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Bond Definition

A bond is an order of the court specifying the amount of money or surety that must be posted to secure a defendant’s release from custody while a criminal charge is pending in court. A bond can be “personal,” which is a promise of the defendant to appear in court and follow the terms and conditions of their bond. If a defendant with a personal bond fails to appear in court, they will owe the court the total amount of the bond. For example, if a defendant is granted a $5,000.00 personal bond, they are released from jail in exchange for their promise to appear in court. If that person fails to attend a court hearing, they will owe the court $5,000.00.

Common Questions

How does a legal bond work?

A bond is an amount of money that is posted and held by a court to assure the defendant appears in court as ordered and follows various terms and conditions ordered by a judge, such as not consuming alcohol or drugs, not possessing firearms, not committing new crimes, and not leaving Michigan without permission of the court. If the defendant fails to appear or violates the bond conditions, the court can forfeit the funds on deposit.

What is the difference between bail and bond?

In Michigan, bail and bond mean the same thing. Bail or bond is the amount of money ordered by a court that a criminal defendant must pay to be released.

What are the terms and conditions of a bond?

When a judge grants bond or bail, they order the defendant to follow specific rules called “terms and conditions.” Under Michigan Court Rule 6.106(C), the court might order any combination of the following:

  • Make reports to a court agency or one specified by the court;
  • Not to use alcohol or drugs;
  • Participate in substance abuse testing or monitoring;
  • Participate in treatment programs;
  • May restrict personal association, residence, employment, or travel;
  • Surrender driver’s license or passport;
  • Set curfew limitations;
  • Seek employment;
  • Continue or begin educational program;
  • Remain in the custody of a responsible person;
  • Not possess a firearm or dangerous weapon;
  • Not enter specified premises or areas;
  • Not assault, beat, molest, or wound a named person or persons;
  • Comply with a no-contact order. Conflicts with other no-contact orders are resolved by applying the most restrictive provisions of either order;
  • Satisfy any injunctive order; and
  • Comply with any other condition, including money bail, necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance and public safety.
Do I get Bond Money Back?

A cash bond is returned to the person who posted the bond. If someone posts a 10% bond (such as $1,000 or 10% ($100)), they will get 90% of the amount posted back at the conclusion of the case. If the defendant violates the bond or absconds from the court, the entire bond can be forfeited, and nothing is returned.

Can you bail yourself out of jail with a debit card?

Most courts accept credit and debit cards to post bond or bail.

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