1700 Wells Road, Suite 27, Orange Park, Florida 32073    |    904-265-5422

Understanding Bond and Pretrial Release Options: Your Guide to Freedom Before Trial


When you or a loved one is arrested and facing criminal charges, understanding the concept of bond and pretrial release options is crucial. This blog post will serve as your guide to education of this legal process. We will explore what bond is, the different types of pretrial release options, and the factors that judges consider when making these decisions. By the end of this post, you will have a clearer understanding of what to expect in this phase of the case.

What Is Bond?

Bond essentially allows a defendant to be released from custody while their case is pending in exchange for money and a signed written agreement to abide by conditions that the judge mandates. When bond is posted, the defendant agrees to return to court as required, and in exchange, they regain their freedom throughout the life of the case as long as they follow the rules or release.

How can I pay the bond?

1. Cash Bond: In this scenario, the defendant, a friend, or a family member pays the full bond amount in cash or a cashier’s check. If the defendant appears in court as required and abides by all the rules set out by the judge, the money is returned, minus any administrative fees. If they do not appear in court as required or do not follow the rules there is a good chance they will be placed back in jail.

2. Bail Bonds: A bail bondsman can post a bond on behalf of the defendant for a fee of 10% in Florida. For example, if the judge makes your bond $10,000.00, if you use a bail bondsman, you would have to pay the bail bondsman $1,000.00 and you would get out of jail.

Is there a way to get out of jail without paying any money?

1. Release on your Own Recognizance (ROR): Which is a promise by the defendant to appear in court as required and will follow the rules of  his or her release. No financial collateral is necessary for this type of release. However, this is also the most difficult type of release to obtain and is rarely given out.

Factors Considered in Bond Decisions:

Judges take various factors into account when determining whether to grant a bond and the amount it should be:

• Flight Risk: The judge considers if the defendant is likely to leave the city/county before the case is over.

• Public Safety: The judge considers if the defendant is a threat to the community or certain individuals.

• Criminal History: The judge considers the defendant’s past criminal record and history of appearing in court for previous cases.

• Ties to the Community: The judge considers strong community ties, such as employment, family, community service, and local residency.

• Nature and Severity of the Charges: More serious charges may result in higher bond amounts or a denial of bond altogether.

Pretrial Release Options:

In addition to a bond, there could be pretrial release conditions designed to ensure the safety of the community or certain individuals. Some of them are as follows:

• Pretrial Services: Some jurisdictions have supervision programs that keep track defendants while their case is active. This may involve drug testing, check-ins, or other requirements.

• Electronic Monitoring (GPS): Defendants may be required to wear an ankle monitor to track their movements and ensure they stay within or away from certain areas.

• No-Contact Orders: In cases involving domestic violence or harassment, defendants may be released with strict orders to have no contact with the alleged victim.


Understanding bond and pretrial release options is essential when navigating the criminal justice system. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, it is crucial to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation. Remember that each case is unique, and the factors considered in bond decisions are different for every person, so seeking professional legal advice is highly recommended.

For more information and assistance with your criminal defense case, do not hesitate to contact William L. Donley III, Esq. at Donley Law Firm, an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of helping clients secure their pretrial release and fight for their rights in court. Your future and freedom are worth protecting.

Leave a Comment