Understanding the Chicago (Cook County) Bond Court Process

My loved one has been arrested in Chicago.  How do I know where their bond hearing will be?

When a loved one has been arrested in Chicago it can be a very confusing and stressful time.  It is important that you know what to expect and how to locate your loved one in order to be there for the bond hearing and to hire an experienced attorney to appear on behalf of your loved one.

The location of the bond hearing depends on where the accused was arrested, what they were arrested for, and even the day of the week that they were arrested.  The Cook County Circuit Court provides useful information on their website for locating your loved one here.  Finding the correct location of bond court is only the first step in working your way through this stressful process.  Once you have located which courthouse the bond hearing will take place at it is important to hire an experienced attorney to represent your loved one in court in order to give them the best chance of being released on bond.

What is bond court or a bond hearing?

A bond hearing or bond court is an opportunity for the prosecutor to inform a judge of the charges against a person.  The prosecutor can also present facts of the arrest to the judge and the judge must make a determination that probable cause exists to hold your loved one.  Further, the prosecutor will tell the judge about the criminal history (if any) of the accused.  The prosecutor may also request certain conditions of bond.  These conditions of bond may prevent your loved one from being near certain people or places, remaining on home confinement, or turning in a passport or FOID card.

An attorney for your loved one is then given an opportunity to tell the judge about the accused.  This information can include, employment history, school history, family history and other pertinent information.  The judge then sets a bond and may impose restrictions or conditions on the accused.  It is important to have an experienced attorney represent your loved one in court to ensure that he or she is released on bond and not held in the Cook County Jail for the duration of their case.

What type of bond can my loved one receive in bond court?

There are 4 main types of bonds that your loved one can receive.  They are:

1)      I-Bond – An I-Bond means that the person will be released on their own recognizance.  All the accused must do is sign their name.  This signature represents the accused’s promise to return to court and comply with any and all conditions of bond imposed by the judge.  The accused DOES NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY MONEY WHATSOEVER if given an I-Bond.  For example, if the Judge sets bond at $10,000 I-Bond, then the accused will be released from jail upon signing a bond slip.  The accused will not need to post any money in order to be released from jail.

2)      D-Bond – A D-Bond means that a person must pay 10% of the bond amount to the Cook County Sheriff to be held by the Cook County Clerk’s Office.  For example, if a person is given a $25,000 D-Bond that person must post $2,500 to be released from the Cook County Jail.  If the accused cannot post that amount of money then he will stay in the custody of the Cook County Jail for the duration of his case.

3)      Cash Bond – A cash bond means that a person must post the same amount of money that the judge ordered.  For example, if the judge sets bond at $10,000 cash then a person must post $10,000 in order to be released from jail.  Cash bonds are rare and are generally issued in high volume narcotic cases or cases of fraud or theft involving large sums of money.

4)      Electronic Monitoring – An electronic monitoring bond can be issued in conjunction with an I-Bond, D-Bond or Cash Bond.  Electronic monitoring means that the accused is going to be placed on an electronic ankle device and be confined to their home for the duration of the case.  In some cases, a person will receive an I-Bond with a condition of the bond be that he be placed on electronic home confinement.  Other times a person may be given a D-Bond with a condition that if the accused is able to post the required amount of money he must be placed on electronic home monitoring.  When a person is given electronic home monitoring he will receive a phone call from the Sheriff of Cook County to place them on the ankle device.  The phone number used will need to be available to the accused the entire time he is placed on electronic monitoring.

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