A bond is the amount of money you pay to guarantee that you will show up to court for your case. It works like a deposit that allows you to carry on with your life (with some restrictions) until your case is heard by a judge.
If you are given a bond you must:
- Come to all of your court dates;
- Obey court orders;
- Stay in Illinois, unless you get permission from the court to leave the state; and
- Not commit any other crimes.
You may also have to:
- Avoid contact with the alleged victim or complaining witness (this also applies to all locations of a retail chain if you’re charged with retail theft).
- Give up any guns you have; and
- Go through a psychological evaluation.
The court can also require that you do additional things. If you violate your bond by breaking any of these rules, you will be taken to jail.
Bond court is the court hearing where a judge decides how much money you have to pay to get out on bond. Anyone accused of a felony goes to bond court. People who are accused of some misdemeanors or who have other issues, such as an outstanding warrant, are also sent to bond court.
For most crimes, there is no preset bond amount. Judges can consider many factors when deciding on this amount, including:
- The type of crime, and whether or not violence or guns were involved
- The reasons you supposedly committed the crime
- Your criminal history
- Your history of missing court dates or attempting to run away
- The likelihood that you may run away
An I-Bond, short for Individual Bond, is a personal recognizance bond. This means that you are released when you sign a statement saying you will come to court, without paying any actual money.
Modifying a bond
A bond can be reconsidered. However, as with the original decision of bond, a judge must set the new bond amount. The new amount can be either higher or lower than the original bond.
Bond money after the criminal case ends
If you obey all of the conditions of your bond, the full amount minus an administrative fee will be given back to you when your case is done. Contact your circuit clerk to find out the local process for refunding your bond money.
However, D-bonds require you to pay 10% of the bail amount set by the judge to get out of jail and be out on bond. So if the bail is $1,000, you must pay $100 to the court clerk.