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The phrase 'non-cash' bond made the news Wednesday regarding former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and his release from prison. But just what IS a non-cash bond?

Before we go much farther here, it should be pointed out that I'm NOT an attorney. I once took a philosophy of law course while in college at UW-Eau Claire, but that's about it. However, when I read all the coverage about ex-Minneapolis police officer Chauvin being released from the Minnesota Oak Park Heights prison Correctional Facility, it was stated several times that he posted a one million dollar non-cash bond.

First, a little background. This TIME article sums up the amount at which Chauvin's bail was set. Chauvin, is, of course, facing several murder charges in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis back in May.  "Chauvin had the option of posting bail for $1.25 million without conditions or $1 million with conditions. Under the conditions of his release, he must attend all court appearances, cannot have any direct or indirect contact—including social media—with any members of Floyd’s family, cannot work in law enforcement or security, and must not possess any firearms ammunition," the story said.

Okay, great. Bail set at a million dollars is a pretty good chuck of change, right? But what IS a non-cash bond? When I first heard that phrase, I thought it meant that instead of a million dollars in cash, perhaps it was something WORTH a million dollars-- like property, expensive jewelry, investments, or something similar-- almost like the collateral one might use to secure a loan.

Apparently, though, that's wrong. According to THIS website, a non-cash bond is one that is guaranteed by a 'surety' (in this case, a bail bonds company based in Brainerd and gauranteed by an insurance company in California) and is only paid IF Chauvin doesn't show up for court, seeing as he's been released from custody.

Non-cash bail- this is the sum of money asked by the court to be paid by a surety when the accused fails to appear in court. It does not have to be paid there and then.

This list from the Minnesota Judicial Branch lists all the possible bail combinations that are apparently used here in Minnesota. So, if I'm making sense of everything, Chauvin himself didn't come up a million dollars, he got the bail bonds company to guarantee that he'll be in court or they're on the hook to pay the million dollars. Of course, they've no doubt charged Chauvin a pretty steep fee to post the million dollars bond on his behalf.

Okay, this concludes my TED Talk on non-cash bail. Any attorneys out there, feel free to correct anything I got wrong (which is no doubt, a lot). And, now here's something I know a little more about: Prounouncing these Minnesota names. Keep scrolling to see how many YOU know how to say...

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