Immigration Bail Bonds 101: A Quick Guide

Almost 400,000 people were detained by US Immigration and Customs in 2018 alone. If you or loved one have become one of the unfortunate, you likely have a lot of questions.

One of the fastest ways to be released temporarily from ICE detainment is through an immigration bail bond. These are not the same as state or federal bail bonds.

Continue reading to learn how immigration bail bonds work and who is eligible to receive them.

What are Immigration Bail Bonds?

An immigration bail bond is like a criminal bail bond in purpose. Both allow someone who has been arrested or detained to remain free until their court date. The difference is that immigration bonds are for foreign nationals detained by ICE.

A foreign national is anyone who is not a natural United States citizen. This includes illegal aliens and green card holders.

ICE is the United States Immigration and Customs Agency. This is the government agency responsible for arresting and detaining people for issues related to immigration or national safety.

Immigration Bail Bonds vs. Criminal Bail Bonds

Most people are familiar with criminal bail bonds. These allow a person to continue with their daily life while awaiting trial. Immigration bail bonds serve the same purpose but are for different people.

An immigration bail bond is used specifically for people who have been detained by ICE. Criminal bail bonds are for anyone who has broken the law. An illegal immigrant who committed a crime might need to receive both types of bonds to be let free on bail.

Types of Immigration Bail Bonds

Two primary types of immigration bail bonds are available to those who have been detained by ICE. The most common is a delivery bond. A voluntary departure bond is also sometimes an option.

Delivery Bond

In most cases, a person is eligible for a delivery bond if they’ve received an arrest warrant and notice of custody by ICE. The bond might be paid upfront in full. It might also be paid partially in cash and have collateral leveraged against it.

A delivery bond is meant to ensure a detainee comes to all court proceedings. If they attend all hearings and have paid the full bond in cash, they receive a refund of their money. If they don’t attend all hearings, they forfeit the money paid and are liable to end up detained again.

Voluntary Departure Bond

A voluntary departure bond is sometimes offered to those who have entered the country illegally. With this bond, the detainee makes bail on a significantly smaller sum than a delivery bond. But they agree to leave the country of their own free will within a specified time.

The costs of deportation fall onto the detainee in this scenario. If the person leaves the country as they said, they or the person who posted bail can receive a refund. If they don’t leave within the appointed time, the money is forfeit.

Who is Eligible to Get One?

Not everyone is eligible to receive an immigration bail bond. A judge will make the final decision in each case. If a person is lucky, they can skip the bail bond process and be let out on personal recognizance (PR).

PR means the judge has decided to accept your word. You sign a paper stating you’ll attend all court hearings and accept the final decision in your case without issue. Then, you can leave without worry.

It’s rare to receive PR. Typically, someone detained by ICE will need to be approved for a bond. There are many considerations made in determining if someone is eligible for bond, including:

  • Is the detainee a flight risk?
  • What ties to the local community does the person have?
  • What are the chances the detainee will win their case?
  • Is the person dangerous or a risk to public safety?
  • Has the person ever skipped bail before?
  • Does the detainee have any outstanding warrants?
  • Is there a prior criminal record?
  • Does the detainee have a job or otherwise make a legal income?
  • Is the detainee responsible for supporting a family?

These factors also affect the amount bail is set at. But how much do bail bonds usually cost?

How Much Do Bail Bonds Cost?

The amount set for bail will vary based on several factors. Many are the same considerations made when determining whether a person was eligible to receive the bond in the first place.

Considerations will also be made on what crime the person is being held for. An illegal entry case will likely cost differently than an expired Visa case. Which type of bond received will also affect the cost.

Delivery bonds will cost more than voluntary departure bonds. This is because the later requires the person to pay for the costs of their deportation.

In either case, it’s best to pay the full bail amount in cash if possible. This will allow you to get a refund once all court hearings have bee attended and a final judgment is passed down. Most people don’t have that kind of money, however.

How To Pay Immigration Bail Bonds

You can pay the bond outright in cash if you have the money. This isn’t always an option, which is why there are other payment methods available.

If you work with a bail bondsman, you can have them front most of the cost of the bond. You’ll pay a certain percentage which varies anywhere from ten to thirty percent of the total cost. You may also need to provide collateral.

The form of collateral used most often is real estate. Some bondsmen may accept other collateral. This might include vehicles, expensive jewelry, or anything else with high monetary value.

For More Information

Do you still have questions about immigration bail bonds? Contact us today. We serve people in any state, nationwide and one of our trained associates will be happy to assist you.

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