If you have questions about criminal law, bond, or pretrial release conditions and want to speak to an Indiana criminal lawyer, contact me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700.  I have practiced criminal defense my entire career, teach criminal law at the IU School of Law, and have personally handled thousands of cases. I provide affordable criminal defense representation in the entire State of Indiana, including Indianapolis, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Bloomington, Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers, Danville, Plainfield,  Monroe County, and Federal Court. Additional information about my office is available on the home page and the in the news page.

Types of Bond

– OR

– Release on Own Recognizance

– get out of jail free based on defendant’s promise to return to court

IC § 35-33-8-3.2(a)(7)

– Release the defendant on personal recognizance unless:

(A) the state presents evidence relevant to a risk by the defendant:

(i) of nonappearance; or

(ii) to the physical safety of the public; and

(B) the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the risk exists.

– Indiana Rule of Criminal Procedure 26(a)

(A)   If an arrestee does not present a substantial risk of flight or danger to themselves or others, the court should release the arrestee without money bail or surety subject to such restrictions and conditions as determined by the court except when:

(1)     The arrestee is charged with murder or treason.

(2)    The arrestee is on pre-trial release not related to the incident that is the basis for the present arrest.

(3)    The arrestee is on probation, parole or other community supervision.

– Cash Bond

– must pay 100% of the bond amount

– the clerk holds the money

– the money is returned at the end of the case if there are no violations minus courts costs, fines, etc…

– attorney fees can theoretically be paid out of a cash bond

– Personal Recognizance

– must pay 10% of the amount but if there is a violation the clerk can go after the person who paid the 10% for the remaining 90%

– the clerk holds the money

– the money is returned at the end of the case if there are no violations minus courts costs, fines, etc…

– attorney fees can theoretically be paid out of a personal recognizance bond

– Surety

– must pay 10% of the amount

– the bondsman permanently keeps the money

– the bondsman may come looking for you if you miss court

– Split

– A combination of any of the above

– Example: A Judge could order a $10K bond, with half being PR and half being surety. This would require a $500 deposit with the clerk, and a $500 payment to a bondsman.

– Bond Matrix

– Generally only used in major felony courts in Marion County

– Fill in the blank document where you get or lose points based on certain questions, such as: How long have you lived in Marion County? Do you have your own residence? Do you have 5 or more prior felony convictions?, etc…

– Some judges fill the work sheet out themselves while others ask the attorneys to fill it out

– Sets a recommendation for bond amount

Pretrial Release Conditions


– Defendant wears an ankle bracelet and is not allowed to go near certain locations

– Generally only used when there is an alleged victim that the Court wants to keep defendant away from

– Often used in domestic violence cases to ensure that the defendant does not go in certain zones

– Home Detention

– Defendant wears an ankle bracelet and is limited to being in certain zones

– needs to be either at home or work (and certain other exceptions for daycare, church, grocery shopping, etc.)

– Daily Reporting

– Defendant needs to check in with community corrections once a day and is often asked to take a drug test.

– This is not ordered very often, but it is sometimes used if an individual is either:

– homeless and unemployed, or

– for a pregnant defendant who is drug use

– Drug Testing

– Can be random or scheduled

– Not ordered that often

– Alcohol Monitoring

– Most drug tests do not show alcohol because it is out of the body the next day so drug testing for OVWI and other alcohol offenses is somewhat pointless

– There are various bracelets and boxes that a defendant either wears or blows into 3 times a day

– No Contact Order

– Can not contact victims and/or witnesses (especially in a domestic violence case)

– Can not go to certain locations

– Surrender of objects

– The court can order a firearm, handgun license, passport, etc. to be surrendered to the property room

Standard Bond Questions

– The following is a list of questions that are often asked during bond reviews. Depending on the circumstances, not all questions may be applicable. In some situations, there may be additional questions you want to ask.

– Questions for Defendant:

– Are you currently on probation or parole?

– Do you have any other open pending cases?

– Have you ever been arrested before? If so what for what and how did those cases end?

– Have you ever missed a court date in the past?

– Do you have a license to carry a handgun?

– Do you own any weapons or firearms?

– Do you have access to weapons or firearms?

– Do you have any problems with drugs or alcohol?

– Are you currently working / in school?

– If you are working, do you expect the employment to still be available if you are released?

– If the Judge releases you, where will you be staying?

If there is an alleged victim in the case – How far away is that from where the alleged victim lives?

If the alleged victim and defendant live together – If the Judge orders a no contact order, is there another location you would be able to stay at?

If there is an alleged victim in the case – Have there been any other incidents in the past involving the same alleged victim in which the police had to be called?

– If the judge does order pretrial release conditions, will you be able to abide by those conditions? (Try to tailor this question specifically to what type of pretrial release you anticipate the Judge possibly ordering.)

– If the Judge orders a no contact order, do you understand that the no contact order prohibits all contact, both direct and indirect contact? No phone calls, text messages, facebooking, having friends contact alleged victim? You understand that if you are walking down the street and you see the alleged victim it is your job to turn around and walk the other way? If you see the alleged victim at a grocery store, you walk out immediately?   What do you think will happen if there is a violation of the no contact order?

– If a bond is set, what is the most that you anticipate your family being able to pay?

– Questions for Other Witnesses:

– How long have you known the defendant?

– What is your relationship with the defendant?

– Does defendant have any problems with drugs or alcohol?

– Have there been past instances where the police had to be called?

– Do you want a no contact order – why or why not?

– Do you want pretrial release conditions – and why?

– If a bond is set, what sort of bond could you pay?

– Do you believe defendant is a risk of safety to himself or others?

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