Minnesota courts issue defendants two types of bonds: surety bonds and cash-only bonds. You must pay your set bond to avoid getting detained while you await the court to set a date for your trial. Unfortunately, cash-only bail bonds are usually expensive, and the process of posting the payment is usually more complex than posting surety bonds.
Understanding how cash-only bail bonds work is important because your freedom may depend on it. Here is a brief guide and expert tips on getting around cash-only bail bonds in Minnesota.
What is a Cash-Only Bail Bond & Why Would the Court Issue One?
A cash-only bond is a sum of money paid to the court to secure your release before and during your trial. The court holds the money as surety that you will attend your trial’s hearings and comply with other conditions under the terms of your pre-trial release. The money also guarantees that the court gets paid if you go on the lam.
The judge hearing your case can set a cash-only bail for various reasons, including:
- The prosecutor or court considers you a high flight risk.
- You have a history of not paying fines.
- You have a history of not complying with court-appointed hearings.
- You have outstanding warrants in multiple jurisdictions.
The court will order your detention before your trial’s hearing date. You must pay your cash-only bond to secure your release.
Why is a Cash-Only Bail Bond Problematic?
Posting a cash-only bail bond is challenging and problematic for financial and legal reasons. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are guilty of the charges against you – the court will order your incarceration until you post bail.
The greatest challenge for most defendants confronted with cash-only bonds is raising the money. The bond amount can be high, depending on the nature and severity of your charges, making it unaffordable for most people in low-income brackets.
A 2021 report by the University of San Francisco reveals that about 60% of all people incarcerated in Minnesota are held in pre-trial custody. Some of these people are held on cash-only bail bonds and could get out of jail while their trial hearings go on, but they cannot afford it.
Incarceration can negatively impact your personal and social life in many ways. For example, you could get fired, and the record may limit your chances of getting employment elsewhere. Incarceration can also ruin your reputation and strain your relationships with your immediate family, close friends, and relatives.
Posting Your Cash-Only Bail Bond
Posting a cash-only bond is more complicated than posting a surety bond. Only three people can post the bond:
- The defendant (you).
- A family member.
- An approved third party, such as a bail bondsman.
The court will order your release after your cash-only bail bond is posted. The court will refund the money to the person named in the receipt if the court finds you not guilty of all charges – it is important to sign your name on the receipt if you use your money to post bail.
However, the court can take possession of the money if you don’t comply with the terms of your pre-trial release, including failure to appear for your hearing. The court can also deduct some of the money to pay for fines and other expenses and refund you the balance. It is hence important to understand the bond agreement’s terms before signing.
It is advisable to use a professional bondsman to post your cash-only bail bond to expedite the process and avoid deductions. Courts usually don’t classify bonds posted by bondsmen as purge bonds, meaning that the court will not use the money to pay fines and other related expenses.
We Can Help!
Posting a cash-only bail bond can be complicated, but an experienced bondsman can help. A-Affordable is a reputable bail bonds agency with more than ten years of experience and a team of dedicated bondsmen. Get in touch today to learn more about our services and how we can help.