After an arrest, there is a period of time before you go to trial. If you do not wish to remain in jail for the duration, you can post bail. The law in Illinois prohibits the use of bail bondsmen, which means no commercial organization can post your bail. Your bail must be posted by an individual. In other words, you can either use your own funds to pay the bail or funds from a family member or friend.
Illinois Bail Bond System
- Purpose of Bail. The bail system is a way to guarantee that people arrested for a crime will return to court if they are released during the interim. Rather than have everyone arrested for a crime sit in jail until their first court date, they can post bail or pay money to promise that they will return. This allows them to stay out of jail while also providing incentive to return. If they return to court as promised, their posted bail will be returned to them minus any fines or fees. However, if they fail to appear, then the money will be forfeited to the court.
- Bail Amount Set. The amount of bail is determined on a case by case basis. It must be large enough to be an incentive to return, but not so large that it can’t be paid. A judge will determine the bail amount depending on the offender’s financial resources, likelihood of fleeing, past criminal record and the seriousness of the offense. Therefore, two people charged with the same crime may have to pay a different bail.
- No Bail Set. It is possible for the judge to decide not to allow bail. This can happen if the crime is serious, if the offender is likely to flee or it is a repeat offense.
- Bail Bondsmen. Illinois does not have bail bondsmen. Instead, offenders can pay the bail directly to the court. This cuts out the middleman.
Posting Bail in Illinois
Since there are no bail bondsmen in Illinois, those arrested can post bail directly to the court. This means they must pay the bail to the clerk of the court that will hear their case. Depending on which court, the procedure for posting bail may differ.
- DuPage County. In DuPage County you will post the bail amount to DuPage County Judicial Center located at 501 North County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL. Pay using cash, credit card, certified check, cashier’s check or money order. DuPage County charges a processing fee.
- Cook County. In Cook County you will post the bail amount to the Cook County Department of Corrections facility located at 2700 S California Ave, Chicago, IL. Pay using cash or credit card.
When you go to pay bail, make sure you have the following information:
- Full name and date of birth of person arrested.
- The date of the arrest.
- The type of crime.
- The amount of bail.
- Correct payment method.
Illinois Bail Bond Rules
There are several types of bonds available, and they may differ depending on which court your case is pending at. In Cook County there are three types of bonds. They are:
- I-Bond. The person is released on his/her own recognizance and promises to return for all court dates.
- D-Bond. This allows the payment of 10% of the bail amount. Cook County keeps this fee regardless of the outcome of the case as a processing fee.
- C-Bond. This is the full cash payment of the bail. The entire amount will be returned if the person appears in court (minus any fees imposed, dependent on the outcome of the case).
Illinois Bail Schedule
While most bail is set by a judge and may vary, for minor offenses there is a set amount for bail. Each county will have its own schedule. The Chicago Police Department Bond Manual lists which offenses have set bond amounts and which require a judge to set.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a crime, it is essential to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can advise about whether bail can be set and help determine the best course of action. Contact Dennis F. Dwyer immediately for valuable advice for your criminal case.