Bail is an amount of money placed as security with the court to assure that a person accused of a crime will return to court when needed.

Setting bail is at the sole discretion of the judges and commissioners of the Criminal District Court. A judge or commissioner may also place conditions upon the accused or refuse their release because of safety concerns to the community.

Whoever posts bail for a defendant will assume responsibility for a defendant’s appearance in court. If a defendant fails to appear as required, an arrest warrant will be issued and the posted bail can be forfeited.

Bond amounts generally are set by a magistrate judge or commissioner at an initial court appearance within 72 hours of arrest.

Subject to restrictions imposed by state law and by a judge or commissioner, bail in Louisiana generally can be posted in the following manners:

  • Cash Bond – The cash amount of the bail is paid to the court

  • Property Bond – Property worth the value of the bail is deposited with the court

  • Personal Surety Bond – A relative or friend signs the arrestee out of jail with a promise to pay if the defendant does not return to court as scheduled

  • Recognizance Bond – An arrestee signs himself out without having to pay upon their promise to return

  • Commercial Bond – A contract is signed with a commercial bondsman to secure release through the posting of bail