1. Pay the fine: If you want to plead guilty and pay the fine, the judge will be contacted to set the amount of the fine. You may have to wait to be taken in front of the judge for him or her to set the fine in person. Once the fine is set, you can pay the money or "lay the fine out in jail." How much of the fine you are credited with per day varies from county to county. Most people do this only if the offense is a Class C misdemeanor.
If in doubt whether this is the correct thing to do in your case, don't do it. Once you've done it, it can't be undone. If in doubt, bond out.
2. Post bond: A bond is a guarantee or promise that you won't skip town and ignore your trial date. The different types of bond include:
a) Persona recognizance bond (PR bond) - You sign a paper bond in which you promise to appear for all court appearances when so ordered. The guarantee that you'll appear is your promise. A judge must approve this bond. If your offense is not serious and people know you and affirm your reliability, then you may get one.
b) Cash bond: If the bond is set at $1,000, you can pay $1,000 cash to the sheriff's escrow account to guarantee you will appear for all court appearances. If you fail to appear, the money is forfeited, and a warrant for your arrest is issued. When you appear as ordered, you get the cash back in full, but without interest.
c) Bond through an attorney or lawyer: Some attorneys will guarantee your promise to appear for all court appearances with a paper bond. This paper bond does not require you to pay cash for the bond amount unless you skip town. If you do not appear, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you owe the state the amount of the bond. You'll probably have to find a new attorney, too.
d) Bail bond: Most people use this because no PR bond was granted, they don't have enough cash to post as bond, and they don't know an attorney who makes bonds. You pay a non-refundable fee to a professional bail bondsman to post a paper bond for the amount of the bond. The fee is less than the total amount of the bond. The bondsman guarantees to the court that you will show up for all court appearances. You avoid having to pay the full amount of the bond, as you do in a cash bond situation, but you don't ever get any money back.
The amount of the fee varies from town to town and bondsman to bondsman. With one phone call from jail, you can't shop around for the cheapest. You can, however, notify a friend to shop around for you. If you don't show up in court when ordered to do so, you and the bondsman owe the court the full amount of the bond, and a warrant is issued for your arrest. The bondsman also starts looking for you. It is much harder and more expensive to find a bondsman a second time if you've violated your bond already.