After a person is arrested, they must be taken to a commissioner in the District Court of Maryland in the county where the arrest occurred. The commissioner will conduct an initial appearance hearing and determine if the person should be held in jail on pretrial detention or if the person can be released and what the conditions of the pretrial release might be. Some of those possibilities include personal recognizance, posting a bond and home monitoring. As a rule of thumb, the more serious the charge the more likely the person will remain in pretrial detention or have a stricter form of pretrial release.

Due to recent changes in the law, your lawyer now has greater access to represent you in front of a commissioner when you are arrested. This means that if the Court issues a warrant for your arrest, your lawyer can now attend your hearing before the commissioner. This significantly improves your chances of avoiding the risk of spending time in jail before trial and reducing the money you must pay a bondsman to post a bond for your release.

If a commissioner detains you without bond or sets a bond you cannot make, Maryland law provides that a second judge can look at the commissioner’s conditions and can lower them.

The purpose of the bond is to assure that the person will appear in court and if the person fails to appear, the bond is forfeited. A bond can be paid in cash to the court, by providing the deed to property, or it can be paid by hiring the services of a bail bondsman. You can also be ordered to be released on home detention. This means that you would be required to wear a device on your ankle and remain inside your house unless you are given permission to leave for matters like work, medical appointments, and court appearances.

If you are arrested, you have the absolute right to have the assistance of an attorney at all stages of prosecution. It is important to have competent and proactive legal representation in a criminal matter. Marc Emden can assist you in defending against criminal charges and will work hard for the best possible outcome no matter how serious the charges.


How much is the bail bond normally set by Maryland judges/commissioners?

There is no set amount that commissioners or judges set in Maryland criminal cases.  Sometimes a person is released without having to pay any bail for less serious charges.  In most cases where a bail bond is set, the amount depends on a number of factors including the charges the person is facing, the person’s criminal history (if any) and whether the person has ever failed to appear in court.

When a bail bond is set, do I have to pay it in cash? Or will the Court take credit cards?

When a bail bond is set, there are a number of ways it can be paid.  Any person 18 years of age or older can pay the bond in cash or provide the deed to a property that is worth at least as much as the bond.  A bail bondsman can also be employed, and the person normally pays the bondsman a percentage of the bail and the bail bond company pays the rest.

Will a bail bonds company take credit cards?

Yes, most bail bonds companies take credit cards.  Please check with the particular bail bondsman on how they take payment.

Do I get my bail bond money back when the trial is over?

Provided the Defendant has appeared for all court appearances, once the trial is over, the COurt will release all the bail bond funds to the person who put them up.  When a bail bondsman is used, the percentage paid is the bondsman’s fee and that is not refundable.

Is there a difference between a bail and a bond?

In the context of the criminal court system, the terms “bail” and “bond” are synonymous.