What Does Unsecured Bail Bond Mean?

Originally Published February 17th, 2020

Bailing someone out of jail usually does not come cheap. And it’s not easy as well. While everyone has the right to bail, a defendant has to go through some processes before he/she can post bail.

When the judge allows the defendant to post bail, sometimes the defendant itself doesn’t have the money. So what happens next?

If this happens, your options are to go out of jail through an unsecured bail bond.


To fully understand what unsecured bail bond is, you have to know what bail is first.

Bail is a cash value that the courts set for you to pay as a guarantee that you will show up in court when ordered to do so. Bailing doesn’t mean that you are no longer charged with a crime. You are still a suspect, but as stated in the law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.


A secured bond is a typical way of bailing. For example, while your case is still pending, the court will give you a bail amount to pay. You need to pay it upfront for you not to remain in jail.

Whereas in an unsecured bond, the court takes your word by faith that you will not fail in showing up at court hearings. The court will allow you to continue your daily life outside jail. In return, you will provide a written signature that you will appear in court proceedings when required.

An example of an unsecured bail bond


There are three types of unsecured bail bond. These are Own recognizance (O.R. bond), Signature bond, and Personal recognizance (P.R. bond).


To simply put in words, OR bond is a no-cost bail. Meaning, you only need to sign paperwork and promise that you will not fail to attend court hearings. Failure to do so, the court can issue you a bench warrant.


A signature bond is a type of unsecured bond where the court will also ask for your signature as a promise that you will show up at court as required. They will also issue you a bench warrant if you missed court proceedings.

A signature bond has some similarities with the OR bond. Except for the fact that in this type of bond, you are asked for a property as collateral. Aside from arresting you, the court can take your collateralized property.

While this might seem secure, it is still considered unsecured because the accused can get out of jail without paying any cash value in advance.


In a personal recognizance bond, the court will not ask you for any property as collateral. Instead, the court will ask for your signature as a promise to attend court trials, as well as attend therapy or counseling sessions while outside jail.

The type of therapy will solely base on your case. If you are accused of domestic violence due to alcoholism or accused of dealing drugs, then you will be required to seek help from a psychiatrist.

While these types of an unsecured bail bond may be convenient, and you might prefer these three more. Unfortunately, you can’t request a kind of bail. You may suggest it, though, but it’s the court that has the final say.


As mentioned, it’s the court who will decide on what type of bail you should have. Usually, suspects with heinous crimes are not allowed for an unsecured bail bond. The factors that the court considers when setting a type of bail include:

  • The chances that you will flee out of town or country
  • How much of a threat you are to the community
  • The serious of the crime
  • Your financial resources
  • Your criminal record

If you have good records and great support from the community, you are most likely to get an unsecured type of bail bond.


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Franchette Agatha an author for GlobalTel


Franchette Agatha Jardin believes that everyone has the capacity to help those who are in need. She writes blogs about issues and news surrounding those in prison in the hopes of restoring a little extra faith in humanity.