There are several types of bail in New Jersey including the following:
The easiest way to post bail is by making cash payment to the court to allow the defendant to be released. When the bail is set, the entire amount must be posted with the court in order for the defendant to be released (unless a 10% option is indicated by the court). It is important to remember that you will not be refunded the cash until the end of the case. However, if the defendant fails to appear in court when required then the cash bail is forfeited and lost.
Cash Bail (with a 10% option)
In some cases, the judge with set a cash bail with a 10% option. This means that, if 10% of the bail is posted with the court, the defendant will be released pending the resolution of the case. As long as the defendant appears as required, the 10% fee will be refunded at the end of the case. For example, if the defendant’s bail is $50,000.00 with 10%, the defendant may post $5,000.00 with the court to be released. This $5,000.00 will be returned at the end of the case as long as the bail is not forfeited based on the defendant’s failure to appear. On the other hand, if the bail is $50,000.00 cash, without a 10% option, the entire bail must be posted for the defendant to be released from the county jail.
This type of bail option allows the defendant to post property with the court to secure the bail amount. In most cases, the county clerk in the county in which the defendant was charged requires you to present the deed to the property and a certified appraisal as to the value of the property. In some cases, the county clerk will allow you to provide a copy of the most recent property tax bill in order to establish the value of the property posted for bail. In addition, for more serious offenses you must have $20,000 in equity in the home above the bail amount set by the court. If the defendant fails to appear in court when required, the State of New Jersey may foreclose on the property posted for bail.
Release on own Recognizance (ROR)
In cases where the defendant has no prior criminal record or a very minimal prior criminal record and the charges are of a less serious nature, the Judge releases the defendant as long as it is agreed that the defendant will appear in court when required. The Judge will only grant this form of release when the defendant does not pose a serous flight risk and is not a threat to the community.
The last type of bail option is to utilize a bail bondsmen. Bail bondsmen are typically used when the defendant or the defendant’s family cannot afford to post the entire bail amount set by the court. For example, if the Judge sets the bail at $150,000 with no 10% option, the entire amount or property bond in that amount must be posted with the court in order for the defendant to be released. However, when using the services of a bail bondsman it will typically cost 10% of the bail set by the court. The bondsman will then post the $150,000 bail with the court and the defendant will be released. The defendant must keep in mind that 10% fee paid to the bondsman will not be refunded at the end of the case.