Free updated 2013 suggestions, tips and information for all bail bonds questions for the state of Michigan.  IMPORTANT: If you need immediate help in Michigan (or anywhere else in the country), click here for our free 5 simple steps bail out plan.

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Bail bonds in Michigan are more complex than other states and unlike most states, Michigan has many of their bail bond regulations actually spelled out in their constitution. This prevents rogue judges from making poor decisions regarding bail, but it also prevents the defendant from taking advantage of certain rights that may have been available in other states with more relaxed rules.

The Four Pre-Trial Release Options Available In Michigan

1. Release on a Personal Recognizance Bond (PR Bond)
A PR bond, sometimes called a ROR, released on own recognizance, can be issues in low-level misdemeanor charges and should always be requested if you think you may qualify. The advantage is that it requires no collateral or cash, it is basically a free bail bond. In Michigan when you are released on a PR bond, you are not allowed to leave the state. TIP: An attorney in Michigan told me that if a defendant feels that the bail release circumstances may possibly be harsh or difficult to meet, they should request a PR bond if they think there is a remote chance they may qualify. The reasoning is that if you don’t ask, you won’t get it, and sometimes the judge will be sympathetic.

2. Conditional Release
A conditional release is generally for defendants that the judge feels is a little more of a flight risk than those released on a PR bond. Perhaps the crime was more serious, or the defendant has a drug addiction, or something else that has raised a red flag for the magistrate. Like the PR bond, a defendat given a conditional release cannot leave the state of Michigan and usually has other conditions as well. There may be a financial bail requirement, or a requirement that the defendant be in a substance abuse treatment while out, restrictions on working and living environments etc. When there is a victim, another common requirement is that the defendant may have no contact with the alleged victim.

3. Bail Bond, posted in the manner of a bail bondsman, 10% bond, full cash bond, or real property bond
Here is where Michigan bail bonds get complicated. There are four ways a bond can be posted: A. Use A Bail Bondsman. Depending on the Michigan jurisdiction the fees a bondsman can charge range from 10% to 15% of the full bail amount. The procedure is that the defendant will contact the bondsman and work out an arrangement for the posting of bail, the bondsman will post the bail using a surety bond provided by their insurance company, and the defendant will then be released. The defendant will be expected to make all court appearances and if they do not, they will have a warrant placed for their arrest, and the bail bond company may lose the bail amount they posted. WARNING: Michigan is a state that allows bounty hunting. Most bail bondsman will use bounty hunters to capture defendants that skipped out on bail. Bounty hunters in Michigan are not heavily regulated by the state and are given a great deal of leeway in whatever tactics they want to use in capturing the suspect. In other words, this is not a state you want to skip bail in. The consequences are severe. B. 10% bond: a 10% bond allows the defendant to post 10% of the bail amount themselves, bypassing the fees charged by the bondsman. TIP: If the defendant cannot afford the 10%, they can still use a bail bondsman, In this case the bondsman only has to post 25% of the bond amount so it can require much less money from the defendant up fron than the traditioanl bail bond, or the 10% bond if self posted. We recommend you email bail agents to see if they offer this servce. C. Full Cash Bond: When a defendant is considered a flight risk, the judge may require a full cash bond. This means that the entire bond amount must be posted to the court. This of course, can be a lot of money for the defendant but some bail agents will help. You may want to visit websites to see which ones will accomodate full cash bond requirements. D. Real Property Bond: This is probably the most difficult to get of the four, but in some jurisdictions in Michgan it is still available. The defendant can use property such as a house, to post the bail. If the defendant does not meet the bail release requirements (doesn’t show) Michigan will attempt to take the property. The downside is that it may take a week or more to get the judge and court clerk to approve this. TIP: Often the court will accept property that is valued at less than the bail amount.

4. Keep the defendant in Custody without issuing bail
This is commonly for serious criminal charges, such as murder, treason, Criminal Sexual Conduct in the first degree, armed robbery, or kidnapping with the intent to extort money. Also, the defendant may be kept in custody without bail if the defendant is charged with a violent felony while already on probation, parole, or pretrial release for another violent felony charge, or if the defendant has had two prior violent felony convictions in the last 15 years before the current violent felony charge. TIP: If the defendant was ordered to custody without the option of bail, they can file an appeal. Michigan allows for contesting bond litigation and sometimes the appeal judge will order the bail magistrate to grant the defendant a pre-trial release. This pre-trial custody decision is sometimes based on the stage of the defendant’s case and since every case is different, we recommend emailing two or three bail bondsman to get guidance on your particular situation.

Excerpts On Bail From The Michigan State Constitution

15 Double jeopardy; bailable offenses; commencement of trial if bail denied; bail hearing; effective date.

Sec. 15.

No person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, bka. bail bondsman , except that bail may be denied for the following persons when the proof is evident or the presumption great:

(a) A person who, within the 15 years immediately preceding a motion for bail pending the disposition of an indictment for a violent felony or of an arraignment on a warrant charging a violent felony, has been convicted of 2 or more violent felonies under the laws of this state or under substantially similar laws of the United States or another state, or a combination thereof, only if the prior felony convictions arose out of at least 2 separate incidents, events, or transactions.

(b) A person who is indicted for, or arraigned on a warrant charging, murder or treason.

(c) A person who is indicted for, or arraigned on a warrant charging, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, armed robbery, or kidnapping with intent to extort money or other valuable thing thereby, unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is not likely to flee or present a danger to any other person.

(d) A person who is indicted for, or arraigned on a warrant charging, a violent felony which is alleged to have been committed while the person was on bail, pending the disposition of a prior violent felony charge or while the person was on probation or parole as a result of a prior conviction for a violent felony.

If a person is denied admission to bail under this section, the trial of the person shall be commenced not more than 90 days after the date on which admission to bail is denied. If the trial is not commenced within 90 days after the date on which admission to bail is denied and the delay is not attributable to the defense, the court shall immediately schedule a bail hearing and shall set the amount of bail for the person.

As used in this section, violent felony means a felony, an element of which involves a violent act or threat of a violent act against any other person.

This section, as amended, shall not take effect until May 1, 1979.

2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

Nothing stated herein should be construed or interpreted to grant rights or remedies not otherwise granted under federal or state law. This information is provided as a public service and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice or representation by a lawyer or bail bondsman. We recommend you email a bail bondsman for more information about your situation.

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