The term “bond” generally describes an obligation or a promise. In a Will County, Illinois criminal case, “bond” refers to the defendant’s obligation to answer the criminal charges brought against him. Even for minor ticketable offenses a bond is established in the sense that the defendant must pay the ticket or contest it in court by a set deadline. Such petty offenses, however, generally do not require the defendant to “post bond”; instead, the defendant is simply issued a ticket with a Notice to Appear, and is trusted to do so. Failure to pay the ticket on time or appear on your court date results in additional consequences.

In more serious criminal case, the bond system takes a slightly different form. If you have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you will remain in police custody until a bond amount has been set. There are three types of bonds in Will County, Illinois: (1) an “I”-bond, which is a personal recognizance bond; (2) a “D” bond, which requires a 10-percent deposit of the total bond amount; and (3) a “C” bond, which requires the total bond amount to be posted before the defendant is granted pretrial release.

An “I”-bond involves the pretrial release of the defendant who promises, usually in writing, to appear for trial at a later date. In other words, the defendant is released “on his word.” No bail money is required. The “I”-bond is Illinois’ term for release on one’s own recognizance.

“D” and “C” bonds, on the other hand, require that a certain amount of money be deposited with the court before the defendant will be released in the time before his trial. This sum is what is referred to as “bail”; its purpose is to reasonably assure that the accused appears to each and every court date despite being out of police custody. If the defendant fails to appear for trial, the bond money is forfeited to the court and a warrant is issued for the defendant’s arrest.

The process of setting bond generally occurs within 48 hours of arrest. For certain offenses, bond is predetermined by statute. Generally, however, bond is set at a “bond hearing.” If you have not already obtained a Will County criminal defense attorney to represent you, this is the point in your case where legal representation becomes crucial. At the bond hearing, your attorney argues before a judge for the lowest and least restrictive bond. In setting the bond, the judge considers the facts of your case, the nature of the charge, your ties to the community, and the likelihood that you will actually return for trial. The bond set should be sufficient to assure compliance with the conditions of bail, but not oppressive under the circumstances. The Eighth Amendment protects accused persons from the imposition of “excessive bail.”

When released on bond in Will County, Illinois, your freedom is subject to certain limitations and conditions. You are not permitted to leave the state of Illinois, and you must not be charged with another offense. Additional restrictions may be imposed depending on the circumstances of your case.

In Joliet or Will County, bail may be posted 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Will County Adult Detention Facility (95 South Chicago Street, Joliet, Illinois 60436). Persons wishing to post bail for an inmate should present themselves at the Bond Lobby, located on the Ottawa Street side of the Facility.

To discuss your situation with an experienced and affordable Will County attorney, contact Hamilton & Antonsen at 815-729-9220.

Written by:  Sarah Hanneken