchange for posting the entire $15,000 bail bond. The premium will NOT be refunded at the conclusion of the case, even if the charges are dismissed. Some bondsmen will allow you to post less than 10%, depending upon the case, the bail amount, and whether the entire premium amount is paid up-front (rather than over time). It is always a good idea to ask. Some bondsmen also accept credit cards, and they may even allow you to pay a down payment and pay the premium balance over time. If bail is greater than $25,000, the bondsman may require collateral in addition to the 10% premium. The collateral can be stocks, bonds, or even real property.
A cash bond is just what it sounds like: a bail bond paid with cash or certified funds on behalf of the accused. A cash bond must be for the entire amount of bail. For example, if a judge sets bail at $5,000, then $5,000 in cash or a cashier’s check must be paid. The biggest benefit to posting a cash bond is that the entire amount is returned at the conclusion of the Oklahoma criminal case and there is no 10% premium paid to a bondsman.
A property bond is when an individual pledges real property for the bail amount instead of using a bondsman or paying a cash bond. In order to post a property bond, the real estate in question must have sufficient equity (difference between the value of the property and amount owed on a mortgage or loan) to cover the bail amount. The bail amount must not be more than 50% of the reasonable value of the property. The property must be located in Oklahoma and an affidavit must be submitted stating the assessed valuation, the amount of any liens or encumbrances, the legal description of the property, and the status of the title. The court clerk will record a lien against the property in favor of the county in the amount of the bail.
Personal Recognizance Bond
A personal recognizance bond (PR bond), also called an own recognizance bond (OR bond), is when a defendant is released at the discretion of the judge without posting any type of bond. Personal recognizance bonds are sometimes issued in Oklahoma misdemeanors. If a defendant is charged with a felony, it is unlikely that a judge will grant a PR bond.
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