Bail process in Chicago.
The amount of time a defendant remains in jail in Chicago often will depend on the facility he or she is sent to and the severity of the crime involved. The process to secure a pre-trial release is usually faster for a misdemeanor than a more serious crime. Also, the larger the jail facility – and Cook County Jail is the biggest in the country – the more time it takes to be booked and processed before the bond process can begin.
Types of bonds in Chicago.
- D-bond. There is no private bail bond business in Illinois. A D-bond is similar to a surety bond in that a defendant need only post 10 percent of the bail amount to be released. The difference is that the money is paid to the Clerk of Court instead of a bail bondsman. Another significant difference is that as long as a defendant shows up for all scheduled hearings, 90 percent of the money is returned. The other 10 percent is kept as a court fee.
- I-bond. An I-bond does not require any payment from the defendant. This is the equivalent of a personal recognizance bond. It is usually only given to defendants with no previous arrests and those whose crimes did not involve violence, gang activity or children or the elderly as victims. The judge sets a bond amount, and in the event the defendant violates any condition set forth by the judge, he or she then must pay the full amount of the bond.
- C-bond. Judges in Chicago will sometimes require a defendant to pay the entire bond amount in cash – the 10 percent D-bond is not allowed in these situations. Often, judges choose a C-bond for drug felonies and crimes involving terrorism or the threat of terrorism.
Bond hearings in Chicago.
The bond for misdemeanors is usually determined in advance, making it much quicker to get released from jail. For most felonies, a bond hearing is required. Under Illinois law, the hearing must be held within 72 hours of arrest. The judge generally will consider the details of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history and whether there are any family or community ties – which would make it more likely for the defendant to remain in the area and show up for court hearings. Under state law, judges also can consider the financial resources of the defendant, as well as hir or her character and whether or not flight is a serious risk.
Bond costs and options.
Since Illinois has banned private bail bond companies, the bond premium – often 10 or 15 percent of the bond amount throughout the country – is not a concern. Instead, defendants with a significant bail can be released by posting 10 percent of the bail with the court. Most of that money will be returned as long as the defendant shows up for all court hearings – minus a 10 percent court fee. The money is returned regardless of the defendant’s guilt or innocence. Any adult can act as a co-signer and put up some or all of a defendant’s bond.