Bail vs. Bonds – The Difference between Bail Bonds and Bail
When setting bail, a judge usually offers at least two options. One is a bail bond while the other being cash bail. People often get a little confused between both of these options and often wonder if bail and bond are the same thing. Even though, both bail bond and cash bond have identical objectives and are good to get a suspect released from the custody of law enforcement agencies, there are several crucial factors that distinguish them from each other. Those discerning aspects between cash bail versus bond are thoroughly explained below.
Cost is perhaps the biggest and most crucial difference between bail and bond. Generally, bail bonds come with a lower initial cost, which get relatively higher in the long run. On the contrary, when it comes to the cash bails, you will have to pay the full amount of bail that is determined by the honorable judge. In case of bail bonds, you will be liable to pay upfront merely a certain proportion of the face value of the bond.
The following example will help you understand the cash bail and bail bond difference in terms of cost. Here’s an example: A judge puts a bail at 3,000 bond and 3,000 cash. In order to post the cash bail you or your family should bring the whole amount ($3,000) to the court.
But in case of bond, you will have to pay merely a certain fee charged on the basis of the total bail amount that is in most cases falls between $5 to $500 along with some collateral that is let’s assume 10% ($300).
Therefore, as previously established, the upfront cost you will have to bear for a cash bail will be $3,000, and around $300 to $500 for the bail bond depending upon the percentage of collateral and bond fee charged by the agency.
In addition to it, you must keep in your mind that if an accused makes all the court appearances, your cash bail will be refunded after cutting a small processing fee in case the accused turns out to be guilty. With bonds, the accused will get back the amount of collateral that s/he posted, but not the fee.
Are you enthusiastically trying to comprehend the bond vs bail difference? Just remember that bail bonds are better for you if you are running short of cash and could not pay the full amount of bail right away.
Bonds give you the opportunity to get your loved ones released from jail by paying off only a small percentage of the total bail set by the judge upfront along with the collateral.
Another difference between bond and bail is their availability. Anyone is allowed to post the cash bail on your behalf. However, when it comes to the bail bonds only those bond agents who are licensed and certified by the local authorities can serve bonds. Therefore, in order to attain a bond you should find a bond agent who is willing to carry out the underwriting process.
Different bond agents may consider a variety of factors while making the decision regarding whether they are going to serve the bond or not. Below is a concise overview of those key factors:
- Employment and Income of Indemnitor – Indemnitor is an individual or group who has shown the willingness to sign the bond. Bond agents generally prefer those indemnitors who have a steady job or business, and make a decent amount of annual income. Agents want to ensure that indemnitor is capable of covering up the bond’s full cost if defendant does not appear in front of the court.
- The Case History of Defendant – In case, the suspect has a history of missing court appearances, it is a solid hint that they might do it again. This will make the bail bonds company a little less comfortable and they may even turn down the defendant’s request to serve the bond. Even if the bail bond company does serve the bond, it will be done on an increased amount of collateral.
- Indemnitor’s and Defendant’s Location of Residence – The defendants who reside outside the state are more likely to miss the court appearances. Indemnitors who reside outside the state could be a little harder to get in touch with if defendant does not appear.
If a company evaluates that serving a bond to a defendant will be highly risky on the account of any aforementioned or on other grounds, they might refuse to provide a bond. Therefore, if you or any of your family members need bail bonds, it is extremely crucial to vigilantly consider these aspects.
Another noteworthy bail vs bond difference is that both of them draw dissimilar requirements on indemnitor and defendant until the conclusion of the lawsuit. When it comes to the cash bails, there is only one requirement that involves the defendant to show up in front of the court.
Failed court appearances forfeit the bail. Plus, there is no obligation whatsoever on the individual who actually served the cash bail.
Things are a bit different in case of bail bonds. With the bonds, defendants should make prompt court appearances, and if they fail their bail bond will be revoked.
Additionally, it will be the responsibility of the indemnitor to cover bond’s any remaining cost. Furthermore, defendant and indemnitor are also bound to follow all other terms and conditions that are included in the agreement of bond as well. The terms included in the bond agreements may vary from company to company depending upon their internal policies.
In this guide, three major factors have been comprehensively discussed to clearly demonstrate the cash bail and bond difference. Apart from them, there can be other differences as well that might influence your decision to select any of the available option according to your unique scenario.
For instance, release by bail bonds usually takes a little longer (around eight to ten hours), since bond agent is bound to present his/herself in front of the judge, and other trivial differences like this one.