Choosing Between Conditional And Unconditional Bail Options After An Arrest

After an arrest, a court or judge may offer an option between conditional and unconditional bail. Having an option doesn't always happen, but when it does, you should know how these two types of bail situations work. Here are some considerations for choosing between conditional and unconditional bail options.

What Is an Unconditional Bail?

Unconditional bail means you can post the bail amount and go home with no extra conditions attached to your release. However, despite the name of this type of bail, you will still have to adhere to the minimum bail conditions.

For example, you will still have to show up for your court dates or risk going back into incarceration. The court or judge may also stipulate you stay out of any legal trouble between court visits.

Those eligible for unconditional bail can also ask if the court may release them on their own recognizance (ROR). Both unconditional bail and ROR share some of the same criteria.

If you're not a flight risk and you're not a danger to others, then you might have the opportunity to go with an ROR instead of an unconditional bail. An ROR release doesn't require you to pay a bail amount.

What Is a Conditional Bail?

A conditional bail will allow you to go home, but with various conditions attached on top of the bail amount. Those conditions can vary depending on the crime you're accused of, your public standing, whether you're a flight risk, or if you're deemed a danger to others. Other criteria can come into play as well.

Some examples of conditions can include:

  • Random drug testing
  • Travel restrictions
  • Assigned supervision
  • Restrictions on contacting certain people
  • Restrictions on visiting certain places

Conditions can include various other things, and even some things unique to you alone. However, conditional bail amounts tend to cost less than unconditional bail. The stipulations set by the conditions usually offset the amount of the bail.

What Is the Best Choice Between Conditional and Unconditional Bail Options?

If given the option, choose the bail option that will work best for you. If the conditions of a conditional bail aren't too stringent, and the bail amount isn't nearly as much as the unconditional bail amount, then it might make sense to go with the conditional bail.

If the conditions will stifle your ability to move about freely, work, or do the things necessary during your lease, an unconditional bail may work better for you. In either case, make your decision and contact a reputable bail bonds agent so that you can go home as soon as possible. 

Contact a bail bonds agent to learn more.