Beautifying Your Financial Picture

Understanding The Difference Between Bail Vs. Bond

by Darryl Nguyen

If you are like most people, you hear of people being arrested all of the time. It may just be on television, or in the local news, but unfortunately, sometimes it applies to a loved one. If it has happened to a loved one, you may be asked about posting bail, or posting a bond. While these words are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same things. Understanding the differences may help your loved one get out of jail faster.

What Happens After An Arrest?

One a person has been arrested, one of the things that will usually happen is that they will go in front of the magistrate, or the court to determine what it will take for them to be released. This amount will vary from judge to judge, and even county to county. Some places use pre-established bail sheets that consider very little beyond what the person is accused of. Other courts will consider slightly more information when setting this bail amount, including:

  • The crime the person is accused of.
  • The danger the person poses to the community.
  • Ties the person has to the community.
  • Whether or not the person is a flight risk.

Whichever criteria are used, once the court has reviewed the charges a bail/bond order will be entered. Under certain circumstances, or even for certain crimes, bail may be denied. This means that the accused is required to stay in jail until the case can be heard in full.

This order may also include certain other conditions that have nothing to do with money. An example of this would be that the person would be ordered not to be within a certain proximity of the person that they have been accused of assaulting. Violation of any of these conditions, as well as not showing up for any of the scheduled hearings, are causes for this bail order to be revoked, and an order would go out for the person's arrest.

Bail Versus Bond

Bail is the amount of money that must be paid, or pledged to the court to secure the release of the person. Bail is usually paid in cash, or some other form of guaranteed funds, and will be held by the court until all charges have been dealt with.

If the accused shows up for all hearings, and meets all of the requirements that the court sets forth, the money will be returned. If the accused does not show up, or violates any other terms or conditions, the bail money may be forfeited, which means that it can be kept by the court.

Bond, on the other hand, is a legal agreement. It is a pledge, or an arrangement that is put into place as a guarantee, or surety that something will take place. This agreement must be signed not only by the person who is arranging the bond, but also by the company who is willing to post the necessary amount for the person to be released. The only money that must actually be paid out by you or the accused is the fee. This can range from 10-15% of the amount of the bail, and will have to be paid to the company agreeing to post the bond.

Which One To Choose?

Most people are not sitting on large amounts of money that they want to put at risk of losing. Not only that, but you have to be able to afford to allow the court to hold it for long periods of time, since it won't be released until all of the charges have been dealt with. On the other hand, if you are able to post cash bail, you do not have to worry about shelling out potentially thousands of dollars in fees which will be kept no matter what the outcome of the charges is.

When you choose to enlist the services of a bonding company, you do not have these worries. For a small non-refundable fee they will pledge the bond needed for your loved one's release. They will incur the responsibility of losing a large amount of money if your loved one violates the conditions of their release, as well as assuming the responsibility of helping to find your loved one along with the police. If you any concerns that your loved one may not do what they are suppose to do. Call a bail bondsman. Let them assume the responsibility.

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