The Difference Between Criminal Bonds and Immigration Bonds
What happens to an individual who commits a crime and is arrested by local authorities is common. For the most part, they go to jail and are given an opportunity to speak to a lawyer who will then seek out a bail amount in order to get them released. A bail can be defined as a type of monetary “insurance” that the criminal defendant will return to court at a later time for sentencing. What the average person isn’t familiar with is the difference between criminal bonds and immigration bonds.
What is a Criminal Bond?
Criminal bonds come into play when a criminal defendant is unable to pay the amount assigned on their bail. This is when they turn to a bail bonds company. Immigration bonds companies work in a similar way, however criminal bonds are specific to criminal cases as the name suggests. With criminal bonds, the defendant generally pays a percentage of the bail amount, beginning at 10% and must offer collateral to the bail bondsman, who then pays the court part of the total bail. If the criminal defendant fails to appear for the court case, the bondsman is required to assume the remaining costs of the bail.
What is an Immigration Bond?
United States citizens are generally unaware of the existence of Immigration bonds. They act similarly to criminal bonds except that they are intended to cover the cost of bail for an individual who is under immigration detention, rather than a county jail. Immigration bonds also have different stipulations than that of a criminal bond; Immigration bonds must be made from someone of lawful, legal status in the United States.
Additionally, it is important to know the payment methods that are used for immigration bonds. Bonds that are paid to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must be done so in their entirety as opposed to just a portion, and cannot be paid with cash or personal check. ICE will only accept cash equivalent payment methods such as a post office money order or cashier’s check. The bond must be paid in person at an ICE office as well.
What are some of the other factors surrounding Criminal and Immigration Bonds?
With criminal bonds, the bail amount is decided upon relatively quickly and criminal defendants can leave police custody within 12 to 24 hours depending on circumstances. With immigration detainees, the situation isn’t quite the same. ICE can refuse bond to any alien detained. Not only that, an alien who has committed crime may be subjected to an ICE detainer after procuring their release from police custody through a criminal bond. This means that it’s possible for a criminal defendant who isn’t a legal citizen to go through the painful process of seeking both a criminal and immigration bond before ever seeing their home again. The biggest concern with this is that many bonding agencies will refuse to post a criminal bond for a detained alien who has been hit with an ICE detainer due to the high level of risk associated with the situation. Normally, anyone under ICE custody who is denied the chance to post an immigration bond can plead their case to a judge, but it’s not always certain that even they will be awarded bond. Because of these complications, it isn’t likely that an immigration bonding agency will be able to recoup the fees paid from the alien and therefore, they opt to not get involved.