An appearance bond is money or collateral that is held by the court in exchange for the release of a person from jail; and serves the purpose of being a guarantee of the person’s promise to appear at future court dates. The person who posts the bond is called the surety. A person may act as their own surety, or they may choose to use a professional company (bail bond company), a friend, or a family member. Additionally, ‘real property’, which is simply defined as land and buildings, can also be used as collateral on some types of bonds.
The Bond Schedule sets the amount of an appearance bonds for municipal violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Not every violation has a bond set by schedule. There are many violations that require a person who is in jail to appear before a Judge or magistrate before their bond can be set.
There are several ways that an appearance bond can be posted: