- Cash Bond: In this instance, an individual must post with the court, the total amount of the bail in cash. This provides a strong incentive for the defendant to appear in court as scheduled, as non-appearance results in the forfeiture of the cash bond.
- Surety Bond: This process requires a contractual undertaking guaranteed by an insurance company, which has the assets to fully satisfy the amount of the bail bond. The insurance company contracts with the Bail Agent, and the Bail Agent then assures that he will re-pay the bond if the defendant fails to appear on his scheduled court date. Because the Bail Agent has promised his own money, he has a vested interest in ensuring that the defendant will in fact appear in court as scheduled. Bail Agents invest the necessary time and funds required to locate and return an individual who has not honored their commitment to appear in court. It is widely held that Bail Agents have highly effective and efficient methods of ensuring that a defendant is in court as scheduled.
- Property Bond: An individual may secure release from custody by posting a property bond with the court. In this instance, the court records a lien on property, in the amount of the bail. If the defendant subsequently does not appear in court on the scheduled date, the court may initiate the foreclosure process in order to procure the forfeited bail amount.
- Own Recognizance (O.R.): Based on a telephone interview with defendant, the staff member of a pre-trial release program will attempt to determine if individuals in custody will in fact appear in court on their scheduled appearance date, even without the strong motivator of financial forfeiture as an incentive.
- Citation Release: A Citation Release, or "Cite-Out" as it is commonly known, is issued to the defendant by the arresting officer typically right after the individual is arrested. Since the defendant may not actually be placed in custody, the court depends solely on the integrity of arrestee that they will voluntarily appear in court on the scheduled date.
The Bail Agents’ Right to Arrest
Although evolving over several centuries, modern day bail most closely resembles the system initially designed to keep the King's peace in medieval England, which placed responsibility for the defendant on a tithing or even a whole township in order to ensure that the accused would appear before the court.
Applicable Case LawTaylor v. Taintor - Decided by the courts in 1873
"When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize and deliver him up in their discharge, and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another state; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of the new process. None is needed. It is likened to the re-arrest, by the Sheriff, of an escaping prisoner" (Emphasis added.)Common Law Right To Arrest
Additionally, modern statues provide Bail Agents with the right to arrest an individual out on a bond. Under the Federal statute declaratory of this right, any accused charged with a criminal offense who is released on a bail bond with sureties may be arrested by the surety, delivered to the US Marshall, and brought before any judge or officer empowered to commit for such offense. At the request of the surety, such judicial officers may re-commit the accused to the custody of the Marshall.