When someone gets arrested and goes through a bond hearing, a judge will typically set a bond, and with that comes certain stipulations that must be adhered to while out on bond. These are called bond conditions and much like probation, these rules must be followed and reported in order to be in compliance with the bond. There are many conditions that a judge could assign that are specific to the individual and charges but here are the most common that is close to universal.
Ban on drugs and alcohol
Probably the most common condition among any type of DUI or drug charges. It is quite normal that a judge will insist that a defendant refrains from all legal or illegal mind-altering substances while awaiting their hearing. The defendant will typically be subject to drug tests that will be reported to ensure compliance during this time.
When a judge reviews a defendant’s case during a hearing, one of the biggest things that they look at is what has the defendant been doing with their time while they were out on bond. They want to see that the defendant has been acting as a productive member of society so because of this, one of the most universal bond conditions is to maintain employment or if you are unemployed, to actively search for employment. Generally, you will check in with a pretrial officer to either report your hours from work or your job search and the officer may even be able to offer resources to help with the search as well. While this is a condition that must be followed, it is also just overall beneficial to the defendant’s case anyways and can only help them and potentially lead to a less severe sentence.
The entire point of the bond is to make it financially difficult for a defendant to not return for their court hearing. Because of this, it makes complete sense that a default bond condition is a ban on travel while out on bond. It’s important to note that the courts will work with someone if there is an emergency or their job depends on travel but they are sure to face a lot of checking-in and limitations while traveling. For everyone else, typically traveling even out of state will be strictly prohibited and if the defendant actually lives out of state, they may have a more difficult time with bond and in some cases need to make travel arrangements to return to be at their court appearance in person.
Safety Through Restraining Orders
If a defendant’s charges involved any type of violence or harassment against another person, most likely they will be issued a restraining order from the victim as a bond condition. This means that the defendant will have to stay a certain distance away from the victim at all times and avoid any type of communication. If there is any violation of the restraining order, the judge will issue another arrest warrant, and being offered a bond again may not be possible.