Bail is set in place for essentially two reasons: 1. to ensure the defendant appears for all of his scheduled court hearings and 2. to ensure the safety of the people in the community and any victims involved in the defendant’s case.  Pennsylvania law lists a number of factors that a judge must consider to determine the amount of bail in a particular case.  Once those factors are considered and bail is set, the defendant may be released on bail in one of five different ways: 

1: Released on own recognizance:

The judge does not set any monetary amount.  Instead, the defendant must simply sign paperwork indicating that he will appear for all of his scheduled court hearings and will comply with any additional conditions of bail.  This bail is most commonly set in 1st offense DUI’s.

2: Release on nonmonetary conditions:

release is conditioned upon the defendant’s agreement to comply with any nonmonetary conditions which the bail authority determines are reasonably necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond.

3: Release on unsecured bail:

release conditioned upon the defendant’s written agreement to be liabled for a fixed sum of money if he fails to appear as required or fails to comply with the conditions of the bail bond.  No money or other form of security is deposited.

4: Release on nominal bail:

release conditioned upon the defendant depositing a nominal amount of cash which the bail authority determines is sufficient security for the defendant’s release such as $1.00 and the agreement of a designated person or bail agency to act as surety for the defendant.

5: Release on monetary conditions:

release is conditioned upon the defendant’s compliance with a monetary condition imposed pursuant to the rules of criminal procedure.  the amount of the monetary condition shall not be greater than is necessary to reasonably ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond.