New York Law
Criminal Procedure Law
Consolidated Laws of New York
Search New York State CPL Laws
Article 520 - NY Criminal Procedure Law
S 520.10 Bail and bail bonds; fixing of bail and authorized forms thereof.
1. The only authorized forms of bail are the following:
(a) Cash bail.
(b) An insurance company bail bond.
(c) A secured surety bond.
(d) A secured appearance bond.
(e) A partially secured surety bond.
(f) A partially secured appearance bond.
(g) An unsecured surety bond.
(h) An unsecured appearance bond.
(i) Credit card or similar device where the principal is charged with
a violation under the vehicle and traffic law; provided, however,
notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person posting bail by
credit card or similar device also may be required to pay a reasonable
administrative fee. The amount of such fee and the time and manner of
its payment shall be in accordance with the system established pursuant
to subdivision four of section 150.30 of this chapter or paragraph (i)
of subdivision two of section two hundred twelve of the judiciary law,
2. The methods of fixing bail are as follows:
(a) A court may designate the amount of the bail without designating
the form or forms in which it may be posted. In such case, the bail may
be posted in either of the forms specified in paragraphs (g) and (h) of
(b) The court may direct that the bail be posted in any one of two or
more of the forms specified in subdivision one, designated in the
alternative, and may designate different amounts varying with the forms;
S 520.15 Bail and bail bonds; posting of cash bail.
1. Where a court has fixed bail pursuant to subdivision two of section
520.10, at any time after the principal has been committed to the
custody of the sheriff pending the posting thereof, cash bail in the
amount designated in the order fixing bail may be posted even though
such bail was not specified in such order. Cash bail may be deposited
with (a) the county treasurer of the county in which the criminal action
or proceeding is pending or, in the city of New York with the
commissioner of finance, or (b) the court which issued such order, or
(c) the sheriff in whose custody the principal has been committed. Upon
proof of the deposit of the designated amount the principal must be
forthwith released from custody.
2. The person posting cash bail must complete and sign a form which
states (a) the name, residential address and occupation of each person
posting cash bail; and (b) the title of the criminal action or
proceeding involved; and (c) the offense or offenses which are the
subjects of the action or proceeding involved, and the status of such
action or proceeding; and (d) the name of the principal and the nature
of his involvement in or connection with such action or proceeding; and
(e) that the person or persons posting cash bail undertake that the
principal will appear in such action or proceeding whenever required and
will at all times render himself amenable to the orders and processes of
the court; and (f) the date of the principal`s next appearance in court;
and (g) an acknowledgement that the cash bail will be forfeited if the
principal does not comply with any requirement or order of process to
appear in court; and (h) the amount of money posted as cash bail.
3. Money posted as cash bail is and shall remain the property of the
person posting it unless forfeited to the court.
S 520.20 Bail and bail bonds; posting of bail bond and justifying
affidavits; form and contents thereof.
1. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) when a bail bond is to be
posted in satisfaction of bail, the obligor or obligors must submit to
the court a bail bond in the amount fixed, executed in the form
prescribed in subdivision two, accompanied by a justifying affidavit of
each obligor, executed in the form prescribed in subdivision four.
(b) When a bail bond is to be posted in satisfaction of bail fixed
for a defendant charged by information or simplified information or
prosecutor`s information with one or more traffic infractions and no
other offense, the defendant may submit to the court, with the consent
of the court, an insurance company bail bond covering the amount fixed,
executed in a form prescribed by the superintendent of insurance.
2. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of subdivision one, a bail
bond must be subscribed and sworn to by each obligor and must state:
(a) The name, residential address and occupation of each obligor; and
(b) The title of the criminal action or proceeding involved; and
(c) The offense or offenses which are the subjects of the action or
proceeding involved, and the status of such action or proceeding; and
(d) The name of the principal and the nature of his involvement in or
connection with such action or proceeding; and
(e) That the obligor, or the obligors jointly and severally,
undertake that the principal will appear in such action or proceeding
whenever required and will at all times render himself amenable to the
orders and processes of the court; and
(f) That in the event that the principal does not comply with any
such requirement, order or process, such obligor or obligors will pay to
the people of the state of New York a designated sum of money fixed by
3. A bail bond posted in the course of a criminal action is effective
and binding upon the obligor or obligors until the imposition of
sentence or other termination of the action, regardless of whether the
action is dismissed in the local criminal court after an indictment on
the same charge or charges by a superior court, and regardless of
whether such action is partially conducted or prosecuted in a court or
courts other than the one in which the action was pending when such bond
was posted, unless prior to such termination such order of bail is
vacated or revoked or the principal is surrendered, or unless the terms
of such bond expressly limit its effectiveness to a lesser period;
provided, however, the effectiveness of such bond may only be limited to
a lesser period if the obligor or obligors submit notice of the
limitation to the court and the district attorney not less than fourteen
days before effectiveness ends.
