Written by attorney Brian L. Polinske

Bond Posting in Illinois

Illinois law requires that bond be established when a person is charged with an offense. Be it a felony or a Speeding ticket, the Illinois Supreme Court has established rules that must be complied with. When the charge is low level (petty offense) the law allows a person to be issued a charge and given a Notice to Appear. Most of the time cash bond will not need to be posted. A Notice to Appear is a written notice advising the defendant to appear in court or dispose of the charge by a deadline. In Illinois the issuing officer must also correctly place the date of first appearance into the charge. If the officer issues the first appearance either too soon or too late the charge can be attacked and may be dismissed. A more serious offense such as DUI or Domestic Battery oftentimes requires posting cash bond. Typically the amounts range from $100 to $1000 cash. The bond amounts in those cases are always 10 times higher than the amount which must be posted. For instance, a $10,000 bond requires only 10% or $1,000 be posted. The more serious the offense the higher the bond. Keep in mind that the issuing judge has discretion on setting bond. The judge reviews the defendant's criminal history, nature of the offense, and the possible penalties for the type of offense when determining what bond amount to set. For felonies the range is typically $10,000 for a low level bond to $1,000,000 for a very serious offense (murder). Aside from the cash bond requirement, the judge has authority to impose conditions of bond. One common condition is the "stay away" order. In cases where a victim alleges physical brutality or the threat of same, the court will order the defendant refrain from contact with the victim. The condition may last only 72 hours or may last the until the case is concluded. Bail bondsmen are not allowed in Illinois. So the option of a bail bond is not available.

If you cannot post the amount of bond on a case you are best served in retaining an attorney to file a bond reduction motion. Many times an attorney can negotiate a reduced bond amount the same day he is hired. If negotiations fail then he can proceed on a bond reduction motion in a couple days.

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