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What Is Bond in Virginia 


In Virginia, individuals charged with a crime are not always released prior to a trial on the matter. This means even if you are falsely accused of a crime you can be held in jail until the case is resolved. With today's backlogs in the court system, this can mean a wait of many months or even a year. This is why it is critical to have an attorney to argue that you should be released on bond pending adjudication of your case. 

In short, bond is a formal written agreement in which a person promises to perform a certain act like appearing in court on a specific date. Thus, the failure to show up for court obligates the person to pay a sum of money or to forfeit money on deposit. The admission to bail or bond is specified by statute in Virginia under VA Code § 19.2-120.

What Are the Different Types on Bond in Virginia

Importantly, there are different types of bond in Virginia with key differences. A secured bond means that an amount of money must be posted to assure the court of the individuals appearance. VA Code § 19.2-123. These Bonds are commonly referred to as cash or corporate surety bonds. When the court orders a secured bond, individuals can work with a bail bondsman to post the required bond. The individual pays a percentage to the bondsman and in return the bondsman posts the full amount. A typical fee to a bondsman is 10% of the total bond amount. 

On the other-hand, a Personal Recognizance Bond or "PR" bond, is a bond where the individual does not have to post any money upfront in order to be released. Instead, the individual is only required to pay the ordered amount if the individual fails to appear in court for the scheduled hearing date. A PR bond can be understood as an individual's personal promise to come back to court.

In addition to setting a monetary bond amount, the court my require other pretrial conditions to be met in order to release an individual pending their court date. One of these pretrial conditions is the requirement of SRP or the Supervised Released Program, where the individual will have to meet specific pretrial conditions, which can oftentimes include a Substance Abuse (ADS) Evaluation, with recommended treatment or a Mental Health Evaluation with recommended treatment. It is critical that individuals follow these pretrial conditions to avoid violations of SRP, which carry separate charges and make situations much more difficult. VA Code § 19.2-123. 

What Does the Court Consider When Deciding Whether to Grant Bond

When deciding whether to issue bond, the court turns to several bodies of law and weighs a few important factors. The most important factors the court considers is whether:

 (i) The individual will appear for trial or hearing or at such other time and place as may be directed

 (ii) The individual poses an unreasonable danger to himself or the public.

 (ii) Whether any presumptions against granting bond exist in the case

Both the United States Constitution and Virginia Constitution protect the accused against excessive bail. Unless a presumption against bail exists under VA Code § 19.2-120, the burden rests on the Commonwealth to show that bond should not be issued. In addition to the factors above, the court can consider factors such as: 


  (i) The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;


 (ii) The history and characteristics of the person, including his character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, membership in a criminal street gang as defined in § 18.2-46.1, and record concerning appearance at court proceedings;


 (iii) The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.

How We Can Help

The Pickett Law Group, PLLC is an experienced law firm with two generations of former prosecutors, who have fought from both sides of the courtroom on all types of legal issues including arguing for bond in many cases. Our firm has fought to have bonds set so that defendants do not have to wait locked up while the Commonwealth drags its feet in prosecuting a crime. We will not only fight for your release, but also your innocence. Contact us today and we will begin fighting on your behalf today. 

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