Bond – Do’s and Dont’s


What is a bond?

A bond is judge’s order that contains a list of bond conditions.  What is a bond condition? A bond condition is something (a list of rules the defendant must follow) essential to the occurrence of something else (the defendant’s release from jail).

In Easy Terms:   A bond is a judge’s order with a list of rules that must be followed or the defendant may go to jail until the case is resolved.

What happens if a defendant violates the bond conditions?

The defendant may go to jail until the case is resolved. The bond money posted in the case may be forfeited to the court. There may be other financial penalties. The defendant may also be sentenced to jail for violating a bond, in addition to any sentence that the judge may give the defendant if the defendant is convicted.  People v. Mysliwiec stands for this proposition.  Because a bond is a judge’s order, a defendant can be held in contempt for violating, which can include a jail sentence.

Also, if the defendant is convicted, violation of the bond is a factor the judge may consider at the time of sentencing. It may go without saying (although I will say it here) that it is very important that the defendant knows the rules, understands the rules, and follows the rules.

The rules are not the same in every case. Some cases have very few rules in the bond and other cases have many rules in the bond. Some cases also have no rules at all. Most cases have a bond.

DO:     Keep papers from the court and review them with an attorney.

DO:     Understand the rules in the bond

DO:     File a motion to get the bond conditions changed if you don’t agree with them.

A defendant can request permission from the court to do something or for

the bond to be changed.

DO:     Follow all of the rules of the bond without exception.

DON’T:  Miss any drug or alcohol testing required by the court. For alcohol testing,

if a test is missed, call your lawyer as soon as you can and let them know.

DON’T     Have contact with a person prohibited by the bond, even if they contact


EXAMPLE: In domestic violence cases the judge will usually order the defendant to have NO CONTACT with the alleged victim, direct or indirect. Many times the alleged victim will contact the defendant by phone or text and start a conversation. The defendant is not permitted to answer the phone call or return any text message from the victim, even if the victim wants contact with the defendant. The judge has ordered the DEFENDANT to not have contact with the alleged victim. The judge has not ordered the alleged victim to do anything. So, the victim will not get in trouble, but the defendant may have his bond revoked and go to jail.

Most cases have a bond condition that states “the defendant shall not violate any criminal law of the State of Michigan “ or something like that. Although it may seem obvious, violating the laws of the State of Michigan includes using illegal drugs of any kind.

Can a defendant be arrested for violating a bond condition? Yes.

Under MCL 764.15e, “A peace officer, without a warrant, may arrest and take into custody a defendant whom the peace officer has or receives positive information that another peace officer has reasonable cause to believe is violating or has violated a condition of release imposed under [MCL 765.6b or MCL 780.582a].”

This simply means that charges do not need to be filed for a defendant to be taken into custody for violating his or her bond. After the arrest, the peace officer must prepare a complaint and provide a copy to the defendant, the court, and the prosecutor. However, this process can occur while the defendant is in jail.

What should a defendant do if they have violated the bond in their case?

Contact an attorney immediately. Lawyers are there to help you in these complicated situations.We serve clients all over the State of Michigan, Including Charlevoix County (Charlevoix, East Jordan, Elmira, Boyne City,), Otsego County (including Gaylord, Johannesburg, Elmira), Kalkaska County, Emmet County (Including Mackinaw City, Alanson, Conway, Petoskey, Walloon Lake) Cheboygan County (including Cheboygan, Indian River).

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