When a person is arrested in New Jersey, they will frequently be able to have a bail amount set for them to be released from custody if they have committed most crimes that don't involve murder, manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault or kidnapping, or if they have violated a domestic restraining order. This money will either be provided by the defendant or by what is known as a surety. A surety is a person other than the defendant who is posting the bail money.
There are four types of bail that can be posted to secure the release of a person who has been charged with a crime. They include cash bail, a bail bond, a property bond and release on their own recognizance (“ROR”).
The quickest and easiest method to have a person released on bail is to provide the court with a cash deposit. The amount of money that one must pay is either the bail in its entire amount or it can be 10% of the entire amount if a 10% option is granted on the bail conditions.
The full amount must be paid to the court if the accused has been charged with a crime in the first or second degree and falls under any of the following conditions:
- They have two additional indictable charges against him or her at the time of the latest arrest;
- They have two prior convictions for a first or second degree crime;
- They have violated N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (distributing controlled substances on or near school grounds)
- They have a previous conviction for murder, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping or bail jumping; or
- They were on parole when the latest arrest occurred.
If the person is not eligible for the 10% rider, he or she may contact a bail bondsman who will post the entire bail amount on his or her behalf. This bail agent has the authority through power of attorney from the insurance company (approved by the Department of Banking and Insurance) to ensure that the cash bond will be paid to the court if the accused is allowed out on bail and doesn't appear in court on the required date. Generally referred to as a bail bond, its cost is usually 10% of the bail amount.
A piece of property that the defendant owns—such as commercial real estate, a home, or condominium—can be used to secure the amount needed for bail. The local County Clerk for the location where the accused criminal incident happened must approve the property as proper security. In order to use property to secure release, the following must be provided: a legal description of the property; a description of the mortgages, if any, on the property; the property's market value determined by a licensed New Jersey appraiser; and a statement that the individual is the sole owner of the property. If the crime is one of the first or second degree, the valuation of the posted property must surpass the bail amount by at least $20,000.
Released on Own Recognizance
Being released on one's own recognizance is the easiest and most preferred form of bail because there's no money to be paid. If the person is not deemed a threat to the community and if the crime isn't of a severe nature, the chances are that the individual will be allowed to leave jail without having to post bail. The defendant is simply released with the agreement from the defendant, through a signature, that he or she will return on the assigned court date and adhere to any other rules for release that the court imposes as a condition for the release without bail.
Contact an Attorney to Help with Bail in New Jersey
If you or a loved one have been arrested and you're having trouble either securing bail or having bail set, it's important that you contact an experienced attorney to help you. The law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey is experienced with New Jersey law and can help you with your case.
Being arrested is a traumatic experience that can have far-ranging effects on one's life. Not being able to get out of jail following the arrest due to problems with accumulating bail money or having a reasonable bail set can make a bad situation worse. If you were arrested in Monmouth County or Ocean County, contact the attorneys at Villani & DeLuca to help you with your bail.