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What options do I have if the judge sets a cash or surety bond?

There are several options, including staying in jail or getting out on bond.

  • To stay in jail, awaiting disposition of the case.
  • To stay in jail and wait for a bond reduction hearing, if the bond is larger than one can or will pay. This hearing is usually set by an attorney.
  • To put up the full amount of the bond in cash - all or most will be returned when the case is over.
  • To call a bondsman, also known as a surety agent, who will charge 10% of the face amount of the bond. This is a nonrefundable fee, and it is rarely returned.
  • Note: The 10% is mandated by Florida state law; a bondsman may charge no less and no more. Note that some bondsmen will occasionally allow one to make payments toward that 10% of the court-defined bond.