4. A justifying affidavit must be subscribed and sworn to by the
obligor-affiant and must state his name, residential address and
occupation. Depending upon the kind of bail bond which it justifies,
such affidavit must contain further statements as follows:
(a) An affidavit justifying an insurance company bail bond must
(i) The amount of the premium paid to the obligor; and
(ii) All security and all promises of indemnity received by the
surety-obligor in connection with its execution of the bond, and the
name, occupation and residential and business addresses of every person
who has given any such indemnifying security or promise.
An action by the surety-obligor against an indemnitor, seeking
retention of security deposited by the latter with the former or
enforcement of any indemnity agreement of a kind described in this
sub-paragraph, will not lie except with respect to agreements and
security specified in the justifying affidavit.
(b) An affidavit justifying a secured bail bond must state every item
of personal property deposited and of real property pledged as security,
the value of each such item, and the nature and amount of every lien or
(c) An affidavit justifying a partially secured bail bond or an
unsecured bail bond must state the place and nature of the
obligor-affiant`s business or employment, the length of time he has been
engaged therein, his income during the past year, and his average income
over the past five years.
S 520.30 Bail and bail bonds; examination as to sufficiency.
1. Following the posting of a bail bond and the justifying affidavit
or affidavits or the posting of cash bail, the court may conduct an
inquiry for the purpose of determining the reliability of the obligors
or person posting cash bail, the value and sufficiency of any security
offered, and whether any feature of the undertaking contravenes public
policy; provided that before undertaking an inquiry, of a person posting
cash bail the court, after application of the district attorney, must
have had reasonable cause to believe that the person posting cash bail
is not in rightful possession of money posted as cash bail or that such
money constitutes the fruits of criminal or unlawful conduct. The court
may inquire into any matter stated or required to be stated in the
justifying affidavits, and may also inquire into other matters
appropriate to the determination, which include but are not limited to
(a) The background, character and reputation of any obligor, and, in
the case of an insurance company bail bond, the qualifications of the
surety-obligor and its executing agent; and
(b) The source of any money or property deposited by any obligor as
security, and whether any such money or property constitutes the fruits
of criminal or unlawful conduct; and
(c) The source of any money or property delivered or agreed to be
delivered to any obligor as indemnification on the bond, and whether any
such money or property constitutes the fruits of criminal or unlawful
(d) The background, character and reputation of any person who has
indemnified or agreed to indemnify an obligor upon the bond; and whether
any such indemnitor, not being licensed by the superintendent of
insurance in accordance with the insurance law, has within a period of
one month prior to such indemnity transaction given indemnification or
security for like purpose in more than two cases not arising out of the
same transaction; and
(e) The source of any money posted as cash bail, and whether any such
money constitutes the fruits of criminal or unlawful conduct;
(f) The background, character and reputation of the person posting
2. Upon such inquiry, the court may examine, under oath or otherwise,
the obligors and any other persons who may possess material information.
The district attorney has a right to attend such inquiry, to call
witnesses and to examine any witness in the proceeding. The court may,
upon application of the district attorney, adjourn the proceeding for a
reasonable period to allow him to investigate the matter.
3. At the conclusion of the inquiry, the court must issue an order
either approving or disapproving the bail.
S 520.40 Transfer of cash bail from local criminal court to superior court.
When a local criminal court acquires control over the person of an
accused and such court designates the amount of bail that the accused
may post and such bail is posted in cash and subsequently the accused is
arraigned in superior court where bail is fixed by such court, the
accused may request that the cash bail posted in the local criminal
court be transferred to the superior court. Notice of such request must
be given to the person who posted cash bail. Upon such a request the
superior court shall make an order directing the local criminal court to
transfer the cash bail that it holds to the superior court for use in
the superior court. If there is an overage, the superior court shall
order it be paid over to the person who posted the cash bail in the
local criminal court. If there is a deficiency, the accused shall post
additional bail as directed by the superior court.
Top of Page
Criminal Procedure Law - Table of Contents
- A comprehensive on-line digest of New York's criminal code.