How is the amount of bond determined for a criminal case?

Bond will usually be set by a judge who will take into consideration the nature of the offense, a persons prior criminal history, if any, and the persons ties to the community where the case is pending. An exception exists for most misdemeanor offenses for which the law allows bond to be set at a certain nominal amount without involvement of the court. Bond is set in one of two scenarios. If a criminal complaint is filed with the court prior to the person being taken into custody, bond is set on an arrest warrant. This is an ex-parte proceeding where a prosecutor presents the criminal complaint to the judge and requests an exact bond amount. Since the defendant is not yet in custody on the charge he or she is not present and, therefore, not able to present any mitigation to lower the bond amount. A motion can later be filed asking for the judge to reduce the bond, but only after the warrant is served. This typically requires the person to sit in custody awaiting a court date on the motion to reduce bond. However, if bond can be posted, it can be paid upon apprehension or surrender on the warrant and, therefore, avoid any lengthy time in custody. If a person is arrested without a warrant, and the arrest is for an alleged felony offense or a domestic battery, a bond hearing will be held. The judge will then set a bond amount which is a specific sum of money that will need to be posted before the persons release.

Where do bond hearings take place for Will County Criminal cases?

These hearing occur for Will County criminal offenses in courtroom 305 of the Joliet courthouse at 1:30 p.m. and usually require the person to spend the night in custody before the court appearance.

When bond is posted, how long does it take to be released from custody?

Once bond is set by the judge, it can take several hours for all the paperwork to process to allow the payment of the bond. After bond is paid, several more hours may pass until the person is released from custody while he or she is processed out of the Will County jail in downtown Joliet.

What types of conditions or restrictions exist with the posting of bond?

All criminal bail bonds have standard conditions. The most notable are that a person cannot commit any criminal offenses, cannot leave the State of Illinois without court permission, and cannot possess a firearm or dangerous weapon. Additionally, in certain cases bond will also require the defendant not to have contact with the complaint witness in the case. This is most typical in domestic battery cases. Any bond condition can be modified by the judge in his discretion if the judge is give a proper basis to do so. This is routinely done with the restriction prohibiting travel outside the State.

What is the purpose of bond?

The sole purpose of bond is to ensure a persons presence at all future court dates. If a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court date, the bond can be forfeited to the State and the money is lost.

What happens to the bond at the conclusion of the criminal case?

It will depend on the cases outcome. If there is a dismissal or acquittal, the full bond amount minus a statutory 10% handling fee will be returned to the person who posted the bond. If there is some type of disposition of the case not involving a dismissal or acquittal, bond will always be applied to assessed fines, costs and restitution, if any. Money will, then, only be returned if there is any balance remaining.