Unsecured Bonds are most often used is less serious cases. In these cases, the defendant is released his or her “own recognizance,” meaning that he is obligated to return to court but is not required to pay anything to ensure his or her return.
Though unsecured bonds are most often used with less serious cases, the court may consider unsecured bond in other cases where the defendant has no criminal history, no history of failures to appear for court hearings and roots in the community (jobs, family, history) that make flight unlikely. The court, based upon the character, history, and roots of the defendant, is trusting the defendant to show up on his or her own without the necessity of financial incentive.
On occasion, the court will enter a hybrid type bond that has elements of both a secured and unsecured bond. In these cases, a defendant may be released on a bond with a face value but not required to pay a deposit. The defendant must sign and is fully liable on the bond for failure to appear. Thus, if the defendant fails to appear, the court may take the defendant into custody until the bond is secured and/or until the case has been concluded.