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What Does “No Bond” Mean?

Posted on May 5th, 2023 by Jesse Kleis 66 Views

Bail bonds are a popular tool many defendants use to reduce the cost of their release from jail. Here, bail bondsmen offer to pay the bail in full on behalf of the defendant in exchange for a percentage fee. For instance, a California judge might post bail at $50,000, letting the defendant secure their release for just $5,000. 

However, judges may not grant bail in some situations. When this happens, it can result in a “no bond” situation.

What Does No Bond Mean?

No bond means a person arrested and charged with a crime cannot be released from jail by paying bail. Usually, judges set bail based on the type and seriousness of the crime, the risk of the person fleeing or harming others, and the person's criminal history. However, in some cases, they may decide not to set bail, which means the person has to stay in jail until their trial or until the judge changes their mind. This is called no bond or zero bond.

Why Do Judges Sometimes Deny Bail? 

Judges grant bail according to California bail schedules. (These fix the amount of bail a defendant must pay concerning a specific charge). However, they may deny you bail if they believe you will not show up at the requested court date or if you are a risk to the public. 

For instance, common reasons for denying bail include:

  • Being charged with an extremely serious crime, such as rape, terrorism, murder, or manslaughter. Judges may believe defendants will flee if their life is at stake. 
  • Having a history of failing to appear in court or violating court orders. Judges may believe that a person will not honor their bail terms if they grant it. 
  • Being considered a flight risk. Defendants with no ties to the local area are much more likely to flee to a different state or country. 
  • Being mentally unstable or not being “of sound mind,” which could be a public safety risk
  • Violating a protective or restraining order designed to protect a witness. Judges may worry that a defendant will try to manipulate the evidence against them if released. 

What Are The Consequences Of No Bond Decisions? 

Being held on a zero bond can have dire consequences for you and your family. You cannot usually work during your jail stay and may lose access to your finances. It might be impossible for you to care for your children or prepare your defense with a lawyer. 

Police and law enforcement officials may pressure you to accept a plea bargain. Courts may offer you the promise of a reduced sentence if you plead “not guilty,” regardless of whether you committed a crime or not. 

For this reason, it is essential to have an experienced attorney by your side to provide support during this challenging time. They can interact with law enforcement officials on your behalf, minimizing the risk of further legal liability. 

How Can Bail Bondsmen Help In A No Bond Situation? 

If you find yourself in a no-bond situation, you may wonder who can help. At Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds, we’ve guided many defendants in zero bond situations and even helped to secure their pretrial release. 

Bail bondsmen can assist people in this situation in several ways. First, they can provide resources. Many have extensive networks in the industry and justice system and can provide expert witnesses, private investigators, and other strategies to shed new light on your case. Professionals can help attorneys build robust defenses, making it more likely pretrial release will occur. 

Bail bondsmen can also help attorneys prepare for bail hearings. They can gather evidence and develop arguments that make it more likely a judge will agree to your release. For example, they might point to your ties in the community, your good conduct during previous court appearances, or irregularities surrounding your arrest. 

They can also provide guidance and information to defendants explaining the legal process and how it unfolds. Even if a judge forbids a bail bond initially, they may change their mind as new facts come to light. 

Generally, a skilled defense attorney is your biggest asset when applying for bail on a serious felony charge. They understand the law and can make a case based on the evidence collected and your circumstances.

What Are The Alternatives To No Bond? 

Several alternatives exist to a “no bond” situation, but they depend on the discretion of the judge and local law enforcement officials. Judges will sometimes argue no bond is necessary for serious offenses or when the person is considered a flight risk or a danger to the public. However, they also violate the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty. For that reason, some no-bond defendants can access different bond types to secure their release.

  • Cash bond. Here a person pays money directly to the court as surety that they will show up to the trial to secure their release. Failing to do so means they forfeit the money. 
  • Property bond. Here, the person pledges a property, such as a house or a car, as collateral for their release. If they fail to appear for trial, they lose the property and face additional charges.
  • Surety bond. In this case, the person hires a bail bondsman to pay the bail and promises to adhere to the bail conditions until their trial. If they do not show up to court, the bail bondsman can track them down and deliver them to the courthouse. 
  • Personal recognizance. Lastly, personal recognizance occurs when law enforcement releases defendants without the need to pay bail but on the promise they will appear in court and meet various reporting requirements (such as showing up to the police station regularly for check-ins). 

If you require help in a no-bond situation, contact our team today 24 hours at 844-400-2245.

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About The Author

Jesse Kleis is a licensed California Bail Agent for Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds with over 7 years’ experience working in all aspects of the bail bond industry. He holds both a Bachelors and Masters of Arts in Sociology from California State University. Alongside his role in the bail industry he continues to hold a formal role in professional education as a Sociology Instructor.

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